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New Grad Program Promotes Pride, Diversity

SDSU has announced a new graduate certificate in LGBT studies.
The certificate is intended for post-baccalaureate students who are interested in LGBT topics.
The certificate is intended for post-baccalaureate students who are interested in LGBT topics.

San Diego State University today announced the addition of a graduate-level certificate in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender studies, one of only a handful of like programs in the nation.

“Diversity is a cornerstone of a well-rounded education and this program provides an opportunity for graduate students to gain a deeper understanding of diversity through the critical issues brought forth in LGBT studies,” said Provost Nancy Marlin.

The goal of the Advanced Certificate in LGBT studies is to advance knowledge in sexual and gender identity, and increase understanding of the diverse cultural, historical, ethnic, racial and contemporary experiences of people across sexualities. The focus is on emerging LGBT subcultures and identities from a global perspective as well as on the changing nature of same-sex desire, sexual behavior and same-sex relationships from antiquity to the present.

A real need on campus

The certificate is intended for post-baccalaureate students who are interested in LGBT topics, graduate students conducting research on LGBT issues within their academic discipline and those seeking employment in LGBT organizations.  The program requires a minimum of 12 units of approved courses and exposes students to community service and activism through internships. Study abroad opportunities are also available.

“In the last few years, dozens  of students across all disciplines have created their own LGBT-themed master’s theses or culminating exams, so we saw a real need to build a program to pull all of the graduate-level classes that explore LGBT issues together into one place,” said Esther Rothblum, women’s studies professor at SDSU and adviser of the program.

“It's exciting that so many graduate students at SDSU are interested in LGBT courses and scholarship, and that students are applying to graduate programs at SDSU precisely because of the expertise of our faculty in LGBT issues,” Rothblum said.

History of diversity

The certificate program joins SDSU’s LGBT studies minor, which began in 2009 and the major, which launched in 2011.

SDSU has been offering classes in LGBT studies since the 1970s and was the first university in California to offer a major in the discipline. SDSU is listed by CampusPride.org as one of the top 20 most LGBT-friendly campuses in the nation.

Students will begin enrolling in the Advanced Certificate in LGBT Studies program in fall, 2014.


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