For Prospective Students
Coursework and Degrees
The Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies Program offers interdisciplinary courses in a variety of areas that give students access to current scholarship and debates in an important and rapidly changing field. Undergraduate courses such as "Sex, Race, and Popular Culture," "Gender and Medicine," "The Politics of Gender and Food," "Global LGBTQ Literature," "Gender and Sexuality in the Archives," and "Masculinities" offer students historical and global perspectives on gender and sexuality in relation to race, ethnicity, ability, nationalism, religion, and other crucial axes of power and identity. Graduate seminars such as "Global Perspectives on Race and Performance," "Women and Politics," "Music, Gender, and Sexuality," "Healthcare for the LGBTQIA Community," and "Sexuality in Contemporary Mexico" allow students to study gender and sexuality in a number of disciplines as well as in interdisciplinary GSWS seminars. Most GSWS courses are small, and our faculty is strongly committed to facilitating thoughtful, respectful classroom discussions.
For graduate students, GSWS offers MA and PhD certificates as well as a special MA certificate designed for MSW students. "Theories of Gender and Sexuality," a course required for either graduate certificate, is also designed to offer graduate students who are not enrolled in the certificate program an overview of important current methodologies, theoretical formations, and directions for scholarship.
Beyond coursework, GSWS offers a number of opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students. Both undergraduate and graduate students are invited to apply for GSWS Student Research Funds and submit essays for annual paper prizes (the GSWS Undergraduate Paper Prize and the Tamara Horowitz Graduate Student Paper Prize).
In addition, undergraduates can pursue either independent research projects or internships for course credit or competitive funding, and they can work with GSWS faculty members as Undergraduate Teaching Assistants (UTAs). GSWS organizes a conference for undergraduates every other year, usually keyed to the year's research theme.
Graduate students in the certificate program are invited to join the CLST-GSWS Graduate Student Organization (GSO), a joint endeavor of certificate students in the Cultural Studies Program and GSWS. (Interest students may contact the GSO leadership at firstname.lastname@example.org.) The GSO sponsored a graduate student symposium in Fall 2020, "Studies in Creativity," featuring scholarship by graduate students at Pitt and neighboring universities. It also organizes a dissertation writing group and a graduate student works-in-progress series. Certificate students are also eligible to apply for a GSWS Teaching Fellowship and participate in a summer publications workshop, and PhD students may submit their dissertations for the GSWS Dissertation Prize.
Undergraduate and graduate students are invited to attend the events sponsored and co-sponsored by the program each year: academic lectures and panels, film screenings, talks on current events, pedagogical workshops, and public readings. Every year, some of the events are keyed to a one- or two-year research theme designed to support deeper exploration of an area. Recent research themes include "Gender and the Child," "Gender and the Body," "Masculinities," and "Gender and Science," and the program is this year preparing to launch two years of programming organized around the theme "Mobilizing against Ethnocentrism: Intersectional Approaches." The program also sponsors a Gender and Science reading group that meets several times a semester. Students who would like to receive emails about upcoming events and opportunities can write to email@example.com to ask to be added. Anyone interested in joining the Gender and Science reading group should email Dr, Bridget Keown (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Pitt Communities and Study Abroad
Entering Pitt undergraduate students are eligible to be part of first-year Living Learning Communities (LLCs) organized around Gender and Sexuality Studies or Women's Leadership. Students in LLCs benefit from forming a community together, taking courses together, and sharing additional programming. In 2020-2021, for the first time, students had the opportunity to be part of the Science in a Gendered World academic community, taking courses in Biology and GSWS together in order to gain a more comprehensive understanding and be part of an intellectual community across courses.
Every other year, Pitt's Study Abroad Office offers a program on food studies in Italy highlighting gender and sustainability. Occasionally, other Study Abroad courses may draw on GSWS, such as the LGBTQ NYC Study Abroad program in 2019.
Incoming undergraduate students are assigned academic advisors within the Dietrich School’s Academic Advising Center. Students are required to meet with their advisor at least once per term before they can enroll in classes for the next term, and students are encouraged to schedule additional appointments as necessary. Students will remain with their assigned advisor until they declare a major; once a major is declared, the student will transition to a new advisor within their major department.
The GSWS Undergraduate Advisor, Dr. Frayda Cohen (email@example.com), advises majors, minors, and certificate students in GSWS as well as students considering these degree programs.
The GSWS Graduate Advisor, Dr. Nancy Glazener (firstname.lastname@example.org), advises graduate students enrolled in the MA and PhD certificate students as well as students considering these certificate programs.
Dr. Sara Goodkind (email@example.com) advises graduate students enrolled in the MA Certificate Program for MSW Students as well as students considering this program.