Thursday, October 6, 2011

Undergraduate Majors in LGBT Studies

San Diego State University announced this week that it had received approval to offer an undergraduate major in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender studies, and would begin accepting students into the multidisciplinary program next spring.

Esther Rothblum, a professor of women’s studies and the LGBT-studies academic adviser at San Diego State, said in a news release that the four-year major would be the first in California and the second in the United States. The other institution offering such a major is Hobart and William Smith Colleges, in New York, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported. Ms. Rothblum said the degree would be applicable to a variety of careers, and an asset for students applying to professional programs in areas like business, law, or medicine.

Graduates of a Bachelor's degree program will have an excellent foundation for careers in social work, family planning, counseling, medicine, law, the ministry/rabbinate, human resources, and K-12 teaching (where people are allowed to teach about LGBT issues) in various subjects, as well as for advanced academic study in disciplines such as literature, history, sociology, the arts, or theology, just to name some of the obvious ones. There are more than 1500 non-profit organizations related to LGBT issues across the country that would benefit from educated people on this topic. There are colleges running multicultural student centers and student clubs that need advisors, research roles in private and government organizations, and I can think of many other places where an education in LGBT studies could be useful.

I wish I had been out at the time I was in undergrad and would have been able to be a double major in history and LGBT studies. Most of my knowledge of LGBT issues and history has come largely from my own personal research and yearning for knowledge on the subject. Many schools are now offering minors in LGBT studies or minors in Human Rights. There have already been gender studies programs which focus on a wide range of gender issues including LGBT issues, but I think this is wonderful that there are programs now for a four year degree in LGBT studies.


Bill Dameron said...

This sounds like my kind of program!

JoeBlow said...

Bill, I wish this had been around when I was looking for colleges.