University of Southern California

Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

Gender Studies


Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts in Gender Studies

For the lower division, one of the following courses may be selected as the requirement: SWMS 210 Social Issues in Gender or SWMS 215 Gender Conflict in Cultural Contexts. For the upper division, 32 units of SWMS courses, including SWMS 301, SWMS 311 and SWMS 410, are required.

Honors Program Requirements

The Gender Studies Program offers a two-semester honors program, in which qualified students spend their first semester in an honors track in an upper-division seminar, usually SWMS 410 Senior Seminar. During the second semester, all honors students are required to take SWMS 492 Honors Thesis, in which each completes a thesis project on a topic of his or her choosing under faculty direction. Contact the departmental honors director for further information. To graduate with honors, department majors must have a minimum GPA of 3.5 in their major course work.

Gender Studies Minor Requirements

The program offers a minor for students specializing in other disciplines. Twenty units of course work are required for completion of the minor in gender studies: SWMS 210 or SWMS 215; SWMS 301; SWMS 410; and two additional 4-unit upper-division SWMS courses. Since many SWMS courses are cross-listed, the two elective upper-division courses must be from two different departments.

Graduate Certificate Program

Graduate students intending to concentrate in gender studies must be admitted to a USC graduate or professional program. While meeting the requirements for a departmental graduate degree, they may earn a certificate of competency in gender studies. To earn a certificate, students must take SWMS 560 and other courses from the SWMS list of graduate level courses, 500 and above, to a total of at least 12 units. No more than four units of directed research may be taken and those units must be taken as SWMS 590. Each academic department will determine the number of units completed which may be applied to the student’s graduate degree in that department.

In addition to the completion of course requirements, students must include a focus on gender as part of their major department master’s thesis, doctoral dissertation or law review note. Or they may take an oral examination on three research papers they have written within the areas of gender studies and on relevant graduate work pertaining to the field of gender studies. The oral exam will be administered by members of the Gender Studies faculty. A Gender Studies faculty member will be assigned as an adviser for each student. Gender Studies faculty will be responsible for judging the adequacy of the gender studies analysis in the student’s thesis, dissertation or oral examination.