The certificate requires fifteen credit hours; a minimum of twelve must be upper division. The two required courses include Introduction to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies and the capstone experience. The remaining nine hours are electives from an approved list.

Students who are using the certificate as a concentration for the Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies degree offered through the College of Integrative Sciences and Arts will complete eighteen hours of coursework. Students in this degree program should select twelve hours of electives from the approved list        

Descriptions of Required Courses

Introduction to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies. The introductory course is taught at the 100 level and carries no prerequisites. The syllabus has been designed by a faculty committee and is divided into three topics: history, contemporary issues, and identity development. The purpose of the course is to introduce students to key concepts, terms, and issues related to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. Individual instructors create their own assignments and approach topics in unique ways, but regardless of who teaches the course, the foundations and key elements are addressed. Key elements include Stonewall, homophile movement, Hirschfeld, the Holocaust, The Well of Loneliness, Oscar Wilde, health, queer theory and politics, coming out, gender as a cultural construct, race/class/ethnicity, the closet, law and policy, transgender issues, transsexual issues, bisexuality, urban/rural, religion and spirituality, celebrities in the media, and the Westernization of “gay” and “lesbian” cultures. The curriculum committee will provide instructors with resources for the course, including materials on the capstone experience and career development.

The Introduction to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies will be taught once each fall and spring semester on a rotation basis. The schedule will be updated each year. The course will be taught under the prefix of the host department (e.g., if the course is taught in Social Work, it will carry the SWU prefix); the course will not be cross-listed; and the SCH (student credit hours) will go to the host department.

Capstone Experience. All students will complete a three-credit-hour capstone experience after completing a minimum of nine credit hours in the certificate program. The capstone experience will be supervised by any member of the faculty approved by the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies Committee.

The capstone experience should be an internship, community service project, or research apprenticeship that integrates curricular activities with each student’s unique interests. The capstone experience should be based in principles of use-inspired, transformative research or creative activity that bridges the student’s curriculum with lived experiences of LGBT communities. Ideally, the capstone experience integrates theory with experience, scholarship with change, and/or research with outcomes.

The purpose of an internship or community service project is to give students in the certificate program the opportunity to gain practical experience in working with lesbian and gay issues. Some students may work in lesbian and gay communities, e.g., Arizona Human Rights Fund, Project Lifeguard, Body Positive, PFLAG, community newspapers, while others may work on lesbian and gay issues in the context of governmental, business, nonprofit, or other community service agencies. Students will be given guidance in selecting an appropriate internship/community service experience, depending upon their interests and abilities. This internship/ community service experience should give them important, practical knowledge about their certificate project and establish a reciprocal relationship between the student and the sponsoring agency.

The purpose of a research apprenticeship is to create an intensive scholarly experience for students who plan on pursuing graduate education. In an apprenticeship, the student works alongside a professor who is engaged in original research or creative activity and participates in the scholarly process. The research apprenticeship engages the student in productive, generative, and creative processes. The apprenticeship is intended primarily as a learning experience for the student, but the relationship is beneficial to the faculty as well, as the student participates in all stages of the research or creative activity. The project in most cases will be one suggested by the faculty member or part of an ongoing project in which the faculty member is involved.

Elective Courses

The Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies reviews all courses submitted for inclusion as an elective in the certificate program. The elective courses will be those that address gay, lesbian, transgender, transsexual, queer, and/or bisexual themes as well as courses that position heterosexuality in relation to gay, lesbian, transgender, transsexual, and/or queer issues.