The top 5 things to consider when planning a major in gender, women, and sexuality studies
- Meet with your faculty adviser multiple times throughout the year to be sure that you are on track to graduate. Even if you follow the check point charts, it is very possible that you may discover an oversight in your plan to graduate that may set you back a semester, or even a full academic year. In addition to the precautionary element that an adviser provides, having regular meetings with them allows for students to have an immediate resource that they can turn to in order to inquire about courses or investigate alternative scheduling patterns if the need should arise.
- Often times due to GWSS’ interdisciplinary nature, students double major in GWSS and another field. In order to do this and graduate on time with a manageable course load, take courses that fulfill more than one requirement. Example: Gender in Literature and Culture English (2031) fulfills both an English major elective and a sub-group requirement for the GWSS major.
- If possible, take the GWSS introductory course during the fall semester of your freshman year. This early start allows students to establish the foundation of knowledge as well as the language needed prior to enrolling in more advanced courses within the discipline. While a 2000 level GWSS elective course may not have any prerequisites, students who took the introductory 1000 level course that lays the groundwork for the discipline will have greater success than those who skip the intro course to come back to later (after they are through with the 2000 level courses required).
- Aim to complete your general education requirements (GERs) within your first year. Completion of GERs allows for greater flexibility to enroll in electives you find the most interesting. This is especially important when considering that there are 27 credits required within the elective courses category and those credits must come from at least three different disciplines. While completing GERs, take as many courses as you can which have primary or partial gender, women, and sexuality content. Example: Women & Art (Arth 3281) fulfills both an art GER and provides credit towards the 19 or more credits required within the primary GWSS category.
- The best advice for students in this major is to study abroad, if possible. Studying abroad allows students to explore the construction of women, gender, and sexuality in a different socioeconomic context and to have the chance to reflect on and challenge the knowledge gained in the classroom.