Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions about the GWS major, GWS certificate, and the LGBTQ+ Studies Certificate


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How do I declare a major or certificate?

Meet with the undergraduate advisor and/or fill out the declaration form for the program you’re interested in.

GWS major

GWS certificate

LGBTQ+ Studies certificate

How do I undeclare a major or certificate?

You will need to contact the undergraduate advisor for this. Send an email to Lachrista Greco stating your intent to undeclare.

I want to take a GWS course that is waitlisted. What can I do?

This depends on a couple of things: 1) the course itself and whether it’s Honors-only, Sophomore-standing, etc; 2) If it’s a course you need to finish your GWS major or certificate or LGBTQ+ Studies certificate, then please contact the undergrad advisor.

Where can I find out more information about a course?

We have a syllabus library for your perusal! We don’t have one for every GWS course, but we have many! Check out the syllabus library here.

If I choose the GWS thesis option, how do I find an advisor?

We recommend thinking about what you’d like your thesis topic to be–even roughly. Then, take a look through our faculty to see if anyone’s research interests align. It’s okay if they don’t, but they often will. From there, send an email to whomever you think would be a good fit asking if they would be willing to advise your thesis. Share with them a bit about what you are interested in researching and why you think they would be helpful to you.

How do I get into Gen&WS 640 capstone?

This course is permission-only enrollment. If you are a GWS major and you’ve chosen the capstone option (versus the thesis option), then you need to take this course to satisfy all the requirements for the major. Typically, students take this course during their last semester at UW-Madison. However, if you’ve taken at least 6 GWS courses, you can sign up for 640 at any time. It is offered both fall and spring semesters. To be given authorization to enroll, you need to fill out the form here.

When should I apply for graduation?

You should apply for graduation when you register for the courses that will complete all degree requirements. For example, if you plan to graduate in May at the end of the spring term, you’ll register for classes in mid-November. After you register in November, run your DARS and make sure it says “ALL REQTS COMPLETE PENDING FINAL REVIEW–IN PROGRESS CRSES USED” then apply for graduation via MyUW.

For more information, go here.