GWS Major

Civic Engagement, Community Service and Community Organizing (CECSCO) Award Honoree Monica Trinidad, Professor Elena Gutiérrez , and Jocelin Zamora stand together at the CECSCO awards ceremony

Gender and Women’s Studies (GWS) pays special attention to developing the ability of students to think critically, evaluate evidence, construct logical arguments, engage in moral reasoning, and write well. Graduates of GWS programs have found employment in such diverse fields as social services, criminal justice, publishing, teaching, educational administration, health services, and public policy advocacy. A major in GWS is a good basis from which to apply to graduate school as well as to professional schools like law and journalism.

Requirements for the GWS Major

Below are the GWS Core Courses, Breadth Courses, and Electives required of the major.

GWS Core Courses

There 4 core courses students must take as a part of the requirements for the major.

  • GWS 101 – Gender in Everyday Life. 3 hours.
  • GWS 102 – Global Perspectives on Women and Gender. 3 hours.
  • GWS 292 – History and Theories of Feminism. 3 hours.
  • GWS 390 – Feminism and Social Change. 3 hours.


GWS Breadth Courses

Student must select three courses from three of the four categories below:

  • Culture and Representation
  • Science, Health, and the Body
  • Feminism, Social Policy, and the State
  • Sexuality and Society


GWS Elective Courses

Four elective GWS or cross-listed courses are required.

Please note:

  • No more than 9 hours can be at the 100-level.
  • At least 6 hours must be at the 400-level
  • The same course cannot count toward more than one category requirement for the major.
  • No more than 3 hours of GWS 396 may be applied to the major.
  • GWS 292 fulfills the Writing-in-the-Discipline requirement.
  • In addition to the specified course work above, the student must fulfill certain other requirements to be awarded the Bachelor of Arts Degree.


How I got to GWS 101…interested in learning about gender and how it is changing in society. I had questions in regards to how to interact and challenge different oppressions. Most importantly I wanted to open myself up to a topic I didn’t know much about.

Student - Professor Chu's Spring 2018 GWS 101 Course

Declare a GWS Major

Please contact Kate Solberg ( in the LAS Academic Advising Office.

LAS Advising Office
University Hall, 3rd floor
601 S Morgan Street
Chicago, IL 60607

Schedule an Appointment