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Gender and Women’s Studies


The UIC Gender and Women’s Studies Program is an interdisciplinary unit dedicated to investigating the relationships between gender (including transgender), sexuality, feminism, and social justice. Gender and women’s studies pays special attention to developing the ability of students to think critically, evaluate evidence, construct logical arguments, engage in moral reasoning, and write well. In this program, you will study how gender, sexuality, and feminism relate to one another and in turn shape and structure our social, cultural, political lives and worlds. Gender and sexuality are examined through their intersections with race, class, age, nation, citizenship, and ability.

Our graduates have found employment in such diverse fields as social services, criminal justice, publishing, teaching, educational administration, health services, and public policy advocacy. The program is also home to the Minor in Social Justice, which offers undergraduates an opportunity to connect with Chicagoland organizations working to enact social change throughout our city and state.

See how other students found their fit below with this major!

Alumni Highlights Heading link

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Below is a sample of how UIC alumni have applied their Gender and Women’s Studies (GWS) major to a professional path!

  • Communications Officer, Third Wave Fund
  • Director of Education and Training, Rape Victim Advocates
  • IRB Analyst, The University of Chicago
  • Paralegal, Law Office of Gregory T. Anderson
  • Social Media Manager and Program Consultant, Resilience
  • Special Projects Manager, Heartland Alliance
  • Volunteer Coordinator, AmeriCorps VISTA
  • Web Analyst, Clickworker, Inc.

Unique Skills and Competencies Heading link

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In addition to the foundational set of skills and competencies you will acquire in any liberal arts and science major, there are also unique skills and perspectives you gain from your gender and women’s studies major. Review the list below to learn more:

  • Ability to investigate the relationships between gender (including transgender), sexuality, feminism, and social justice within a framework of interdisciplinary
  • Ability to explore gender and sexuality through their intersections with race, class, age, nation, citizenship, and ability
  • Engages questions of gender and sexuality as they emerge both historically and in a contemporary context within local, national, and transnational communities
  • Develop critical thinking and analysis skills
  • Construct sound arguments through rigorous research
  • Analyze social and political problems
  • Ability to understand how gender and sexuality categories inform and structure social life, culture, politics, social movements and knowledge productions

Industry Clusters Heading link

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There are many workplace settings, industries, and career areas in which you can apply your major based on your professional interests. Below is a sample list of industry clusters that other gender and women’s studies majors have transitioned into. What type of setting or career focus appeals to you?

  • Arts, Media, and Communications
  • Business and Entrepreneurship
  • Criminology and Law Enforcement
  • Cultural and Museum Studies
  • Education
  • Government, International Affairs, and Public Service
  • Healthcare and Wellness
  • Law and Legal Services
  • Marketing, Advertising, and Public Relations
  • Science and Research
  • Social Services

Meet Sylvia Stech! Heading link

“What I really appreciate about the Gender and Women’s Studies Department is that we center on the most marginalized voices in society. I  enjoy learning about the foundations of movements including the women’s liberation movement, the gay rights movement, and the black liberation movement.  We learn how these issues are always intersecting. I enjoy critiquing certain frameworks of both the past and the present and applying what I learn to my own activism and politics.”


Learn more of how Sylvia found her fit with GWS!

Meet Patricia Padilla! Heading link

“I loved learning the history behind women’s movements and their purpose. The why’s and how’s were eye opening, particularly in present times where we are exposed to the necessity for our current movements. Politics, culture, and environment are all key roles to why there is such a huge presence in women getting involved, especially women of color.”

Learn more of how Patricia found her fit with GWS!

Deeper Dive? Visit the Department Website For More Info!

View the Undergraduate Catalog