GWS Major

Welcome to the Undergraduate Program in Gender and Women’s Studies. Below you will find information about majoring in this exciting field of study. Our students have a unique opportunity to interact with an amazing cadre of GWS faculty. The program allows our students to pursue an array of careers and interests after graduation.

The Department of Gender and Women’s Studies has a two-part set of goals:

  • Those characteristic of general learning outcomes expected of a social sciences and/or liberal arts major at the University of California, Berkeley;
  • Those specific to our pedagogical priorities as a department.

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.

Gender and Women’s Studies students get significant personalized attention. Our department is known for its investment in the well-being of our students, and its smaller size means that it is somewhat easier to cultivate a community among undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and staff.

Select from the tabs above for information on the GWS Major requirements and courses.

For details on how to declare the major click here

For the full list of GWS courses click here

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, the student must have completed GWS 10 and have a GPA of 2.0.  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).  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 can 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.

Lower Division Courses:

Prerequisite Requirements (Choose 2 of the following):

  • GWS 10, Introduction to Gender and Women’s Studies
  • GWS 14, Gender, Sexuality, and Race in Global Political Perspectives
  • LGBT 20AC, Sexual Politics and Queer Organizing in the US

Upper Division Courses:

Major Core Requirements:

  • GWS 101, Doing Feminist Research
  • GWS 102, Transnational Feminisms
  • GWS 104, Feminist Theory
  • GWS 195, Senior Seminar or GWS H195A, Honors Seminar


  • Three electives must be chosen from GWS/LGBT course offerings
  • The other elective may be fulfilled by classes offered by other departments, on the topics of gender, women and sexuality

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. In addition, eligible students must write a brief proposal, to be approved by the faculty teaching GWS 101, and have a GWS faculty member or affiliate agree to chair the honors thesis by the beginning of the fall term of their senior year. GWS H195 cannot be used as an elective in the major.
  • To receive honors in GWS, students must have a 3.6 for honors, a 3.8 for high honors, or a 3.9 for highest honors. In addition, the student must receive a minimum of an A- in both GWS H195A and GWS H195B.

For details on how to declare the major click here

For the full list of GWS courses click here