For Students

How to form a Teaching Team


GCWS courses are team-taught, interdisciplinary, and cross-institutional. Creating a team is the critical first step in the course development process. Our policy states:

Courses will be team-taught by faculty trained in different disciplines and affiliated with two different member institutions.

With the exception of the Dissertation Writers Workshop, which is facilitated by one faculty member, GCWS courses are collaboratively developed and taught in teams of two instructors among whom disciplinary and institutional diversity must be demonstrated. The GCWS draws primarily on full-time tenured or tenure track faculty from its nine dues-paying member institutions for teaching teams.  Full time faculty who are not tenured or tenure track but who hold long-term appointments (at least 3 years and/or on-going) at member institutions, distinguished scholars with visiting appointments at member institutions, and Emerita faculty from member institutions can also teach as part of a GCWS team of two.) Except in special circumstances, at least one member of a two person teaching team must be tenured.

Faculty leading the Dissertation Workshop should have substantial experience working with students at the PhD level.

Finding a teaching partner

All faculty members interested in forming a team-taught GCWS seminar should contact the GCWS Program Manager, Include your name, department, institution, and a short description of the course topic or area that you wish to explore. You can also join our online GCWS teaching interest database (currently in development) by filling out this form to add your course idea to the list.  

The following are some of the ways teaching teams come together:

The course development and approval process

GCWS course development is a collaborative process, involving members of a teaching team as well as input from the GCWS Board of Directors. Once teaching teams are formed, faculty members begin the course development and approval process, which is summarized below. A more detailed description of this process is available here.

Step 1: Form a teaching team

Step 2: Submit a course proposal, which is reviewed and must be approved by the GCWS Curriculum Committee. Conditional course approval is provided upon the successful completion of this step. Faculty team may make scheduling arrangements with their home institution at this point.

Step 3: Create a detailed first syllabus draft and submit it to the GCWS Program Manager. This draft is discussed at a GCWS Board of Directors meeting and a written summary of the discussion is sent to the faculty team. Typically, preliminary approval for the proposed course occurs after this step. Faculty teams can discuss scheduling and make on-load/overload teaching arrangements with their departments at this time.

Step 4: Revise and resubmit the syllabus and attend a GCWS Board of Directors meeting for an in-person conversation. This meeting provides an opportunity to discuss the new syllabus and address logistical and process questions related to GCWS teaching. It also includes feedback on the updated syllabus. Final course approval occurs at this time.

The GCWS is committed to supporting faculty teams in the creation and finalization of syllabus drafts.  After teams have completed Step 4, the course is officially and fully confirmed and GCWS can put the course on our schedule for a future year.

The GCWS Program Manager provides ongoing assistance to faculty teams throughout this process. Further support is provided through events such as teaching team information sessions and faculty development workshops.

For more information, please contact the GCWS Program Manager, at



Next Steps

Course List

Contact Us

Consortium for Graduate Studies in Gender, Culture, Women, and Sexuality
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 14N-211
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
Phone: 617-324-2085