Gender and Women's Studies Program

Contact Information: 
Campus Location: 1223 University Hall (UH) 
(312) 996–2441 
 
gws.uic.edu

Administration: 
Director, Jennifer Brier
Interim Assistant Director, Rachel Caïdor
Director of Undergraduate Studies, Elena Gutiérrez

The Gender and Women's Studies Program at University of Illinois at Chicago is an interdisciplinary unit dedicated to investigating the relationships between gender (including transgender), sexuality, feminism, and social justice. The program starts from the assumption that gender matters and insists that gender and sexuality must be understood through their intersections with race, class, age, nation, citizenship, and ability. We conceptualize how these interconnected categories inform and structure social life, culture, politics, social movements, and knowledge production. In a world where women’s and men’s roles have been changing rapidly, studying the impact of gender both on everyday experience and society’s institutions will help students make more informed choices about their own lives. Through a sustained engagement with local, national, and transnational communities, faculty equip students to meet the challenges of contemporary society.

Grounded in the liberal arts and sciences, Gender and Women’s Studies, as both a major field of study and a minor, pays special attention to developing the ability of students to think critically, evaluate evidence, construct logical arguments, engage in moral reasoning, and write well. Graduates of Gender and Women’s Studies programs have found employment in such diverse fields as social services, criminal justice, publishing, teaching, educational administration, health services, and public policy advocacy. Both the major and the minor in Gender and Women’s Studies provide a good basis from which to apply to graduate school as well as to professional schools like law and journalism.

In addition to the BA with a Major in Gender and Women's Studies and a Minor in Gender and Women's Studies, the Gender and Women's Studies Program offers the Minor in Social Justice.

Social Justice is an interdisciplinary field of study that critically explores issues and social movements focused on equality, fairness, and inclusion. The Minor in Social Justice seeks to provide students with the breadth and depth of knowledge to achieve this critical understanding of justice, equality, and marginality, both in the United States and in the world at large. The minor starts from the assumption that justice matters and includes a critical examination of what constitutes social injustice and how people have organized to redress conditions of inequality in politics, economics, social policy, and health. The Minor in Social Justice will also attend to issues of disparity between dominant groups and those disadvantaged because of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class, disability, or other identities, conditions, and social positions.

Distinction

To be considered for Departmental Distinction, students must have a cumulative GPA of 3.25/4.00, a grade point average of 3.50/4.00 in all Gender and Women’s Studies courses, and meet all course requirements for a major in Gender and Women’s Studies.

To be eligible for High Distinction, students must have a cumulative GPA of 3.25/4.00, a grade point average of 3.75/4.00 in all Gender and Women’s Studies courses, and meet all course requirements for a major in Gender and Women’s Studies.