Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies BA Major Requirements | Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies
University of Pittsburgh

Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies BA Major Requirements


Our program is an interdisciplinary academic program focusing on gender, sexuality, and women. GSWS courses and cross-listed courses in various departments across the university provide opportunities for all students to broaden their understandings of the changing role of gender in the United States and globally. Students who want to explore the intersection of gender with race, class, ethnicity, nation, religion, ability, age, sex, and sexuality will find courses of interest, as will students who want to know more about the role of gender and sexuality in history, in literature and the arts, in media and science.

Students who plan careers in medicine, the creative arts, social work, education, counseling, law, therapy, academia, and business (among many others) find that our courses enhance their professional activities. Still others report that the confidence and insight that they acquire in such courses enriches their lives regardless of their particular career.

We offer a 30-credit Bachelor of Arts Degree in Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies. Transfer courses will be accepted on a case-by-case basis up to a maximum of 2 courses. Students may have no more than 6 credits counted towards another certificate, major, or minor. A cumulative QPA of 2.00 is required in courses applying to the major.

Completion requirements:

To declare the Major: See the Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies Undergraduate Advisor [Frayda Cohen, frcst5@pitt.eud] to complete the UNDERGRADUATE CERTIFICATE ADVISING FORM. This process should take place as soon as possible in a student’s undergraduate career but no later than the semester prior to graduation. The form is available from the Advisor.

Advising: All GSWS students must meet with the Undergraduate Advisor on a regular basis to update files and discuss what courses are needed for registration.  

Course Requirements (see details below):

  • GSWS 0100 Introduction to Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies
  • GSWS 0500 Introduction to Feminist Theory
  • GSWS 0550 Sex and Sexualities
  • 1 GSWS Elective Course (0200 Sex, Race, and Popular Culture, GSWS 0350 Global LGBTQ Lit, etc.)
  • 1 Lower-level Elective Course outside of GSWS
  • 2 Upper-level Elective Courses outside of GSWS
  • 2 Upper-level GSWS Seminars (GSWS 1120-GSWS 1190)
  • GSWS 1910 Senior Capstone



GSWS 0100 Introduction to Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies

GSWS 0500 Introduction to Feminist Theory

GSWS 0550 Sex and Sexualities

*These 3 courses should be completed early in a student’s academic program.



Group A

GSWS 0200 Sex, Race, and Popular Culture

GSWS 0210 Wired Women

GSWS 0220 Contemporary Issues and Arguments

GSWS 0300 Special Topics in GSWS

GSWS 0350 Global LGBTQ Literature

Group B

AFRCNA 0454 Man/Women in Literature

ANTH 0768 Human Sexuality in Cross Cultural Perspective

ENGCMP 0203 Seminar in Composition: Gender Studies

ENGLIT 0610 Women and Literature

ENGLIT 0630 Sexuality and Representation

FR 0012 French Kiss

PSY 0184 Psychology of Gender

SOC 0436 Social Aspects of Sexuality

SOC 0446 Sociology of Gender

GSWS 1140 Study Abroad: Pitt in China, Pitt in London, etc.

GSWS 1900 Internship (Junior/Senior standing)

Any other course officially cross-listed with GSWS will count (check course offerings each semester for other options:

If you have identified a course with a focus on women, gender, or sexuality that is NOT found on this website or officially cross-listed, you may see the GSWS Studies Undergraduate Advisor to petition to have the course counted towards the requirement.

Students may also elect an additional GSWS upper-level course (11XX-11XX).

Either GSWS 1900 (Internship) Or GSWS 1901 Independent Study may be used to meet an elective requirement, but in this case, the two other courses must each be in different departments.

GSWS 1900: GSWS Internship. Provides students the opportunity to extend their academic training beyond the classroom. For more information about possible sites, please make an appointment with the GSWS Undergraduate Advisor. A proposal outlining the purpose of the internship and its relevance to GSWS is required. To be eligible for an internship, you must satisfy the following:

  1. Must have completed 60 credits and be in good academic standing
  2. Must have completed at least 4 courses toward the major
  3. Internship must complement one’s academic preparation
  4. Special permission from the GSWS Undergraduate Advisor required

GSWS 1901: Independent Study. Provides students the opportunity to pursue an area of special interest beyond what is offered in the regular curriculum. A proposal outlining the purpose of the study, the relevance to gender, sexuality, or women's studies, and a plan of study including bibliography and course products (papers, annotated bibliography, film presentation, etc.) must be approved by a professor who agrees to supervise the work. The proposal must be submitted to—and approved by—the GSWS Undergraduate Advisor prior to registering for the course. Students must already have at least 2 courses in Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies and 2 courses in a discipline appropriate to the independent study.


GROUP A – Courses outside of GSWS (1000-level or higher):

Following are sample courses currently approved:

ADMJ 1242 Gender, Race, Class, and Crime

AFRCNA 1309 Women of Africa and the African Diaspora

ANTH 1738 Gender Perspectives in Anthropology

COMMRC 1148 Rhetoric and Human Rights

COMMRC 1160 Visual Rhetoric

ENGFLM 1703 Gender and Film

ENGLIT 1704 Women and Literature

FR 1065 Gender, Sexuality, French Thought

HIST 1662 Topics in Women’s History

LEGLST 1315 Sex, Law, and Marriage

MUSIC 1398 Women and Music in Cross-Cultural Perspective

PS 1622 Women and Political Theory

PSY 1110 Psychological Aspects of Human Sexuality

RELGST 1684 Gender and the Jewish Tradition

SOC 1413 Marriage

SOC 1448 Working Women

Any other 1000-level course officially cross-listed with GSWS will count (check course offerings each semester for other options:

GROUP B – GSWS seminar courses (excludes Internship and Independent Study):

GSWS 1140      Special Topics in GSWS

GSWS 1150      Global Feminisms

GSWS 1160      Race, Class, and Gender

GSWS 1170      Queer Theory

GSWS 1180      Politics of Gender and Food

GSWS 1190      Masculinities 

GSWS 1210      Gender and the Digital

GSWS 1235      Language, Gender, and Society

GSWS 1450      Gender and Sustainability


1910 Senior Seminar: Gender Sexuality and Women’s Studies

An intensive reading and writing seminar open to juniors and seniors pursuing a major in Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies. This course will create a synthesis of their studies in the field and deepen their skills in GSWS research. Interdisciplinary topics will vary, but the curriculum will emphasize current research. The course will always require that students explore, engage, and deploy feminist theories and methodologies.

In this course, students will build on a study of methodologies that begins with concrete assignments introduced in the core courses and developed in upper-level courses as students move through the major. 


  1. All three GSWS core courses must be completed prior to the senior seminar
  2. Junior/Senior Standing (a minimum of 75 credit hours completed)

    Students may have no more than 3 GSWS credits in an online or hybrid format. Students may have an additional 3 credits in an online or hybrid format from another department or program.


-Writing (W) requirement: Students must complete at least one writing-intensive (W) course in the major.

-Related area: A minimum of 12 credits is required in any one Dietrich School department or in a thematic cluster chosen in consultation with the major advisor. The completion of an official Dietrich School minor or a Dietrich School or UCIS certificate also satisfies this requirement.

Click here for a PDF version of this page.

The advising welcome sheet can be found here.

The advising major planning sheet can be found here.

Rev. 7/15

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