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Undergraduate Program

Major Requirements

Students interested in pursuing a major in gender, sexuality, and women’s studies (GSW) are encouraged to start with GSW 105 and other foundation courses during their freshman and sophomore years, as well as gender, sexuality, and women’s studies courses cross-listed with other departments.

We offer two BA majors in gender, sexuality, and women’s studies: one in the humanities (H), and one in the social sciences (SS). To complete a major, a student must take ten courses (40 credits) in gender, sexuality, and women’s studies.

To complete a major, students must fulfill the following requirements:

Foundational Courses

GSW 105: Sex and Power

GSW 200: History of Feminism: Colloquium

Humanities majors – Three additional foundation courses, two of which must be in the humanities (H)

Social science majors – Three additional foundation courses, two of which must be in the social sciences (SS)

Electives

Humanities majors – Four electives, three of which must be in the humanities (H)

Social science majors – Four electives, three of which must be in the social sciences (SS)

Experiential Learning

Majors must complete one of the following courses and they should consult with their GSW advisor (See our advisor page here) to decide which one will work best with their other major courses. If possible, please arrange this no later than one semester before the course begins.

  • GSW 391: Independent Study
  • GSW 394: Internship
  • GSW 395: Independent Research 
  • GSW 396: Seminar in Women's Studies*

*GSW 396: Seminar is any GSW seminar-style course with a research paper taken in consultation with your advisor.

Upper-Level Writing Requirements

We require that all GSW majors successfully complete two upper-level writing courses:

  • GSW 200: History of Feminism/Colloquium in Women’s Studies (SS)
  • And one of the following courses: 
    • GSW 395: Independent Research (requires substantial research, writing, and revision)
    • GSW 396: Research Seminar (taken as a upper- level writing course)
    • Or any other GSW course (taken as an upper-level writing course by arrangement with the instructor)

Note for double-majors: The College requires that the upper-level writing requirement be satisfied separately for each major.

Honors in Research

To graduate with honors, a student must satisfy the following requirements:

  • Major in gender, sexuality and women’s studies with a GPA of 3.3 or better in GSW courses.
  • Complete a minimum of twelve credit hours of GSW honors courses, including a 300-level or higher GSW course, preferably taken before the end of the junior year.
  • The following two honors courses to be taken in the senior year:
    • GSW 393H: Independent Research or GSW 394H: Internship (taken in the fall)
    • GSW 397: Independent Honors Thesis (taken in the spring)
  • Complete an honors thesis, approximately 35 pages researched and written under the direction of a faculty advisor, and approved by the faculty advisor and a second reader. This thesis should be based on research undertaken through GSW 393H or GSW 394H, and completed in GSW 397.