FAQ

What courses are best for first-year students to take?

Many students begin with one of our foundational courses -- WGS 1200 or WGS 1210 -- or with a Freshman Seminar related to gender and sexuality studies. Students can also begin with any General Education courses taught by WGS faculty. (Freshman Seminars and Gen Ed courses that count for WGS concentration credit are listed on our pre-approved courses page, which is updated every year.)

Can I joint concentrate in WGS and another department?

Yes, approximately half of our undergraduate students complete a joint concentration in WGS and another department.

All students who wish to joint concentration must apply to and be accepted into the thesis track in both departments. More information about the application process is available on our Thesis Track page.

 

Can I write a senior thesis in WGS?

Yes. Students who wish to write a thesis must apply to the WGS thesis track during the first semester of junior year. Interested students must submit an application form and a writing sample of 5- 10 pages (a paper from a past course is acceptable).

More information is available on the Thesis Track page.

How does advising work in WGS?

Women, Gender, and Sexuality has a very strong advising system. Concentrators are encouraged to meet regularly with their concentration advisers to discuss their academic progress and future plans. During the registration period each term, concentrators are required to meet with their advisers to discuss their program and have their study cards signed. Joint concentrators typically have an advisor in each concentration.

For more information, please visit the Advising page.

Can I count a course from outside WGS towards my concentration requirements?

Each year we pre-approve a number of non-WGS courses to count for WGS concentration credit. The full list can be found on our pre-approved courses page.

Students may also petition to have us count a course that does not appear on this list, please submit the Concentration Credit Petition form along with the course syllabus and a written explanation (approximately 1-2 paragraphs) to the director of undergraduate studies. Please note that certain Read more about Can I count a course from outside WGS towards my concentration requirements?

I'm a pre-med student. Is WGS a good concentration for me?

WGS is an excellent choice for students who want to concentrate outside of the sciences but wish to stay connected to medicine. Appropriate areas of study would be women and medicine, the healthcare industry, historic changes in the treatment and diagnoses of women, etc.

Can WGS concentrators study abroad?

Yes, WGS concentrators have spent semesters taking courses in countries such as Kenya, Australia, Spain, and France. With good planning, a semester abroad or out of residence can be a very meaningful educational experience.

The WGS page in the Handbook for Students provides more information on how to prepare for a semester abroad. 

How do I apply for a graduate degree in WGS?

WGS only offers the graduate secondary field certificate (essentially a graduate minor). We are not able to admit graduate students directly, nor do we offer any graduate degree programs.

Students who wish to pursue the WGS graduate secondary field must be admitted to a doctoral program in one of Harvard's degree-granting departments first. For information on applying to Harvard doctoral programs, please contact the admissions office for the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences or one of Harvard's Read more about How do I apply for a graduate degree in WGS?

How do I make arrangements for academic adjustments or accommodations?

Any student needing academic adjustments or accommodations is requested to present their letter from the Accessible Education Office (AEO) and speak with the professor by the end of the second week of the term. Failure to do so may result in the inability to respond in a timely manner.

All discussions will remain confidential, although AEO may be consulted to discuss appropriate implementation.

Accessible Education Office
Phone: 617-496-8707
TDD: 617-496-3720
Fax: 617-496-1098
Email: aeo@fas.harvard.edu
Web: Read more about How do I make arrangements for academic adjustments or accommodations?

I am a faculty member at another institution. How do I apply to be a visiting scholar at Harvard?

Visiting scholar positions are unpaid, non-teaching research appointments that enable an individual, ordinarily a ladder faculty member on paid leave from another institution, to carry out his or her own work in association with a Harvard faculty member or members. Potential scholars must have a current research project in a field of study directly relating to the research interests of the current available faculty.

You can find additional information about applying on our Visitors page.

I am a graduate student at another university. How do I apply to be a visiting student at Harvard?

WGS does not offer any graduate degrees, and we are unable to accept graduate students as special students or visiting fellows

If you are a graduate student who wishes to visit Harvard, you must apply to one of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences' non-degree programs. Graduate students who have been accepted into Read more about I am a graduate student at another university. How do I apply to be a visiting student at Harvard?