GWS Major

Declaring the GWS Major

Welcome to the Undergraduate Program in Gender and Women’s Studies, where we teach and do research on gender and sexuality in an intersectional and transnational context. In GWS, you learn about the world, and you learn to think about changing it as well. Our classes emphasize theoretical analysis, creative work, and original writing. Our students go on to pursue an array of careers and interests after graduation, in research, social justice, social work, education, and beyond! Please reach out to our Student Services Advisor for more information.

Gender and Women’s Studies students get significant personalized attention. Our students have a unique opportunity to interact with an amazing cadre of GWS faculty. Our department is known for its investment in the well-being of our students, and its smaller size allows us to cultivate a community among undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and staff.

Please visit the Undergraduate Student Learning Initiative  for full details on the GWS learning goals.

View the GWS Major Map (PDF). To learn more about the Major Maps project, click here (link is external).

How to declare the major

Full list of GWS courses (link is external)

GWS majors are also eligible to apply for stipends to help with GWS related research and travel (see research opportunities).

Major Requirements

To declare the Gender and Women’s Studies major, students must have completed GWS 10 with at least a C grade.  To complete the major, students must take two of the three gateway courses (GWS 10, GWS 14, LGBT 20AC), as well as the four upper division core courses (GWS 101, GWS 102, GWS 104, and GWS 195 or GWS H195).  Students should take GWS 101 in the Spring of junior year and GWS 195 or H195 during senior year. In addition, the student must complete four upper division electives, at least three of which must be drawn from GWS / LGBT electives, and one of which may be taken in other departments as long as the courses appear on the course list on Gender and Women’s Studies. All courses taken for the GWS major must be taken for a letter grade.

Honors Program:

  • To be eligible for the GWS Honors Program (GWS H195A and GWS H195B), students must have an overall 3.3 GPA, and a 3.5 GPA in the major. Eligible students must submit a 2-5 page proposal by the end of spring term junior year to the GWS Honors Committee (composed of the faculty teaching GWS 101, the Vice Chair for Pedagogy, and the GWS department chair). If approved, honors writers must have a GWS faculty member, continuing lecturer or core affiliate agree to chair the honors thesis by the beginning of the fall term of their senior year. Students enrolling in H195 may take the GWS capstone course, GWS 195, in addition, if they wish. In that case it would count as an upper level elective in the major.

  • To receive honors in GWS, the student must receive a minimum of an A- in GWS H195A/H195B. Honors levels (honors, high honors, or highest honors) will be awarded at the discretion of the GWS chair convening GWS H195, in consultation with honors thesis writers’ advisors.

  • GWS H195A/B is a full year course. It will be convened by the GWS Department Chair, but self-managed by enrolled students, under the guidance of the Department Chair.

  • Funding: Honors thesis writers are eligible to apply to GWS for up to $300 to fund thesis research. Applications should include a 1-2-page description of the activities to be funded and a budget and will be accepted on a rolling basis.

Student Funding Opportunities and Awards (link)

Student Awards

2024 GWS Departmental Citation: Hilal Aqra
2024 GWS Excellence in Action Award: Cynthia Salazar
2024 Honor’s Thesis Prize: Sierra Barter
2024 David Getman Memorial Award in Global Women’s Studies: Qianlin Wang

2023 GWS Departmental Citation: Grace Kowalevsky
2023 GWS Excellence in Action Award: Celia Serrato
2023 Honor’s Thesis Prize: Yaas Farzanefar
2023 David Getman Memorial Award in Global Women’s Studies: Crystal Htwe and Jenny Lee

2022 GWS Departmental Citation: Jude Strzemp
2022 GWS Excellence in Action Award: Tessa Stapp
2022 Honor’s Thesis Prize: Allyza Quintanilla
2022 David Getman Memorial Award in Global Women’s Studies: Nathalie Grogan and Angel Valdez Ordonez

2021 GWS Departmental Citation: Shayna Mabanag
2021 GWS Excellence in Action Award: Anthony Ayala, Sofia Cruz, Tasmia Hussain, Ana Rodriguez, and Claire Sonne
2021 David Getman Memorial Award in Global Women’s Studies: Aurin Roy

2020 GWS Departmental Citation: Kajol Gupta
2020 GWS Excellence in Action Award: Alexander Gonzalez
2020 David Getman Memorial Award in Global Women’s Studies: Eleanor McSpirit and Eleanor Skladman

2019 GWS Departmental Citation: Pan Narez
2019 GWS Excellence in Action Award: Madeline Aragon
2019 Honor’s Thesis Prize: Edie Sussman

2018 GWS Departmental Citation: Camilah Hamideh
2018 GWS Excellence in Action Award: Istifaa Ahmed
2018 Honor’s Thesis Prize: Juli Adhikari and Annika Anderson
2018 David Getman Memorial Award in Global Women’s Studies: Midori Chen