Career outlook

A degree in gender, sexuality, and women's studies

Gender and sexuality studies (GSW) is a field of study that allows students to move in a variety of career directions based upon their interests. The social-justice focus of our degree program enables students to think about how to best channel their efforts and advocacy. For those looking to change the world on a systemic level, GSW serves as a solid pre-law major.

GSW enables pre-med students with a more rounded profile to escape the sea of applicants and provides the social constructs for those looking to specialize in areas of medicine pertinent to women or gendered issues. For those looking to change the world on a more personal level, GSW students look toward careers in psychology or social work. Some are drawn more deeply into the explosive academic and political dynamics inherent in the construction of gender and sexuality and look forward to advanced academic degrees.

Transferable skills

A gender, sexuality, and women's studies degree offers skills:


  • How to locate resources that will inform the topic at hand
  • Understanding the difference between primary and secondary sources
  • Weighing the importance and validity of internet resources

Critical thinking

  • What is the meaning of "male" and "female"
  • Who defines sexual norms in both Western and non-Western societies
  • What are the social, political, and economic repercussions surrounding privilege
  • Identifying the arguments being made or rebutted in the literature
  • Identifying the perspectives and biases of the writers
  • Weighing your own perspective
  • Understanding where your research fits into the discussions in the field

Strong writing skills

  • Clarity in communication
  • To change the world, you must be able to explain the research, the inequities, and communicate to others the urgency of the issues

Some careers in gender, sexuality, and women's studies

Career Median salary Market gGrowth
Lawyer $115,820  + 6%

Obstetrician or Gynecologist

 $187,200  + 14% or higher


 $187,200  + 14% or higher
Sociologist  $73,760  little or no change
Clinical Psychologist  $70,580   + 14% or higher
Marriage and Family Therapist  $48,600   + 14% or higher
School Social Worker  $42,350  + 5% - 8%
Area and Cultural Studies Professor (teaching at the college level)  $72,300  + 14% or higher

Source: O*NET Online, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment & Training Administration

Graduate study

This degree also provides a solid foundation for graduate study in:

  • Law – J.D., Juris Doctorate
  • Medical Doctor – M.D.
  • Counselor – L.P.C. or M.S. or Ph.D. in Psychology
  • Sociology – M.A. or Ph.D.
  • Social Work – M.S.W.

Notable people with a gender, sexuality, and women's studies major

  • Ashley Judd (Actress and AIDS Activist)
  • Janson Wu Executive Director (GLBTQ Legal Advocates and Defenders (GLAD))
  • Haleh Afshar Haleh Afshar (Member of the British House of Lords and Muslim Feminist)