Gender, Women's, and Sexuality Studies

This is the first version of the 2024–25 General Catalog. Please check back regularly for changes. The final edition and the historical PDF will be published during the fall semester.

Undergraduate majors: gender, women's, and sexuality studies (BA); social justice (BA)

Undergraduate minors: gender, health, and healthcare equity; gender, women's, and sexuality studies; social justice

Graduate certificate: gender, women's, and sexuality studies



The future before us requires a deep understanding of local, national, and global challenges; the full array of diverse voices and views that shape communities; and the capacity to couple research with a rich imagination. The Department of Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies (GWSS) partners with University of Iowa students to meet these challenges.

GWSS courses investigate a host of thorny social challenges and inspiring solutions to such problems, with a focus on gender and sexuality in their intersections with race and ethnicity, citizenship and borders, ability and disability, religion and spirituality, and more.

GWSS faculty research and teach on gender and social justice through intersectional, interdisciplinary, and transnational frameworks, engaging such areas as the environment, culture and the arts, education, health and medicine, violence and conflict, im/migration, and the economy.

Students in GWSS programs hone critical and creative thinking skills and develop the ability to analyze social problems across an array of contexts with nuance, insight, and care. In addition to learning writing, research, and presentation skills, students also have the opportunity to pursue creative and engaged projects, working across media and/or with local communities.

GWSS graduates go on to pursue careers or advanced study in a wide array of fields, including the health professions, law, education, the arts, activism, nonprofit work, business, and social work. They also learn firsthand the power of interdisciplinary problem-solving, thinking outside the box, and building just communities.

Row of students in a classroom taking lecture notes.