Undergraduate Advising

The department of Gender and Women’s Studies Undergraduate Advising office provides our students with the following assistance to help guide them through the academic bureaucracy and hopefully ensure that they have a successful undergraduate experience at Berkeley. The Undergraduate Adviser (UA), Althea Grannum Cummings is located in 608 Barrows Hall and her email address is cummings [at] berkeley [dot] edu. Her regular office hours are Monday - Friday 9am-12pm & 1pm-4pm. Do not hesitate to contact her if you need some assistance, even advice on a good coffee shop. It’s always better to be safe than sorry!

  • Counseling regarding your education and GWS courses
  • Declaring the major
  • Assessing your progress in the major
  • Administrative concerns (i.e. TeleBEARS, Add/Drops, L&S policy)
  • Graduation
  • Major Info, courses, independent studies, Honors Program, GWS student group
  • Graduate programs and career information and referrals


As a declared major, you will have the benefit of enrolling into GWS upper division classes without issues. Our majors never have to be concerned about getting into a required course to fulfill the major requirement. The small class sizes contribute to a better learning experience and our students graduate on time. Declaring the GWS major is a simple process once you have completed the prerequisite courses.

The process of declaring the major takes approximately 10 minutes, if that much, and you may declare at anytime during the year. Schedule a preliminary meeting with the UA to discuss declaring the major, double majoring or doing a simultaneous degree in 608 Barrow during regular office hours Tuesday--Thursday 9:30-12. The following materials are required and the necessary forms are available at the department. You can also download them here:

*If you have taken any of the prerequisites at another college of university, you will need to supply a copy of the course descriptions or syllabi to be reviewed for approval.

A student file will be created and maintained in the department for five years.


Students need to register their minor in the Department. Interested students should complete the GWS or LGBT Minor Worksheet. The worksheets are available in the Undergraduate Advising Office, 608 Barrows Hall or you can download them here. After fulfilling ALL course requirements for the minor, students must complete a ‘Completion of L&S Minor’ form and submit it to the Undergraduate Adviser.



After declaring the major, students must obtain an Adviser Code (AC) from the Student Services Office in each semester that follows. The Adviser Code will be required upon entering Tele-BEARS for the first time in Phase I. This procedure is to insure that students review their progress in the major and receive up-to-date information on graduation requirements. Although Adviser Codes are not available until two weeks prior to the beginning of Phase I, we ask that students come in early to review their schedules. Adviser Codes will not be distributed via phone or email except for students who are studying abroad or on medical leave. All other students must come in person to the UA to obtain their adviser codes and review their schedule.


GWS majors can register for impacted courses outside the major during Phase I of Telebears. Seats are set aside in TeleBears for majors; however, you should make sure you are enrolled in your GWS courses at the beginning of Phase II. If you have a problem enrolling in a class, contact the Undergraduate Adviser for assistance.


Attendance at all class meetings, including discussion sections, is required during the first 2 weeks in all courses. Instructors usually drop students for non-attendance. There is generally about a 20% drop rate in most upper division courses, and a higher rate in lower division courses. It is important for students who cannot attend class because of a conflict to write a note to the instructor or GSI explaining why you missed class, but that you still intend to take it.


GWS Waitlists are processed manually and students are added selectively instead of by the numerical order in TeleBears. Department majors, minors, LGBT minors and students attending the classes receive priority. Students are also added to class at the discretion of the instructor.


YES!! Students should never assume they have been dropped from a course or course waitlist, and should always check on TeleBEARS to make sure they have or haven’t been dropped from a course after the second week.

Change in Course Schedule

Students may add and drop courses on TeleBears until the fifth week of class unless the course is listed as an Early Drop Deadline (EDD) course. EDD courses must be dropped by the end of the second week. All students should print a copy of their schedule each time they use TeleBears.


Students who are not majoring or minoring in Gender & Women's Studies but wish to take Gender & Women's Studies core courses (101, 102, 103, and 104) must take GWS 10, GWS 20, or their equivalent beforehand.


The Literature Rack is located right outside the GWS Administrative Office (608 Barrows). Students will find updates on the major, the minor, LGBT minor, GWS Course List, Q-Cal and much more vital information.

There are several Bulletin Boards along the corridor of the main office. Information on events, internships, jobs, volunteering, graduate school, and special courses will be posted throughout the semester. It is a good idea to check the Bulletin Boards periodically.