GSWS is an interdisciplinary field that provides rich opportunities for students to shape their major according to their special interests. We believe that through our required courses and the option of focusing coursework on a concentration, the major both provides grounding in the basic tenets of the field and also allows students a unique opportunity to freely explore their interests.


Requirements for the GSWS Major- 13 c.u.s


I. 3 Required Courses:

GSWS 002, Gender & Society

GSWS 003, Introduction to Queer Theory

A GSWS cross-listed course in feminist theory, or one additional course from GSWS Core Courses: GSWS 149, GSWS 242, GSWS 322


II. 9 c.u.’s in one of two tracks- Choose one

 Track 1: Concentration Track:

a) Students choosing a concentration must take 5 GSWS crosslisted courses in at least two different departments. Please note that in addition to the courses listed here, there will always be additional courses that fulfill each requirement. Please schedule a meeting with the GSWS Associate Director to discuss. 

1. Feminist Studies

2. Global Gender and Sexuality Studies

3. Health and Disability

4. LGBTQ Studies

5. A concentration of a student’s own design. This could be met by taking 5 courses within a single field or department, or a combination of departments - such as Politics and Philosophy, or Sociology and Anthropology, Media and Communication, History and English, or thematic concentrations that combine courses in a wide variety of fields such as Family Studies, Migration Studies or Labor Studies. Self-designed concentrations must be developed in consultation with the Associate Director and Undergraduate Chair of the program and approved by the Program's Curriculum Committee.


b) Students doing concentrations will also take 4 electives focusing on gender, sexuality, and/or women


Track 2: No Concentration:

 Students will take 9 Elective Courses focusing on topics of gender, sexuality, and/or women


III. 1 c.u.: Capstone requirement:

For the Capstone requirement the major offers a range of options:

1. A one-semester Independent Study to pursue a research topic with a GSWS affiliated or core faculty member

2. A GSWS Graduate Seminar, with permission of the instructor. 

3. A service learning project, to be taken as an Independent Study with a GSWS affiliated or core faculty member and subject to approval by the GSWS Curriculum committee. With the guidance of the Undergraduate Chair, students may design a project with an applied dimension. Through a service learning project, students will be able to participate in a local organization and design a project that would give the student not only some hands-on experience, but the ability to analyze an issue in a real-life setting. This could be in conjunction with an internship project with an organization working on issues of gender, sexuality and/or women, under the supervision of a GSWS faculty member who will advise the student about a final assignment related to their project or a research component of the project.


IV. Honors

 Students with an overall GPA of 3.4 or better and 3.6 or better in the major are eligible to apply for Honors in the major in their junior year.

Honors students will take:

- the 3 required courses

- 5 courses in a concentration and 3 elective courses

or 8 elective courses without a concentration

- 2 c.u.’s for writing a thesis. A one-semester seminar will be taken in the fall to aid students in research design, methodology, and getting their projects off the ground, while the spring credit will be entirely devoted to research and writing. The Associate Director/Undergraduate Chair of the program will staff this course and will work with Core and Affiliated faculty to connect students with thesis advisors.

To declare a major in GSWS please make an appointment to meet with Dr. Gwendolyn Beetham (gbeetham at and fill out this form.