The Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program gives students a theoretical base for a systematic analysis of the construction of gender and the historical, economic, political, social, and cultural experiences of women. It is an interdisciplinary program drawing on resources from the Social Sciences, the Humanities, and the Sciences. The Women's Studies Program at Dartmouth was established in 1978, and was the first such program in any of the previously all-male Ivy League colleges. Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies may be undertaken as a program for a major, minor, and modified major. Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies graduates report that the critical tools learned in the Program have helped them succeed in a wide variety of careers and further studies.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Studies (LGBTS) courses examine lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender identities and politics in historical and contemporary contexts. Rather than take sex and gender as given, in or by nature, many of the LGBT courses investigate sex and gender as sites of bodily and discursive contestation. LGBT classes first appeared in the Dartmouth curriculum in the Spring of 1992. LGBTS topics courses were taught occasionally until 1996, when funding from the Carpenter Foundation supported the development of an introductory course in LGBTS. Looking for a more permanent solution, the Dean of the Faculty asked Women's and Gender Studies if the Program could become the home, at least temporarily, for LGBTS courses. Currently, classes with LGBT/queer content are available in a number of departments and programs as well as Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.