Undergraduate Advising

Undergraduate Advising

The department of Gender and Women’s Studies Undergraduate Advising office provides our students with the following assistance to help guide them through the academic bureaucracy and hopefully ensure that they have a successful undergraduate experience at Berkeley. Contact information for our Undergraduate Advisors (UA) can be found here. Their regular office hours are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 9am-12pm & 1pm-4pm. Thursday virtual 9:00am – 12pm and 1:00pm – 4:00pm. (email to schedule) Do not hesitate to contact them if you need some assistance, even advice on a good coffee shop. It’s always better to be safe than sorry! This includes:

  • Counseling regarding your education and GWS courses
  • Declaring the major
  • Assessing your progress in the major
  • Administrative concerns (i.e. CalCentral, Add/Drops, L&S policy)
  • Graduation
  • Major Info, courses, independent studies, Honors Program, GWS student group
  • Graduate programs and career information and referrals

Declaring the Major

As a declared major, you will have the benefit of enrolling into GWS upper division classes without issues. Our majors never have to be concerned about getting into a required course to fulfill the major requirement. The small class sizes contribute to a better learning experience and our students graduate on time. Declaring the GWS major is a simple process once you have completed the prerequisite courses.

The process of declaring the major takes approximately 10 minutes, if that much, and you may declare at anytime during the year. Schedule a preliminary meeting with the UA to discuss declaring the major, double majoring or doing a simultaneous degree during regular office hours Monday – Friday 9:00am – 12:00pm and 1:00pm to 4:00pm. The following materials are required and the necessary forms are available at the department. You can also download them here:

*If you have taken any of the prerequisites at another college of university, you will need to supply a copy of the course descriptions or syllabi to be reviewed for approval.

A student file will be created and maintained in the department for five years.

Declaring the GWS and LGBT Minors

Students need to declare their minor in the Department no later than the semester before your Expected Graduation Term (EGT). Interested students should complete the GWS Minor Worksheet or LGBT Minor Worksheet to declare. The worksheets are also available in the Undergraduate Advising Office, 608 Social Sciences Building.

After completing ALL minor courses, fill out the Completion of L&S Minor form (obtain from L&S Office of Undergraduate Advising in 156 Dwinelle Hall or https://ls.berkeley.edu/sites/default/files/advcompletionoflnsminor.pdf) and submit it to the dept. UA.

Enrollment Information and Tips

Advisor Holds

Each semester Advisor Holds will be placed on student’s records to prevent majors from registering for classes until it is released by the Dept. UA. This procedure is to insure that students review their progress in the major and receive up-to-date information on graduation requirements. Majors will be notified via email when it is possible to see the UA to remove the Holds. Adviser Holds will not be released by phone or email except for students who are studying abroad or on medical leave. All other students must come in person to the UA to review their schedule and have the Hold released.


GWS majors can register for impacted courses outside the major during Phase I of CalCentral. Seats are set aside in CalCentral for majors; however, you should make sure you are enrolled in your GWS courses at the beginning of Phase II. If you have a problem enrolling in a class, contact the Undergraduate Adviser for assistance.

Enrollment Changes

Attendance at all class meetings, including discussion sections, is required during the first 2 weeks in all courses. Instructors usually drop students for non-attendance. There is generally about a 20% drop rate in most upper division courses, and a higher rate in lower division courses. It is important for students who cannot attend class because of a conflict to write a note to the instructor or GSI explaining why you missed class, but that you still intend to take it.

Waitlist Priorities

GWS Waitlists are processed manually and students are added selectively instead of by the numerical order in CalCentral. Department majors, minors, LGBT minors and students attending the classes receive priority. Students are also added to class at the discretion of the instructor.

Should you drop yourself from a class?

YES!! Students should never assume they have been dropped from a course or course waitlist, and should always check on CalCentral to make sure they have or haven’t been dropped from a course after the second week.

Change in course schedule

Students may add and drop courses on CalCentral until the fifth week of class unless the course is listed as an Early Drop Deadline (EDD) course. EDD courses must be dropped by the end of the second week. All students should print a copy of their schedule each time they use CalCentral.

Prerequisits for non-majors and non-minors

Students who are not majoring or minoring in Gender & Women’s Studies but wish to take Gender & Women’s Studies core courses (101, 102, 103, and 104) are encouraged to take GWS 10, GWS 20, or their equivalent beforehand.

GWS literature and bulletin boards

The Literature Rack is located right outside the GWS Administrative Office (608 Social Sciences Building). Students will find updates on the major, the minor, LGBT minor, GWS Course List, Q-Cal and much more vital information.

There are several Bulletin Boards along the corridor of the main office. Information on events, internships, jobs, volunteering, graduate school, and special courses will be posted throughout the semester. It is a good idea to check the Bulletin Boards periodically.