The Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies Program

GSWS hallway

Our Mission

The University of Pittsburgh Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies Program is an interdisciplinary academic program focusing on excellence in teaching and research relating to gender, sexuality, and women. The Program is committed to promoting feminist and LGBTQIA+ activism, pedagogy, and scholarship that engage with the larger local, national, and global communities. Program offerings provide opportunities for students and faculty to explore the historical development, cultural variations, and changing representations of gender and sexuality as they organize identities, interactions, and institutions and intersect in complex ways with sex, race, class, ethnicity, ability, age, religion, and nation. The Program actively supports campus efforts to make courses and research more inclusive and diverse and to provide opportunities for collaboration and intellectual exchange.

(Statement passed by the Steering Committee, Jan. 2014)

Research/Scholarship/Creative Activity

Our faculty and students are at the forefront of work in gender and sexuality studies. We support their scholarship and creative activity by hosting a variety of events about gender, sexuality, and women, including events that support our one-year and two-year research themes (such as our recent themes "Playing with Childhood" and "Gender and Science" and our upcoming theme "Mobilizing Against Ethnocentrism:  Intersectional Approaches").  We offer a forum for lectures, brownbags, work-in-progress discussions, reading groups and other events that contribute to gender and sexuality studies.  The program also promotes scholarship and creative activity in our core areas by offering research funds for students, offering funded and for-credit undergraduate internships that incorporate research, awarding prizes for outstanding undergraduate and graduate scholarship, and offering an annual Faculty Fellowship.  


Our courses, along with cross-listed courses in departments across the university, provide opportunities for students and faculty to explore the changing role of gender and sexuality and their significance in many disciplines. We offer MA and PhD graduate certificates, BA major, and two BA minors that connect students and faculty across disciplinary fields and with the larger community.  The program supports gender-related teaching through a Graduate Teaching Fellowship, brownbag discussions on feminist/queer pedagogy, teaching internship opportunities for undergraduates, and opportunities to teach and take innovative courses. All our courses are informed by current and emerging research on gender and sexuality.

Activism and Advocacy

From its inception in the early 1970's as the Women's Studies Program, GSWS has been committed to keeping teaching and scholarship in conversation with the larger community—locally, nationally, and globally. All our events are free and open to the public. Through internships, students have opportunities to connect their academic work with their commitments and to learn how to become positive change agents. We also serve as a clearinghouse by helping to connect activist groups with the university community through our publications and online. Our Iris Marion Young Awards honor students, faculty, and staff who have made important contributions to social justice inside and outside the academy.

To receive our emails about events in gender/sexuality/women's studies, contact us at

*Please note that our name changed (from the "Women's Studies Program") in May 2014.