Dec 10, 2019
Students wishing to declare a Gender and Women’s Studies major should select a faculty advisor who is a member of the GAWS Program Committee or see the Program Director. In consultation with the advisor, students should propose a program of study. The form must be signed by the advisor and the Director of the Gender and Women’s Studies Program, and submitted to the Office of the Registrar by the student.
The Gender and Women’s Studies major consists of a minimum of 30 credits of coursework, with six credits maximum at the introductory level. No more than 10 credits may normally be transferred. Students interested in a double major should be aware that discipline-focused or related courses can count toward majors in both GAWS and the department or program of origin. In addition, the following requirements and recommendations will normally apply.
Sixteen credits of the major will be the following required courses:
- GAWS 100: Introduction to Gender and Women’s Studies (three credits), normally taken by the end of the sophomore year.
- GAWS 300: Feminist Research Methodologies (three credits), normally taken by the end of the junior year.
- GAWS 301: Practicum in Gender and Women’s Studies (three or four credits), normally taken by the end of the junior year, or equivalent work that has received prior approval for Practicum exemption.
- 400-level seminar offered by the program (four credits).
- One other program course (three or four credits), of which a designated 200-level or 300-level feminist theory course is strongly recommended.
The remaining 14 credits of the major will be comprised of program, discipline-focused or related courses. Six credits of the 14 must be program or discipline-focused. The remainder may be taken from the list of related courses. No more than six of the 14 credits can be at the introductory level.
Other Oberlin courses not designated in the catalog as GAWS, disciplined-focused or related courses, may be permitted to count toward the major. To request such permission, students must submit a Request Form and a class syllabus to the Director of Gender and Women’s Studies. If such changes are approved, the Director will send written notification to the Office of the Registrar. Students declaring Gender and Women’s Studies as their second major should file a declaration no later than the second semester of their junior year.
Students wishing to minor in GAWS are advised to consult with the Director of GAWS
and to declare their minor before the end of the junior year. Proposals for minors will be
reviewed and approved by the director. Students may obtain a minor in GAWS by accumulating
15 credits according to the following guidelines:
- GAWS 100 (three credits).
- At least three additional credits in program courses.
- The remaining credits earned in other Gender and Women’s Studies courses (program,
discipline-focused or related).
At least 9 of the 15 credits must be above the introductory level. No more than five credits may
be transferred toward the minor. It is recommended that students include fieldwork relevant to
Gender and Women’s Studies, for example, the ExCo course in Women’s Health or SAST, the
GAWS Practicum, or a GAWS-related Winter Term project.
Senior GAWS majors may conduct independent, original research under the
supervision of an advisor, normally drawn from the Gender and Women’s Studies Program
Committee. Students are expected to prepare a substantive project or research paper and make a
public presentation on their research and its relationship to relevant feminist scholarship.
Students who qualify for Honors and wish to undertake an Honors project should consult with
the Gender and Women’s Studies Program Director no later than the beginning of the second
semester of their junior year.
When faculty members who teach GAWS courses are on duty for Winter Term,
they sponsor GAWS-related Winter Term projects in their areas of interest. Many other faculty
who teach discipline-focused or related courses may be asked to sponsor GAWS Winter Term
Other campus resources that supplement the academic offerings in Gender
and Women’s Studies include student organizations such as the Edmonia Lewis Center for
Women and Transgender People and the Women’s Collective at Baldwin. The Oberlin College
Library has a core of feminist periodicals and reference materials on women and gender in
addition to the resources of the general collection. Ms. Jessica Grim is the resource librarian for
Gender and Women’s Studies.
The following courses may be taken to fulfill the Gender and Women’s Studies major and minor
requirements. Students should register for these courses using the number in the department or
program of origin.
African American Studies (AAST)
Comparative American Studies (CAST)
East Asian Studies (EAST)
- ENGL 304 - Feminist Criticism of Shakespeare: Gender, Race, and Empire
- ENGL 391 - George Eliot and Virginia Woolf
German Language and Literatures (GERM)
Hispanic Studies (HISP)
- HISP 426 - Latin American Literature and the Narratives of the Perverse
Rhetoric and Composition (RHET)
- RUSS 328 - Literature and the Women Question in 19th-Century Russia
- SOCI 326 - The American Family: Comfort, Conflict and Criticism
Theater and Dance (THEA) (DANC)
- DANC 271 - Special Topics in Gender Performance: Queer Acts
The following courses may be taken to fulfill some of the Gender and Women’s Studies major
and minor requirements. Students should register for these courses using the number in the
department or program of origin. No more than eight credits in Related Courses may count
toward the major.
- CLAS 210 - Greek and ROman Mythology
- ENGL 256 - The Making of American Literary Culture/The Making of America–Writing in the 19th Century
- ENGL 264 - Coming to America
- ENGL 386 - Narrating the Nation
- POLT 301 - Seminar: Constitutional Law: The First Amendment
- POLT 315 - Seminar: Future of Organized Labor