Graduate Studies

For graduate students enrolled in degree programs throughout the University of Pittsburgh, GSWS offers courses, events, intellectual community, and graduate certificates attesting to students' achievement of advanced and concentrated work in gender and sexuality studies.  Graduate students at neighboring institutions are invited to participate in our events programming, including events related to our one- and two-year research themes, and students at institutions that allow cross-registration at Pitt are welcome in GSWS courses.  Any graduate students wishing to receive our e-mail notifications about upcoming events and opportunities should write to and ask to be added to the graduate student distribution list.

Please note:  GSWS does not admit graduate students directly.  The program offers coursework and credentials only to students enrolled in other graduate degree programs at the University of Pittsburgh.

Graduate Courses

Our interdisciplinary GSWS courses and our cross-listed courses in many disciplines provide opportunities for all students to broaden their understandings of the changing roles of gender and sexuality in the United States and globally, in the present and the past, and in conjunction with other axes of power and identity.   . 

Each semester, GSWS offers one or more interdisciplinary graduate seminars, including GSWS 2252, "Theories of Gender and Sexuality," which is a foundational course for the certificate programs and also offers an overview of current scholarship suitable for any graduate student wishing to deepen their knowledge in these areas.  GSWS also cross-lists graduate seminars and courses that engage gender and sexuality studies substantively in a wide variety of disciplines.  Recent graduate courses include "Visual Rhetoric," "Gender and Education," "Gender Equality and the United Nations," "Queer Studies and Performance," Race, Gender, Law, and Policy," "Black Women's Print Circuits." and "Sexual Representation and Cinema."

Opportunities for Graduate Students

Graduate students are invited to participate in the events sponsored by the program each year, including programming related to our one- or two-year research themes.  The research theme planned for 2021-23 is "Mobilizing Against Ethnocentrism:  Intersectional Approaches."

Currently, GSWS certificate students are invited to present their work in a works-in-progress series organized by the joint Graduate Student Organization of the Cultural Studies Program and the Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies Program (  Certificate students are also invited to be part of a dissertation writing group and to participate in a summer publications workshop designed to help them revise and prepare an article for submission to a journal or collection.

GSWS also typically annually awards sums of $1000 or less toward graduate student research projects.  Because of the hiatus in research travel due to COVID19, the research funds program is temporarily on pause, but we expect it to resume soon.

As of 2020-21, GSWS has also been able to offer one-semester Teaching Fellowships to GSWS certificate students in the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences who are eligible for funding in the school.  The fellowships allow certificate students to get experience teaching foundational courses in GSWS.


GSWS sponsors three awards competitions for which graduate students throughout the university are eligible:

The Tamara Horowitz Graduate Paper Prize honors the memory of Dr. Tamara Horowitz, who was Associate Professor of Philosophy and of Women's Studies at Pitt until her untimely death in 2000.  The prize is awarded in an annual competition to the best paper by a graduate student that addresses topics related to gender, sexuality, or women, broadly understood.

The GSWS Dissertation Prize is awarded to the best Pitt dissertation addressing gender and sexuality studies that was completed in the previous year.

The Iris Marion Young Awards for Political Engagement, co-sponsored by the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, are awarded each year to a faculty member, staff member, graduate student, and undergraduate student at Pitt who has promoted justice in the University, at the local or national level, or across the glob.  The awards honor Dr. Iris Marion Young, who was a faculty member in GSPIA and the Women's Studies during the 1990s and who died in 2006.