Gender & Women’s Studies

What Is It?:

Gender and Women’s Studies examines the ways in which sex and gender have structured human societies and cultures, past and present. The interdisciplinary curriculum explores women’s and men’s cultural identities and social roles in relation to race, ethnicity, sexuality, class, and globalization. Gender and Women’s Studies builds critical thinking, writing, and verbal skills combining self-exploration with intellectual development.

Gender and Women’s Studies builds critical thinking, writing, and verbal skills, combining self-exploration with intellectual development. Because of its interdisciplinary focus, students develop a broad range of knowledge and practical skills.  

For more information, please visit the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies

Courses That Introduce the Major:

  • GWS 100—Intro Gender and Women's Studies
  • GWS 103—Black Women in the Diaspora
  • GWS 250—Gender and Representation

Students should consult with an academic advisor regarding course selection prior to the advanced registration period.


Possible Career Opportunities:

Many students attend graduate or professional school (law, social work, library science, medical school, etc.).  Others take jobs in the non-profit sector, such as international relief agencies, domestic violence agencies, homeless shelters, after school programs, and children and family services.  Still others find more traditional jobs in business or government, including public relations, counseling, union organizing, public policy and research, victim advocacy, and human/civil rights.
  • Admissions Counselor
  • Biographer
  • Business Manager
  • Career Counselor
  • Child Welfare Worker
  • Community Affairs Specialist
  • Community Service Director
  • Consumer Advocate
  • Customer Relations Rep.
  • Employee Relations Manager
  • Financial Planner
  • Health Policy Planner
  • Hospital Administrator
  • Human Resources Administrator
  • Investment Counselor
  • Job Developer
  • Journalist
  • Lawyer
  • Market Research Analyst
  • Planned Parenthood Counselor
  • Psychologist
  • Public Policy Specialist
  • Public Relations Specialist
  • Sales Representative or Manager
  • Social Worker
  • Women's Rights Advocate
  • Writer or Editor

Enhancing Your Academic Experience:

  • Participating in undergraduate research
  • Applying for a study abroad experience
  • Utilizing resources of The Career Center
  • Joining a Registered Student Organization (RSO) related to this major, such as:
    • National Organization for Women Campus Affiliate Group (NOW): acts to bring women into the mainstream of American society, exercising all the privileges and responsibilities thereof, in truly equal partnership with men
    • League of Women Voters of Champaign County Student Unit:  a nonpartisan political organization that encourages the informed and active participation of citizens in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy

Related Skills:

  • Ability to appreciate other perspectives
  • Ability to read/analyze
  • Ability to weigh/evaluate
  • Effective writing and speaking skills
  • Empathy for women's concerns
  • Flexibility to adapt to cross discipline studies
  • Good listening skills

Further Information:

For more information on what you can do with a major in Gender and Women's Studies, visit The Career Center’s webpage: What Can I Do With This Major.

There are several professional organizations dedicated to Gender and Women's Studies.  Their websites might be able to provide a glimpse in the world of Gender and Women's Studies.  These organizations include National Women's Studies Association and Association for Gender Research, Education, Academia and Action.

For more information on the classes needed for a degree in Gender and Women's Studies, visit Undergraduate Programs.