Gender & Women's Studies Major

Section 1

Gender & women's studies Major

"I have enjoyed the raw, unfiltered truth that instructors give to the class. When I enter the room they do not treat me like a student, rather as if I were their colleague..." - Anuoluwapo Osideko , GWS Undergraduate


The Department of Gender and Women’s Studies trains students to identify where and how inequalities are produced and reproduced.  We also give them the skills to figure out how to initiate change and work for justice. The courses and training we offer transform students’ perceptions of and relationships to their personal and professional lives.  They go on to challenge gender inequalities in their personal lives, in their communities, and in their future careers. 

GWS majors receive in-depth training in written and oral communication and critical thinking skills.  Thus they are well prepared for advanced study in graduate or professional school.   A major in Gender and Women’s Studies is also an excellent choice for students pursuing careers in law, social work, public policy, victim advocacy, union organizing, community/sexual health, counseling, and other fields advocating civil rights and social justice. Download the GWS Major Checklist.

Course Requirements*

GWS 201, Race, Gender and Power

GWS 202, Sexualities

GWS 350, Feminist & Gender Theory  OR GWS 370, Queer Theory

GWS 498, Senior Seminar

Additional Coursework

Choose 15 hours from List A.  No more than 3 hours may be at the 100 or 200 level.


Choose 6 hours from List B or List A

Total Required Hours

*At least one course must be transnational or non-U.S issues. Consult the GWS advisor for approved courses.

Students may, with the approval of the GWS advisor, use 3 hours of independent study credit and 3-4 hours of study abroad credit to fulfill the requirements of the GWS major.

Departmental distinction. To be eligible for graduation with distinction, a student must have:

  • a college grade-point average of 3.5
  • a Gender and Women's Studies Concentration grade point average of 3.5

High distinction. To be eligible for graduation with high distinction, a student must have:

  • a college grade point average of 3.5
  • a Gender and Women's Studies Concentration grade-point average of 3.7
  • complete a thesis or project in a 400-level GWS course that is approved by the department