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College of Arts & Sciences

Gender & Women's Studies

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Countries offer GWS Classes

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different institutions have GWS programs

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GWS degrees awarded in the US yearly

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Gender and Women’s Studies began as a field of study that honored women’s perspectives in a world that neglected them, and has grown to analyze gender in relation to race, class, sexuality, citizenship, age, and physical ability. Students may gravitate to Gender and Women’s Studies when their own experiences demonstrate social inequalities which they need tools to understand, and move on to learn how to employ interdisciplinary methods to help transform themselves and the transnational world.  

Careers

Grow Your Future

GWS will help you prosper in a career that aims for social transformation, innovation, or analysis. Your training in mixed methodologies, a variety of theoretical frameworks, and familiarity with transnational perspectives will help you develop an intellectual dexterity that can provide a competitive advantage in the job market. GWS majors are often change agents who create and follow careers fearlessly.  

Career opportunities in Arts & Sciences

  • Public relations director
  • Government services executive
  • Health center assistant
  • Coalition builder
  • Non-profit researcher
  • Grant writer
  • Policy Analyst
  • Journalist 
  • Political Campaign Manager
  • Writer
  • Social Worker
"Attending college has changed me, not just in the way that I have been new places and learned new things, but it has changed the very center of my being, the way that I think and believe, and the way that I experience life and the world around me."

Leslie Smith

Student, University of Kentucky

Current Curriculum Information

Access Major Template

source: myUK: GPS

  • Gender & Women's Studies (BA) 120 hours

Click to toggle each Academic Year. Click each course for more information.

Freshman Year

Fall Semester
  • GWS 200 - INTRODUCTION TO GENDER AND WOMEN'S STUDIES IN THE SOCIAL SCIENCES3

    Introduces Gender and Women’s studies for a social science perspective using cross-cultural and interdisciplinary approaches. Analyzes relations of power marked by gender and how these relate to other social distinctions and processes. Interactive learning format.

  • UK Core - Comp. & Comm. I3
  • Foreign Language 1014
  • UK Core - Natural, Physical and Math3
  • A&S Approved Elective (100+ level)3
    • Total16
Spring Semester
  • GWS 201 - GENDER AND POPULAR CULTURE3

    This course examines the role of popular culture in the construction of gendered identities in contemporary society. We examine a wide range of popular cultural forms -- including music, computer games, movies, and television -- to illustrate how femininity and masculinity are produced, represented, and consumed.

  • UK Core - Comp. & Comm. II3
  • Foreign Language 1024
  • UK Core - Quantitative Foundations3
  • A&S Approved Elective (100+ level)3
    • Total15
    • Total Freshman Hours31

Sophomore Year

Fall Semester
  • GWS Major Course3
  • Foreign Language 2013
  • UK Core - Statistical Inferential Reason3
  • A&S Approved Elective (100+ level)3
  • A&S Approved Elective (100+ level)3
    • Total15
Spring Semester
  • GWS 302 - GENDER ACROSS THE WORLD: SUBTITLE REQUIRED3

    Interdisciplinary, comparative and transnational examination of issues of gender focused around particular themes and locations. Thematic focus explicating gender which also illuminates questions of history and political economy in specific locations. Introduces students to research and a variety of analytical questions in the field, as well as the interaction between locales/people and structural processes. May be taken up to 9 credit hours under different subtitles. Does not allow multiple bookings in same semester.

  • Foreign Language 2023
  • UK Core - Arts and Creativity3
  • GWS Elective (300+ level)3
  • A&S Approved Elective (100+ level)3
    • Total15
    • Total Sophomore Hours30

Junior Year

Fall Semester
  • GWS 301 - CROSSROADS: SUBTITLE REQUIRED3

    Specific topics will vary, but all courses taught under this title focus on the contributions, interplay, intersections, constructions, history, and confrontations that the social categories and lived experiences of gender, race, and class produce in the United States. Examines opportunities for civic responsibility and social justice. May be repeated up to a maximum of 9 credit hours under different subtitles; allow multiple registrations during same semester.

  • A&S Humanities (100+ level)3
  • GWS Elective (300+ level)3
  • Course Outside GWS (300+ level)3
  • A&S Natural Sciences Course (100+ level)3
    • Total15
Spring Semester
  • GWS 350 - INTRODUCTION TO FEMINIST THEORIZING3

    An interdisciplinary course that acquaints undergraduate students with the central issues and texts in contemporary feminist theories. It will examine what feminist and womanist theories are and the ways in which they analyze and explain the workings of our social world. The course will clarify basic concepts in feminist thought such as gender, difference, patriarchy, and post-colonialism and will provide students with tools to analyze these theories and explore contemporary applications.

  • A&S Natural Sciences Course (100+ level)3
  • A&S Lab or Field Work1
  • GWS Elective (300+ level)3
  • Course Outside GWS (200+ level)3
    • Total15
    • Total Junior Hours30

Senior Year

Fall Semester
  • GWS 400 - DOING FEMINIST RESEARCH3

    In this course, we focus primarily on different kinds of qualitative research. Students will become familiar with a variety of methods used by Gender and Women=s Studies scholars, and reflect on the problems involved in gathering information. But primarily, students will BE the researcher: using all these methods to develop a variety of approaches to studying a Women’s Studies topic of choice. Each week, class participants will discuss the practicalities of conducting particular kinds of research and evaluate the studies; and they will share research findings in a workshop format.

  • A&S Humanities (100+ level)3
  • GWS Elective (300+ level)3
  • Course Outside GWS (300+ level)3
  • A&S Approved Elective (100+ level)3
    • Total15
Spring Semester
  • GWS 599 - SENIOR SEMINAR (SUBTITLE REQUIRED)3

    This course provides a space for students to synthesize what they have learned about the methods and theories of GWS in a few different ways. Students will reflect on the ways in which one puts together an argument and writes as an interdisciplinary scholar on gender or women. Students will do this by writing a senior thesis and editing the theses of other students, and reading and discussing some materials which deal with research and writing in GWS. This course is a Graduation Composition and Communication Requirement (GCCR) course in certain programs, and hence is not likely to be eligible for automatic transfer credit to UK.

  • Course Outside GWS (300+ level)3
  • A&S Approved Elective (300+ level)3
  • A&S Approved Elective (100+ level)3
  • A&S Approved Elective (100+ level)3
    • Total15
    • Total Senior Hours30

Classes & Requirements

What You'll Study

The Gender and Women’s Studies (GWS) program is an interdisciplinary curriculum that focuses on the study of gender as an aspect of everyday life, as well as on the political and cultural experiences and contributions of women across the world and through time. Majors in GWS have gone on to become artists, activists, to study law, medicine, social work, and to pursue academic careers.

Gender and Women's Studies B.A.

Graduation Requirements

Any student earning a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree must complete a minimum of 39 hours at the 300+ level. These hours are generally completed by the major requirements. However, keep this hour requirement in mind as you choose your course work for the requirements in the major. See the complete description of College requirements for a Bachelor of Arts degree in the Arts and Sciences section of the 2015-2016 Undergraduate Bulletin.

UK Core Requirements

  • The Nature of Inquiry in Arts and Creativity (3 hours)
  • The Nature of Inquiry in the Humanities (3 hours)
  • The Nature of Inquiry in the Social Sciences (3 hours)
  • The nature of Inquiry in the Natural, Physical and Mathematical Sciences (3 hours)
  • Composition and Communication I (3 hours)
  • Composition and Communication II (3 hours)
  • Quantitative Foundations (3 hours)
  • Statistical and Inferential Reasoning (3 hours)
  • Community, Culture and Citizenship in the USA (3 hours)
  • Global Dynamics (3 hours)

Total Credit Hours - 30


Premajor Requirements 

  • GWS 200 - Sex and Power [3 hours]
  • GWS 201 - Gender and Popular Culture [3 hours]

Total Hours - 6

Major Requirements 

Core Requirements

  • GWS 250 - Social Movements or GWS 340 - History of Feminist Thought to 1975 [3 hours]
  • GWS 350 - Introduction to Feminist Theorizing [3 hours]
  • GWS 400 - Doing Feminist Research [3 hours]
  • GWS 599 - Senior Seminar [3 hours]

Major Elective Course Work

  • Choose five 3-credit hour courses. To view the list of approved courses please refer to the UKY Bulletin [15 hours]

Course Work from Outside of the Department

  • Choose 12 hours of course work outside of GWS at the 300+ level. 200+ level courses used to satisfy College requirements can also be counted here [12 hours]

Total Hours - 39

2016-17 Major Sheet 2015-16 Major Sheet 2014-15 Major Sheet 2013-14 Major Sheet 2012-13 Major Sheet 2011-12 Major Sheet

Featured Career

Public Relations Specialists

Public relations specialists create and maintain a favorable public image for the organization they represent. They design media releases to shape public perception of their organization and to increase awareness of its work and goals.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics | Click the link for more info.

Median Salary

$55,680

per year in 2014

Number of Jobs

240,700

in 2014

10 Year Job Outlook

14,900

new jobs (average)

Work Environment

Public relations specialists usually work in offices. Some attend community activities. Long workdays are common, as is overtime.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Read More

Featured Career

Health Educators and Community Health Workers

Health educators teach people about behaviors that promote wellness. They develop and implement strategies to improve the health of individuals and communities. Community health workers collect data and discuss health concerns with members of specific populations or communities.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics | Click the link for more info.

Median Salary

$42,450

per year in 2014

Number of Jobs

115,700

in 2014

10 Year Job Outlook

15,600

new jobs (average)

Work Environment

Health educators and community health workers work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, nonprofit organizations, government, doctors’ offices, private businesses, and colleges. They generally work full time.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Read More

A&S Undecided/Exploratory Studies

Understanding that over 70 percent of university students will change their declared major at least once during their college careers, the College of Arts and Sciences has developed an Exploratory Studies program for students who have yet to decide the specific field of study that most closely aligns both their personal interests and their professional career goals and objectives. The Exploratory Studies Program provides students with an extraordinarily diverse educational environment that includes coursework spanning Math and Natural Sciences, Humanities, and Social Sciences and provides students with the unique opportunity to explore multiple areas of interest during their first several semesters on campus. For more information please contact a recruiting representative at asrecruting@uky.edu. 


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