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Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Studies

Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender studies, also known as LGBT or queer studies, engages you in questions concerning the formation and expression of sexual and gender identities in cultural contexts. If you'd like to develop as a socially conscious critical thinker and writer, you may consider pursuing LGBT studies. Read on to learn more about this field of study and how it can complement a variety of academic and career goals.

Is Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Studies for Me?

Field Overview

Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender studies is an interdisciplinary field examining the meaning of sexuality in society through the prisms of history, anthropology, literature, law and other disciplines. Career fields often explored by LGBT studies graduates include law, business or public administration, journalism, social science, education, counseling and social work. Many go on to become postsecondary educators in the field of LGBT studies.

LGBT studies is a relatively new field, and many of its initiates have gone on to break new ground in areas like anthropology, cultural minority and gender studies, English literature, African-American history and philosophy. Many LGBT studies degree holders go on to teach classes in cultural studies, intercultural studies and/or diversity studies as well.

Employment Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median wage for postsecondary educators overall was $68,970 in May of 2012 (www.bls.gov). These jobs in general were expected to grow 19%, which is faster than average, from 2012 to 2022.

How Can I Work in Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Studies?

Undergraduate Education

You may earn either a LGBT studies certificate in conjunction with a bachelor's degree in another discipline or a bachelor's degree in LGBT studies. Exploring topics such as social categories of sexuality, LGBT community history and global perspectives on same-sex relationships, you develop analytical skills and heightened civic awareness. LGBT studies courses are also offered within majors such as gender, sexuality or women's studies. You may be interested in LGBT studies in connection with other minority studies, such as black studies, Hispanic-American studies and/or American Indian studies.

Graduate Education

At the graduate level, LGBT studies are typically interdisciplinary programs that award some form of specialization, concentration or qualification for coursework completed. Though rare, a few graduate programs are available in fields like gender or sexuality studies. Most commonly, graduate students pursue LGBT studies at the master's and Ph.D. levels as an area of focus within their field, such as English, history, anthropology, philosophy or another discipline.

Career Options

Graduates with backgrounds in LGBT studies are well prepared for careers that involve interaction with people of diverse backgrounds in areas such as business, education, public policy, health care and law. Critics, artists, writers and academics spring from LGBT studies programs. LGBT studies scholars also work with political scientists and lawmakers to help promote equality in legislation and policy.