Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
Major map compass icon
2019-2020

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
Graduate and professional level job titles
  • Counselor
  • Medical Doctor
  • Nonprofit Director
  • Social Worker
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 to review your CSI self-report, start goal planning, and to discuss tutoring, electives, & degree progression.
  • Take a tour to learn about library spaces, services, & how to get research help.
  • Map out a 4-year course plan in Degree Works' Student Educational Planner.
  • Attend Ready, Set, Go – Sophomore Transition Experience.  
  • Complete UNIV 111, 112 and GSWS 201.
  • Consider taking foreign language and math during the first year.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Explore “What Can I Do With This Major” to learn about employers in your field of study.
  • Build a LinkedIn profile with Career Services, connect to at least 10 people, and check out the VCU alumni page.
  • Join Students Today Alumni Tomorrow (STAT) to connect to VCU traditions, networking opportunities, and fellow Rams.
  • Access your free credit report and begin making responsible credit choices to prepare for your future.
  • Practice independent living skills (time management, self-care, & responsibility).

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Get familiar with the research process with the VCU Libraries Research Basics Guide. Ask questions about how to use the library.
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor and explore minors, certificates, and skills-based value added courses.  
  • Talk to your professors about research interests, picking future classes, and strategies for success in your program.
  • Take GSWS 301 or 352 in Fall if possible.
  • Take BIOL 101 as a Science & Tech Gen Ed or an additional natural science, if needed.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Complete a “Gap Analysis” Strategic Plan with your academic or career advisor.
  • Gain practical experience related to career goals through internships, shadowing, part-time work, or independent skill building.
  • Create an ePortfolio to document academic/professional experiences, accomplishments, and reflections.
  • Attend Career & Internship Fairs and other professional development events. 
  • Engage in an active process of career exploration via GSWS and Career Services.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Get plugged into VCULink to connect with students and alumni.
  • Conduct informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of career interest.
  • Consider who you would ask to serve as professional and academic references for future letters of recommendation.   
  • Meet with a coach at The Money Spot to set financial goals, understand student loans, and create spending plans.

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • See your academic and career advisors regularly to discuss your progress towards graduation and career planning.
  • Enhance your business, software, technology and creative skills using LinkedIn Learning.
  • Deepen your expertise at finding information in your discipline by working with your subject expert librarian & using research guides.
  • If there are specific topics courses you want to take (GSWS 391/491), find out when they will be offered.
  • Be aware of the perspectives requirements when selecting GSWS courses.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Actively develop your communication and interpersonal skills for future work on multidisciplinary and multicultural teams.
  • Apply to be a Diversity Ambassador with the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs.
  • Richmond is known for hosting a wide array of festivals! Learn about new cultures, food, and music by attending one of these events.
  • 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.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Talk to advisors, faculty, and career services about graduate school versus a job.
  • Research graduate/professional schools at least 1 year in advance of deadlines. Study for and complete any exams the summer before senior year. 
  • Prepare for job offer negotiation by researching salaries, benefits, and other opportunities for flexibility.
  • 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
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Read scholarly articles about diversity in your field.
  • Reflect on your own cultural competency, and be prepared to answer interview questions that outline how you have worked with diverse populations.
  • Present at the Diversity Scholars in Research Week.
  • Build 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 Cultural Graduation Ceremony.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Reflect on the experiential learning you have engaged in thus far, and discuss with current or potential mentors (peers, faculty, advisors, alumni, professionals).
  • Continue to engage in research to create more content for your ePortfolio.
  • Present your research at conference/meeting such as UROP Undergraduate Research Symposium or other conferences. 
  • Go deeper in your service opportunities.
  • Expand your network; you can network anywhere!
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Complete exams, applications, or self-marketing activities for after graduation.
  • Research prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Have a personal statement or cover letter reviewed and do a mock interview at VCU Career Services. 
  • Engage with the VCU Alumni Association at Grad Fair, Grad Bash, and by joining a VCULink Industry Network and alumni chapter as you prepare to graduate.
Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
Major map compass icon
2019-2020

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 to review your CSI self-report, start goal planning, and to discuss tutoring, electives, & degree progression.
  • Take a tour to learn about library spaces, services, & how to get research help.
  • Map out a 4-year course plan in Degree Works' Student Educational Planner.
  • Attend Ready, Set, Go – Sophomore Transition Experience.  
  • Complete UNIV 111, 112 and GSWS 201.
  • Consider taking foreign language and math during the first year.
  • Explore “What Can I Do With This Major” to learn about employers in your field of study.
  • Build a LinkedIn profile with Career Services, connect to at least 10 people, and check out the VCU alumni page.
  • Join Students Today Alumni Tomorrow (STAT) to connect to VCU traditions, networking opportunities, and fellow Rams.
  • Access your free credit report and begin making responsible credit choices to prepare for your future.
  • Practice independent living skills (time management, self-care, & responsibility).
Experience Year 2
  • Get familiar with the research process with the VCU Libraries Research Basics Guide. Ask questions about how to use the library.
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor and explore minors, certificates, and skills-based value added courses.  
  • Talk to your professors about research interests, picking future classes, and strategies for success in your program.
  • Take GSWS 301 or 352 in Fall if possible.
  • Take BIOL 101 as a Science & Tech Gen Ed or an additional natural science, if needed.
  • Complete a “Gap Analysis” Strategic Plan with your academic or career advisor.
  • Gain practical experience related to career goals through internships, shadowing, part-time work, or independent skill building.
  • Create an ePortfolio to document academic/professional experiences, accomplishments, and reflections.
  • Attend Career & Internship Fairs and other professional development events. 
  • Engage in an active process of career exploration via GSWS and Career Services.
  • Get plugged into VCULink to connect with students and alumni.
  • Conduct informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of career interest.
  • Consider who you would ask to serve as professional and academic references for future letters of recommendation.   
  • Meet with a coach at The Money Spot to set financial goals, understand student loans, and create spending plans.
Year 3
  • See your academic and career advisors regularly to discuss your progress towards graduation and career planning.
  • Enhance your business, software, technology and creative skills using LinkedIn Learning.
  • Deepen your expertise at finding information in your discipline by working with your subject expert librarian & using research guides.
  • If there are specific topics courses you want to take (GSWS 391/491), find out when they will be offered.
  • Be aware of the perspectives requirements when selecting GSWS courses.
  • Actively develop your communication and interpersonal skills for future work on multidisciplinary and multicultural teams.
  • Apply to be a Diversity Ambassador with the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs.
  • Richmond is known for hosting a wide array of festivals! Learn about new cultures, food, and music by attending one of these events.
  • 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.
  • Talk to advisors, faculty, and career services about graduate school versus a job.
  • Research graduate/professional schools at least 1 year in advance of deadlines. Study for and complete any exams the summer before senior year. 
  • Prepare for job offer negotiation by researching salaries, benefits, and other opportunities for flexibility.
  • 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).
  • Read scholarly articles about diversity in your field.
  • Reflect on your own cultural competency, and be prepared to answer interview questions that outline how you have worked with diverse populations.
  • Present at the Diversity Scholars in Research Week.
  • Build 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 Cultural Graduation Ceremony.
  • Reflect on the experiential learning you have engaged in thus far, and discuss with current or potential mentors (peers, faculty, advisors, alumni, professionals).
  • Continue to engage in research to create more content for your ePortfolio.
  • Present your research at conference/meeting such as UROP Undergraduate Research Symposium or other conferences. 
  • Go deeper in your service opportunities.
  • Expand your network; you can network anywhere!
  • Complete exams, applications, or self-marketing activities for after graduation.
  • Research prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Have a personal statement or cover letter reviewed and do a mock interview at VCU Career Services. 
  • Engage with the VCU Alumni Association at Grad Fair, Grad Bash, and by joining a VCULink Industry Network and alumni chapter as you prepare to graduate.