Gender History

Gender History Concentration

Fall 2023 Gender History Courses

This track enables students to construct a coherent program of study in the comparative history of women, gender and sexuality. Choosing from course offerings in different geographic regions, students can explore how gender varied over time and cross-culturally as a key component of politics, economics, social relations, and culture.

Course selection for this concentration should be reviewed carefully with a faculty advisor each semester. Students must also satisfy basic major requirements.


The Gender History concentration requires a total of six courses, as outlined below. These courses must cover at least two different geographic regions (i.e. U.S. and Latin America; U.S. and Europe; Latin American and the Middle East). This comparative requirement may also be satisfied by taking two courses designated as trans-regional (i.e. "Feminism in the Americas").

SEMINAR (1 course)
Any course numbered HIST 2100-3799 and classified as Gender History on the "Courses" page may be used.

CORE COURSES (3 courses)
Any course classified as Gender History on the "Courses" page (including additional seminars) may be used. 

ELECTIVES (2 courses)
Electives may include additional Gender History courses, major-related courses (i.e., courses relating to gender history offered outside the History department), or courses in feminist or gender theory. 

Major-related courses, and courses on feminist or gender theory, require the approval of the student's faculty advisor. 

  • Major-related courses must be above the introductory level and focus on the history of women, gender, or sexuality. The following departments (as well as many others at Penn) regularly offer courses on gender that may be eligible to fulfill the concentration requirements: Africana Studies (AFRC); Anthropology (ANTH); Art History (ARTH); Asian American Studies (ASAM); Comparative Literature (COML); English (ENGL); Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies (GSWS); Health & Societies (HSOC); History & Sociology of Science (HSSC); Jewish Studies (JWST); Latin American & Latinx Studies (LALS); Law (LAW); Philosophy (PHIL); Political Science (PSCI); Religious Studies (RELS); Sociology (SOCI); Urban Studies (URBS). 
  • Feminist and gender theory courses complement the Gender History concentration well. Students should seek assistance from the faculty advisor to identify courses that qualify, but some examples are PHIL 1540 (formerly 028) Feminist Philosophy, and PSCI 0680 (formerly 280) Feminist Political Thought. 


Note: For Gender History Majors graduating in the class of '22 and earlier, 4 of the 6 concentration courses must be upper-level (200+).