Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
Major map compass icon
2018-2019

Gender Sexuality and Women’s Studies

College of Humanities and Sciences

Concentration(s):
Health and Science
Program description

Gender, sexuality and women’s studies provides a broad interpretation and view of diversity, including the interdisciplinary, cross-cultural examination of women’s perspectives and experiences, masculinity and femininity, and heterosexuality and alternate sexualities as culturally constructed and socially experienced.  A Bachelor of Arts in Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies requires a total of 120 credits with 30 credits in GSWS courses and at least 15 of those credits in upper-level courses. Students may choose a general interdisciplinary program or a health and science concentration. All students also must complete core course requirements of GSWS 201 and GSWS 401.

Students in the health and science concentration must take GSWS 301 and GSWS 393, in addition to three credits from the diversity/international perspectives on gender, sexuality and women and nine credits from the health and science perspectives area. STAT 210 is recommended in this concentration, and an additional three credits (for a total of six credits) in a natural science are required.

The remaining credits in the major are electives, but must be GSWS courses or courses cross-listed with GSWS. These electives may include GSWS 391 and GSWS 492. Note, however, that an independent study is permitted only after the student has an agreement with a supervising faculty member and permission from the major’s adviser.

Career opportunities
An undergraduate degree in Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies is good preparation for graduate study in the subject, as well as other areas such as, health, public administration, or business. Obtain leadership roles in school or community organizations. Excellent verbal and written communication skills are imperative for most careers related to education, law, politics, or government. Gain experience in fundraising and grant writing techniques. Nonprofit and educational organizations are often funded in this manner. Part-time and summer jobs, internships, and volunteer positions are critical to gaining the experience and skills that employers seek.
Change of major requirements
Email ercanfield@vcu.edu to schedule an advising appointment to discuss major requirements prior to approval.

Bachelor-level job titles
  • Clinical Research Coordinator
  • Community Health Worker
  • Fundraiser 
  • Health Educator
  • Human Resource Specialist
  • Medical Records and Health Information Technicians
  • Social and Human Services Assistant  
  • Social Science Research Assistant
  • Staff and Legislative Assistant 
  • Technical Writer
  • Training & Development Specialist
Degree requirements in Bulletin
Plan of study in Bulletin
Highest level of math required
  • STAT 210
Science required
  • 1-2 additional science courses
Foreign language requirements
  • Yes
Additional tuition/fees
  • No
GPA requirements (to progress/graduate in the major)
  • 2.0
Department name:
Department of Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies
Building/room location:
919 W. Franklin St.
Campus (where 75% of courses are taken):
Monroe park
Phone:
(804) 828-6710
Email:
gsws@vcu.edu 

Major map compass icon
Major map

Explore
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor each semester to discuss tutoring, course electives, and degree progression.
  • Complete UNIV 111, 112, and 200 and GSWS 201.
  • Consider taking foreign language and math during the first year.
  • Attend Ready, Set, Go – Sophomore Transition Experience.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
  • Register to vote in Virginia and explore Richmond, including its museums, parks, festivals, and cultural events!
  • Apply to live in the ASPiRE, Globe, INNOVATE, or LEAD Living & Learning Programs.
  • Get involved with VCU Student Government or one of over 450 clubs and organizations.
  • Attend the Women’s History Month.
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Learn about study abroad options by visiting a study abroad fair and the AFAM Study Abroad website, and attending a First Advising Session in the Global Education Office.
  • Review the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs(OMSA) website for programs, events, and resources.
  • Attend VCU’s annual Intercultural Festival.
  • Join a living-learning program such as VCU Globe.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Explore “What Can I Do With This Major” to learn about employers and job titles in field of study.
  • Complete Handshake profile and opt-in to industry email lists to learn about opportunities.
  • Build a LinkedIn profile with Career Services.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Complete a “Gap Analysis” Strategic Plan with academic or career advisor.
  • Explore Career Pathways on VCU Career Services’ website.
  • Practice independent living skills (such as money management, self-care, time management, and personal responsibility).

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor and explore minors, certificates, and skills-based value added courses.
  • Take GSWS 301 or 352, fall semester if possible.
  • Take BIOL 101 as a Science & Tech Gen Ed or an additional natural science, if needed.
  • Talk to your professors about research interests, picking future classes in your major, and strategies for success in your degree program.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
  • Take service-learning classes or volunteer to address a social issue (ConnectVA & HandsOnRVA).
  • Join a GSWS student organization.
  • Attend at least two or three public talks or other events advertised by the department.
  • Explore peer leadership opportunities or apply for I-LEAD Connect, Alternative Spring Break.
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Attend Diversity Scholars in Research Week.
  • Get to know other VCU students from all over the world at a monthly Global Café!
  • Consider short-term, semester and year long Study Abroad opportunities. GSWS has study abroad trips every summer!
  • Attend OMSA Social Justice Conference.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Engage in an active process of career exploration via GSWS and Career Services programming.
  • Create a draft resume and come to drop-ins at VCU Career Services to have it reviewed.
  • Attend Career & Internship Fairs throughout the year to explore career interests.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Conduct numerous informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of career interest.
  • Using LinkedIn, connect to at least 10 people. Check out the VCU alumni page in My Network.
  • Consider who you would like to have serve as professional and academic references for future letters of recommendation.

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • See an advisor at least once, each semester.
  • If there are specific topics courses you want to take (GSWS 391 or GSWS 491) begin planning for them based on when they are offered.
  • Continue to be aware of the perspectives requirements when you select your GSWS courses.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
  • Create and complete a community-engaged research project.
  • Attend civic meetings, such as school board, neighborhood associations, city council, or state legislative sessions.
  • Attend at least two or three public talks or other events advertised by the department. Attend a Wellness Resource Center program.
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Take a diversity/international perspectives GSWS course, if you haven’t already.
  • Join a cultural organization.
  • Commit to understanding intersectional social identities by volunteering and working on issues outside of your comfort zone.
  • Apply for a Fulbright or other post-graduate international fellowship program through the National Scholarship Office
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Consider completing an independent study or internship (GSWS 492 or 493) that would serve as a career skill and career-building opportunity.
  • Identify at least three career options within your field of interest that you may want to pursue.
  • Meet with a career adviser to discuss your career direction and create an action plan.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Based on career goals, talk to a career/academic advisor or a faculty member about whether graduate school or a job fits your career goals.
  • Join job listserv sites that provide access to job postings in desired fields. Revisit gap analysis assessment and continue adjusting strategic career plan with Career Services.

Excel
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor a semester before your anticipated graduation to ensure all graduation requirements will be met.
  • Students MUST complete capstone (GSWS 401).
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
  • Serve in a leadership role or as a board member of a local community organization that relates to GSWS.
  • Apply to year-long service opportunities after graduation like VCU AmeriCorps, Literacy Lab, Peace Corps, Fulbright Student Scholars, Teach for America and City Year.
  • Attend Cultural Graduation Ceremonies.
  • Become a mentee in the OMSA Multicultural Connection Advisement Program.
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Present at the Diversity Scholars in Research Week.
  • Build your intercultural competence by engaging with international students on campus.
  • Attend at least two or three public talks or other events advertised by the department.
  • Attend OMSA I Love Diversity Week.
  • Attend Cultural Graduation Ceremony.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Gain practical experience related to your career goal through internships, externships and skill building.
  • Take on a leadership role in a student organization or club or go deeper in your service opportunities.
  • Expand your network and remember that you can network anywhere.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Complete necessary exams, applications, or self-marketing activities for next steps beyond graduation.
  • Research prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Have your personal statement or cover letter reviewed, and do a mock interview at VCU Career Services.
Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
Major map compass icon
2018-2019

Gender Sexuality and Women’s Studies

College of Humanities and Sciences

Concentration(s):
No concentration | Health and Science
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE GET REAL EXPERIENCE PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
Explore Year 1
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor each semester to discuss tutoring, course electives, and degree progression.
  • Complete UNIV 111, 112, and 200 and GSWS 201.
  • Consider taking foreign language and math during the first year.
  • Attend Ready, Set, Go – Sophomore Transition Experience.
  • Complete a “Gap Analysis” Strategic Plan with academic or career advisor.
  • Explore Career Pathways on VCU Career Services’ website.
  • Practice independent living skills (such as money management, self-care, time management, and personal responsibility).
Experience Year 2
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor and explore minors, certificates, and skills-based value added courses.
  • Take GSWS 301 or 352, fall semester if possible.
  • Take BIOL 101 as a Science & Tech Gen Ed or an additional natural science, if needed.
  • Talk to your professors about research interests, picking future classes in your major, and strategies for success in your degree program.
  • Attend Diversity Scholars in Research Week
  • Get to know other VCU students from all over the world at a monthly Global Café
  • Consider short-term, semester and year long Study Abroad opportunities. GSWS has study abroad trips every summer!
  • Attend OMSA Social Justice Conference.
  • Conduct numerous informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of career interest.
  • Using LinkedIn, connect to at least 10 people. Check out the VCU alumni page in My Network.
  • Consider who you would like to have serve as professional and academic references for future letters of recommendation.
Year 3
  • See an advisor at least once, each semester.
  • If there are specific topics courses you want to take (GSWS 391 or GSWS 491) begin planning for them based on when they are offered.
  • Continue to be aware of the perspectives requirements when you select your GSWS courses.
  • Take a diversity/international perspectives GSWS course, if you haven’t already.
  • Join a cultural organization.
  • Commit to understanding intersectional social identities by volunteering and working on issues outside of your comfort zone.
  • Apply for a Fulbright or other post-graduate international fellowship program through the National Scholarship Office
  • Consider completing an independent study or internship (GSWS 492 or 493) that would serve as a career skill and career-building opportunity.
  • Identify at least three career options within your field of interest that you may want to pursue.
  • Meet with a career adviser to discuss your career direction and create an action plan.
  • Based on career goals, talk to a career/academic advisor or a faculty member about whether graduate school or a job fits your career goals.
  • Join job listserv sites that provide access to job postings in desired fields. Revisit gap analysis assessment and continue adjusting strategic career plan with Career Services.
Excel Year 4
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor a semester before your anticipated graduation to ensure all graduation requirements will be met.
  • Students MUST complete capstone (GSWS 401).
  • Present at the Diversity Scholars in Research Week
  • Build your intercultural competence by engaging with international students on campus.
  • Attend at least two or three public talks or other events advertised by the department.
  • Attend OMSA I Love Diversity Week.
  • Attend Cultural Graduation Ceremony.
  • Gain practical experience related to your career goal through internships, externships and skill building.
  • Take on a leadership role in a student organization or club or go deeper in your service opportunities.
  • Expand your network and remember that you can network anywhere.
  • Complete necessary exams, applications, or self-marketing activities for next steps beyond graduation.
  • Research prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Have your personal statement or cover letter reviewed, and do a mock interview at VCU Career Services