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Women's Studies: Pioneering in Scholarship, Activism, and Internationalization since 1970

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Undergraduate Program

What Women’s Studies at SDSU is All About

Women’s Studies explores who women were, who women are, and who they might be.  It also investigates how women’s lives and relationships are affected by society’s values, traditions, and institutions. SDSU has been offering courses in women’s studies since 1969 and has one of the strongest academic programs in the nation. Its origins are in the women’s movement, and its vision includes a world free of all inequalities, especially sexism, racism, economic inequality, classism, and homophobia.

Courses are designed to provide students with a interdisciplinary, integrated, and academically rigorous education. Content areas include concepts of self and family, theories of sex differences, history, cultural contributions, and the study of society’s institutions. The emphasis is on developing critical analytical skills while increasing the awareness of objective conditions in women’s lives throughout the world.

A degree in women’s studies may be used as preparation for a wide range of careers, including law, education, journalism, public administration, social services, human resources, student services, , and counseling. The skills that women’s studies majors develop in critical thinking, writing, and analysis are highly valued in many other occupations and professions. A women’s studies major may also go on to graduate school in many academic and applied fields. Many women’s studies majors plan double majors to have more career opportunities.

Contact and News for Majors and Minors

If you have any questions about courses of study, please contact our
Undergraduate Advisor:

Doreen Mattingly
Associate Professor
Office: AL 315
Phone: 619-594-8033

Dr. Mattingly keeps a “Homeroom” page for majors and minors on Blackboard, which carries announcements of Women’s Studies events both on campus and in the community, including the Feminist Research Colloquium, with speakers and other features each month.  To be added to the list, please email

The Writing Center offers help with all student writing needs:
Free help with wiring, Writing Center

The Major in Women’s Studies


WMNST 101:  Self, Identity and Society
WMNST 102: Women: Images and Ideas
Approved minor in another discipline
Foreign Language Requirement:  3 consecutive semesters
Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR): Pass WPA or take W course.

For additional requirements, see the General Catalog.


Group I: 9 units (3 courses)
WMNST 310 Women in Cross-Cultural Perspectives
WMNST 320 Socialization of Women
WMNST 325 Psychology of Women
WMNST 331 Women in Asian Societies
WMNST 336 Women of Color in the US
WMNST 340 Women in Modern European History
WMNST 341A, 341B Women in American History
WMNST 352 Women in Literature
WMNST 360 Women’s Sexuality and the Body
WMNST 370 Women, Law and Policy
WMNST 375 Sex, Power, and Politics
WMNST 382 Gender, Science and Technology
WMNST 385 Women’s Work: Invisibility and Empowerment
*Africana Studies 332
*American Indian Studies 303
*Chicana/o Studies 340
*Political Science 336
*Religious Studies 370

(*No more than 3 units from these classes may be applied to the major)

Group II: 12 units (4 courses)
WS 512 Latinas in the Americas
WS 515 Women: Myth, Ritual, and the Sacred
WS 520 Reproductive Rights and Justice
WS 522 Women: Madness and Sanity
WS 530 Women’s Movements and Activism (may be taken more than once)
WMNST 535 Lesbian Lives and Cultures
WMNST 540 Women and the Environment
WMNST 545 Women and Sports
WMNST 553 Women and the Creative Arts (may be taken more than once)
WMNST 560 Women in Muslim Societies
WMNST 565 Women: Health, Healing, and Medicine
WMNST 570 Gender, War and Peace
WMNST 572 Women and Violence
WMNST 580 Women, Development, and the Global Economy
WMNST 581 Women’s Experiences of Migration
WMNST 582 Feminist Science Studies
WMNST 595 Seminar in Women’s Studies
WMNST 596 Topics in Women’s Studies
WMNST 598 Women’s Studies Internship/Field Experience

All majors must ALSO take the following  6 units (two courses):
WMNST 590:  Feminist Thought
WMNST 536:  Gender, Race and Class

The Minor in Women’s Studies


Six classes (18 credits) total, including the required WMNST 101 and WMNST 102 and two additional upper level courses from both Group I and Group II (see above under the major for the full list)


Internships provide an opportunity for SDSU undergraduate and graduate Women’s Studies students to receive 3 units of academic credit for 120 hours of work in a non-academic organization. These apprentice-style placements allow students to gain on applied  experience in the field of Women's Studies. Law offices, medical research labs, social service agencies, legislative and other public offices, museums, magazines, and health clinics are typical placements. For more information see the internships page.

Travel Study

There are regular opportunities to study abroad with SDSU Women’s Studies Professors.  For more information see the international page.