College of Arts & Sciences

Gender and Women's Studies


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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.  


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

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.

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

B.A. Major Requirements B.A. Four Year Plan

Imagine Your Future

Public Relations Specialists

Public relations specialists create and maintain a positive public image for the clients they represent.

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

Median Salary


per year in 2023

Number of Jobs


in 2023

10 Year Job Outlook


new jobs (average)

Work Environment

Public relations specialists work for a variety of organizations, including schools, media buyers, and professional associations. They usually work in offices, but they also deliver speeches, attend meetings and community activities, and occasionally travel.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Imagine Your Future

Health Educators and Community Health Workers

Health educators teach people about behaviors that promote wellness. 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


per year in 2023

Number of Jobs


in 2023

10 Year Job Outlook


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

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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 

Enhancing Your Time at UK

While there are endless ways to create an unforgettable journey as a Wildcat, we can only think of one that gives you the chance to step outside the classroom and into exploring new parts of the world around you: participating in an Education Abroad opportunity! Whether it’s in a study, research, service, or internship program, taking your UK experience international with EA is the most hands-on way for you to expand your global perspective while making yourself a more well-rounded, marketable candidate to future employers no matter your field. As you take these first steps towards investing in your future, EA encourages you to take advantage of all the opportunities UK has to offer. Take a look at some of the many suggested opportunities UK Education Abroad & Exchanges has to complement your major! #ukyabroad


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