Director:  Assistant Dean Sara Faherty (

The Faculty of Law’s JD/Certificate in Sexual Diversity and Gender Studies is designed for students who have an interest in examining questions about how we understand sexual diversity and sexual practices.  Among these questions are how we frame and categorize sexual differences, why we fear some and celebrate others, how medical, religious and political authorities respond to them.  The program complements students’ legal training by providing an interdisciplinary framework within which concepts and methods from the study of law can be applied to a relevant topic Sexual Diversity Studies.


The JD/Certificate in Sexual Diversity and Gender Studies has four requirements:

(1) Students must participate in the core course in Sexual Diversity Studies (SDS 1000H), a semester long weekly seminar that introduces graduate students to interdisciplinary approaches to research in sexual diversity.  It will survey important currents of queer theory, and other theoretical currents used to frame studies of sexual difference.  A range of faculty from humanities, social science, and potentially natural or human science backgrounds will participate in the course, exposing students not only to divergent theoretical and methodological approaches, but also to very different substantive questions.

(2) Students must complete a second course with substantial treatment of sexual diversity.  While there is not an established list of courses that could fulfil this requirement, a sampling of courses offered recently that might be qualified includes:

  • ANT    6033    Anthropology of Gender
  • DRA   3211    The Performing Body
  • ENG   6554    Race and Gender in Indigenous Law and Literature
  • ENG   6161    The Poetics of Resistance
  • FAH    1494    Queer Sexuality, Visuality and Theory
  • HIS     1112    Canada in Comparative Contexts: Gender, Labour, Migration
  • HIS     1016    Readings in the History of Gender and Sexuality
  • JAL     1155    Language and Gender
  • JPG    1509    Feminism, Postcoloniality and Development
  • JPG    1805    Transnationalism, Diaspora and Gender
  • LAW    301     Gender Equality in Transnational Legal Perspective
  • LAW    386      Reproductive and Sexual Health Law
  • SOC    6019   Sociology of Gender
  • SWK   4630    Intersecting Narrative: Self, Culture, Institutions.

ANT= Anthropology; DRA=Drama; ENG=English; FAHCHL= Collaborative Program in Health Care; HIS=History; JAL=Joint Anthropology/Linguistics; JPG=Joint Program in Geography; SOC=Sociology; SWK=School of Social Work.

The director of the Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies collaborative program must approve all course selection for the additional course. 

(3)Students must write a SUYRP on a topic related to sexual diversity studies in an upper level law course that permits SUYRP’s, provided the faculty member teaching the course is aware that the SUYRP project is being used to fulfil this certificate requirement and agrees to supervise the SUYRP.

(4) Students must present a paper during the Sexual Diversity Studies Student Research Colloquium, a one-day event where SDS collaborative graduate students and 4th year undergraduate students have an opportunity to present their research to fellow students and faculty.  The research colloquium will provide a unique opportunity for graduate and undergraduate students to present their research, and to engage critically with other students’ research in an interdisciplinary and intellectually rigorous environment. 

Admission into the Certificate Program

Students apply to the Faculty of Law alone. In their applications, or before the end of their first year, students should select the JD/Certificate in Sexual Diversity and Gender Studies as a certificate program option.  Students should contact the director of the collaborative program and the Assistant Dean, Office of the Associate Dean in order to formalize their admission to the certificate program.  Any questions should be directed to the Assistant Dean at