Undergraduate Certificate Requirements | Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies
University of Pittsburgh

Undergraduate Certificate Requirements

Please note that the certificate is being phased out and students will not be able to enroll in the certificate after Dec. 1, 2016. Students should instead consider a major or a minor. Students already enrolled in the program are able to finish or to switch to the minor. See the undergraduate advisor for more information. 

Our Program is an interdisciplinary academic program focusing on gender, sexuality, and women. Our 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 women, 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 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. 

Along with a major and minor, we offer an 18-credit Undergraduate "Certificate in Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies", which is recorded on the student’s transcript. 

 Transfer courses will be accepted on a case-by-case basis up to a maximum of 2 courses. A cumulative QPA of 2.00 is required in courses applying to the certificate. Enrollment and completion of the certificate require:


See the Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies Undergraduate Advisor [Frayda Cohen, fraydac@gmail.com] to complete the following two forms:

  • The UNDERGRADUATE CERTIFICATE ADVISING FORM should be filed with the Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies Undergraduate Advisor as early as possible and no later than the semester prior to graduation. The form is available from the Advisor.
  • UNDERGRADUATE ACADEMIC PROGRAM CHANGE FORM should be filed with the appropriate Dean’s office as early as possible and no later than the semester prior to graduation.  The form is available in the Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies Program suite.


All Certificate students must meet at least once a year with the Undergraduate Advisor to update files and discuss what courses are needed to fulfill Certificate requirements.  

**Please note that the Certificate is in the process of being disbanded as students may now do a minor in GSWS.

Course Requirements :

  • GSWS 0100 Introduction to Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies
  • GSWS 0500 Introduction to Feminist Theory OR GSWS 0550 Sex and Sexualities (though students are strongly encouraged to take both courses)
  • 3 ELECTIVE courses from at least 2 different academic departments or programs. Courses must be approved for GSWS credit (consult Pitt's course description website for current listings: http://www.courses.as.pitt.edu/). GSWS can count as one of these 2 departments.
  • A minimum of 1 ADVANCED GSWS INTERDISCIPLINARY course (1000-level course with a GSWS course number, not a cross-listed course).

Any student enrolled in the University of Pittsburgh for the 2005-2006 academic year or earlier, may see the GSWS Undergraduate Advisor for additional certificate options.

 CORE COURSES   6 credits OR 2 courses (minimum)

Preferably to be completed early in student’s academic program

GSWS 0100 Introduction to Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies
GSWS 0500 Introduction to Feminist Theory

GSWS 0550

Sex and Sexualities

Students are advised to take all three core courses to cover the key areas represented by the program (in which case one course counts as an elective, below).

ELECTIVE COURSES   9 credits OR 3 courses

If you have identified a course with a focus on women, gender or sexuality that is NOT found on this website, you may see the GSWS Undergraduate Advisor to petition to have the course counted towards the requirement. Three courses must be from at least two different academic departments or programs (with GSWS as one possible unit).

Some approved courses are:

ADMJ 1242 Gender, Race, Class, and Crime
AFRCNA 0054 Man/Woman 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
GSWS 0200 Sex, Race, and Popular Culture
GSWS 0600 Global GLBTQ Literature
HIST 1662 Topics in Women's History
LEGLST 1315 Sex, Law, and Marriage
PSY 0184 Psychology of Gender
RELGST 1684 Gender and the Jewish Tradition
SOC 0446 Sociology of Gender
SOC 1448 Working Women

Either GSWS1900  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.

GSWS1900: 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 GSWS certificate.
  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 the GSWS Undergraduate Advisor prior to registering for the course.

  1. Must have 2 courses in Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies and 2 courses in a discipline appropriate to the independent study.
  2. Special permission from the GSWS Undergraduate Advisor required.

INTERDISCIPLINARY COURSE   3 credits OR 1 course (minimum)

GSWS 0100 and GSWS 0500 (or 0550) are prerequisites for these courses

GSWS 1140

Special Topics in GSWS

GSWS 1150

Global Feminisms

GSWS 1170

Queer Theory

GSWS 1180

Politics Of Gender And Food
GSWS 1190


GSWS 1235

Language, Gender, and Society

GSWS 1450

Gender and Sustainability

Click here for a PDF version of the Undergraduate Certificate Requirements


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