Academic Overview


“Joteria Undocumented Art” by Gabriela Hernández. These works and Hernández were featured in the 12 annual J. Paul Taylor Social Justice Symposium: Social Justice for LGBTQ Identities in the Borderlands in 2016. Image by L.A. Williams

Gender and Sexuality Studies at New Mexico State University is an innovative leader in interdisciplinary education. Our faculty members are experts in the field of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and are nationally and internationally recognized.

Students in our program pursue an interdisciplinary education that emphasizes social justice through the development of critical thinking, research, creativity, and analytical skills.

Our degree balances on-campus and online course offerings with a committed roster of yearly educational programing developed to benefit our students, the NMSU campus, the Las Cruces community, and the greater West Texas/New Mexico/Mexico area.

The Feminist Border Arts Film Festival, Transnational Solidarity Day, SJZ: Social Justice Zine, Girls Tech Camp, and other offerings present learning opportunities, specialized training in educating about important social issues, spaces for personal growth, and interaction with the ideas, creative practices, and activisms of an inclusive learning community.

Students who pursue a major, minor, or graduate minor in our program gain a strong foundation in feminist, gender, and LGBTQ+ social theories, research methods, and creative practices. They also receive substantial exposure to important sub topics and areas within the field through our large selection of electives and cross-listed courses. 

Departmental requirements for our program of study can be completed on campus and online. Since all core required Gender and Sexuality Studies courses are offered online, the entire degree can be completed as a distance education degree program by working with branch campuses and the Center for Academic Advising and Student Support.

NMSU Gender & Sexuality students experience a holistic approach to education:

  • Flexible degree plan that accommodates students with both online and face-to-face courses.
  • Students enjoy small class sizes in both on-campus and online courses. 
  • Our students and faculty members participate in an inclusive multiracial and multiethnic environment with LGBTQ+ and disabled members and allies. Moreover, many of our students and faculty members are first-generation college students and/or working-class people who help each other navigate institutional barriers and pathways.
  • Gender and Sexuality Studies at NMSU is pro-im/migrant and im/migrant affirming. Many of our courses and educational programing, such as Transnational Solidarity Day and the Feminist Border Arts Film Festival educate about im/migrant experiences in the U.S. and transnationally. This commitment includes the location of CAMP (College Assistance Migrant Program), a federally-funded program to help migrant or seasonal farm worker students attend college, in the Interdisciplinary Studies Department
  • Students have the opportunity to develop their research and activist interests under the guidance of learned and committed mentors. For us, education is more than receiving training in a discipline: it involves our whole selves. Becoming aware and developing insight from that awareness is a relevant aspect of the learning process. 
  • Many students pursue internship experience as part of their degree plan and/or contribute to our creative/educational programing through the Feminist Border Arts Film Festival, Transnational Solidarity Day, SJZ: Social Justice Zine, and the Girls Tech Camp.
  • Gender and Sexuality Studies is involved in creating transgender- and non-binary-affirming learning spaces on campus. This includes joining LGBT+ Programs and student groups in the process of creating Gender Neutral restrooms at NMSU. We lead the effort to create what has now become two gender neutral restrooms in Breland Hall (CJ wing, 1st floor, Northeast). The work continues.
  • Gender and Sexuality Studies faculty members utilize trans-inclusive statements on their syllabi and as part of their teaching practices.
  • Gender and Sexuality Studies and Interdisciplinary Studies Department maintain a student study room (Breland Hall 256) to encourage community, student research and creativity, and proximity to mentors.
  • Study Abroad at NMSU offers further possibilities for our students to extend their degree by gaining additional experience and knowledge about Gender and Sexuality Studies in a variety of locations.

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