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Undergraduate Programs

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Why choose our program?

  • Award-winning faculty
  • The best classes
  • Innovative teaching methods
  • Small and supportive department
  • Interdisciplinary curriculum
  • Preparation for exciting careers

What do we do?

  • Analyze and challenge various forms of oppression.
  • Understand the different experiences of women, spanning the local to global.
  • Connect theory and action.
  • Create a society free from privilege based on gender and gender identity, race, class, sexual orientation, age, nation, or physical condition.

Mission Statement

The mission of the BA program in Women’s Studies is educate future scholars and activists who can create a more just and equitable society free from oppression based on gender, gender identity and expression, race, ethnicity, social class, sexual orientation, age, language, culture, nationality, education, religion, spirituality, size, and ability.  Students follow a course of study that explores academic disciplines from intersectional feminist perspectives, develops innovative interdisciplinary approaches, stimulates scholarly research, and promotes community engagement. Grounded in feminist pedagogy, we provide opportunities for active student learning through internships, study abroad programs, undergraduate research experiences, and service learning options. Our approach highlights intersections of oppressions, spans the scale from local to global, and bridges theory and action. Graduates of the program continue on to graduate school or find jobs in a wide range of fields, including social services, politics, education, business, and the arts.

Learning Goals for BA Degree in Women’s Studies

Goal 1: Critically examine the role of social structures and conventions of representation in the lives of women and other people from marginalized groups

Objective 1.1 Explain how economic and legal structures affect the opportunities of women and other people from marginalized groups

Objective 1.2 Identify commonalities and differences of women and women’s experiences, locally and internationally

Objective 1.3 Analyze how social constructions of gender and sexuality impact diverse people’s lives in different historical contexts

Objective 1.4 Explain the gendered impact of media images

Goal 2: Analyze the intersectionality of different social identities and categories, including gender, gender identity and expression, race, ethnicity, social class, sexual orientation, age, language, culture, nationality, education, religion, spirituality, size, and ability as concepts and as lived experience

Objective 2.1 Analyze the interconnections of forms of oppression

Objective 2.2 Identify ways that people negotiate and represent multiple aspects of their identities

Goal 3: Examine the contributions of individual and collective action to social justice

Objective 3.1 Explain the different reasons for feminist organizing, and how women’s movements are shaped multiple axes of identity and difference

Objective 3.2 Explore the relationship between social movements and specific state and cultural structures and actions

Objective 3.3 Make connections between abstract knowledge and social justice activism

Objective 3.4 Explain the impact of social movements and activism on the lives of women and other people from marginalized groups 

Goal 4: Identify mechanisms of dominance, oppression, resistance, transformation, and healing

Objective 4.1 Identify the structures, beliefs, and practices that oppress women and other marginalized people in particular contexts nationally and internationally

Objective 4.3 Analyze feminist strategies for transformation and healing in the face of oppression

Goal 5: Enhance critical thinking through reading and writing as well as information competency

Objective 5.1 Identify and define feminist theories and practices and apply them to contemporary socio-cultural issues or other relevant topics

Objective 5.2 Evaluate main arguments, evidence, and the chain of reasoning present in a text

Objective 5.3 Synthesize, summarize, and evaluate multiple perspectives within a field of study or about a topic from interdisciplinary perspectives

Objective 5.4 Formulate a new research question and use appropriate supporting evidence to develop a written argument that is clearly articulated

Curricular Map for 500-level courses

Download the map

Women’s Studies majors must take at least 12 WS classes: 2 lower division courses (6 units) & 10 upper division courses (30 units), including: 4 courses at the 300-level; 4 courses at the 500-level; & the required WS536 and WS590. Women's Studies classes can be used for BOTH the Major & the Explorations GE requirement.

Preparation for Major

Take 2 out of 3 lower division courses (6 units):

  • WMNST 101: Women: Self, Identity, and Society
  • WMNST 102: Women: Images and Ideas
  • WMNST 103: Women and Global Justice

Required Courses

Group I: 12 units (4 courses)

  • WMNST 310 Global Cultures and Women’s Lives
  • 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 History of Women and Sexuality in Modern Europe
  • WMNST 341A, 341B Women in American History
  • WMNST 352 Women in Literature
  • WMNST 355 Feminist Approaches to Popular Culture
  • 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
  • AFRAS 332 Black Women: Myth and Reality
  • AFRAS 473 Women in Africa
  • CCS 340A Gender, Sex, and Politics in Colonial Mexico
  • LGBT 321 LGBT Identities in the Modern World
  • LGBT 322 LGBT History & Culture
  • POL 336 Women’s Issues in the American Political Process
  • REL 370 Goddess Studies

*No more than 1 class from an another department may be applied to the major.

Group II: 12 units (4 courses)

  • WMNST 512 Latinas in the Americas
  • WMNST 515 Women: Myth, Ritual, and the Sacred
  • WMNST 520 Reproductive Rights and Justice
  • WMNST 522 Women: Madness and Sanity
  • WMNST 530 Women’s Movements and Activism (may be taken more than once)
  • WMNST 533 Trans Feminisms***
  • WMNST 535 Lesbian Lives and Cultures
  • WMNST 544 Queer Theory***
  • WMNST 552 Feminist Approaches to Film***
  • 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 575 Digital & Networked Feminisms***
  • WMNST 580 Women, Development, and the Global Economy
  • WMNST 581 Women’s Experiences of Migration
  • WMNST 582 Feminist Science and Activism
  • WMNST 585 Local Feminist Organizations and Activism
  • WMNST 596 Topics in Women’s Studies
  • WMNST 598 Women’s Studies Internship
  • GENS 480 Civic Engagement (when taught by a WS professor & with advisor’s approval)

All majors must ALSO take the following 6 units (2 courses):

  • WMNST 590 Feminist Thought (in fall)
  • WMNST 536 Gender, Race, and Class (in spring)

All Women's Studies majors are highly encouraged and typically required to complete either Women's Studies 598 (Internship) or satisfy an international educational experience. Given some students' ongoing need to socially distance and less opportunities available due to COVID-19, this is not required for all students graduating in December 2021, May 2022, and August 2022.

Download the Major Checklist

A minimum of 18 units in Women’s Studies. Women's Studies classes can be used for BOTH the Minor and the Explorations General Education requirement.

Preparation for Minor

  • WMNST 101 Women: Self, Identity, and Society
  • WMNST 102 Women: Images and Ideas
  • WMNST 103 Women and Global Justice

Group I: 6 units (2 classes)

  • WMNST 310 Global Cultures and Women’s Lives
  • 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 History of Women and Sexuality in Modern Europe
  • WMNST 341A, 341B Women in American History
  • WMNST 352 Women in Literature
  • WMNS 355 Feminist Approaches to Popular Culture
  • 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
  • Africana Studies 332*
  • Chicana/o Studies 340A*
  • LGBT 321, LGBT322*
  • Political Science 336*
  • Religious Studies 370*

*No more than 3 units from these classes may be applied to the minor

Group II: 6 units (2 classes)

  • WMNST 512 Latinas in the Americas
  • WMNST 515 Women: Myth, Ritual, and the Sacred
  • WMNST 520 Reproductive Rights and Justice
  • WMNST 522 Women: Madness and Sanity
  • WMNST 530 Women’s Movements and Activism (may be taken more than once)
  • WMNST 533 Trans Feminisms**
  • WMNST 535 Lesbian Lives and Cultures
  • WMNST 536 Gender, Race, and Class
  • WMNST 544 Queer Theory**
  • WMNST 552 Feminist Approaches to Film*
  • 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 575 Digital & Networked Feminisms**
  • WMNST 580 Women, Development, and the Global Economy
  • WMNST 581 Women’s Experiences of Migration
  • WMNST 582 Feminist Science and Activism
  • WMNST 585 Local Feminist Organizations and Activism
  • WMNST 590 Feminist Thought
  • WMNST 596 Topics in Women’s Studies
  • WMNST 598 Women’s Studies Internship
  • GENS 480 Civic Engagement (when taught by a WS professor & with advisor’s approval)

Download the Minor Checklist

Women’s Studies has several excellent scholarship opportunities available each Spring. Please look over the requirements for each scholarship and apply to those for which you are qualified. These are all for continuing undergraduate students and please remember that you have nothing to lose by applying.

For more information and to search for scholarships, please visit the Financial Aid and Scholarships website

 
Declaring the minor or major is easy -- there are no deadlines, fees, or hassles. To obtain a signature or informational materials, just visit the department's adviser, Irene Lara (AL 353). You may email her at [email protected] or call her at (619) 594-7151. You may drop by during office hours, or make an appointment by telephone or email.
Ideally, students would take the 100-level courses first, then the 300-level courses, and finally the 500-level courses. In reality, most students take them in a different order. For example, many students take several 300-level courses before deciding to major or minor in Women's Studies. Then they have to go back and take the 100-level courses. We do encourage you to wait until your Junior or Senior year before taking 500-level courses. Moreover, most 500-level classes have a minimum prerequisite of three upper division units in Women’s Studies.

Probably. Transfer credit depends upon comparability of courses, existing "articulation" agreements between institutions, and quarter versus semester hours. Normally you must wait until the transcript evaluators have determined transferability of your coursework from other institutions (usually during your first semester). However, you can easily log on to www.assist.org (the web-based clearinghouse for articulation among California institutions of higher education), to determine if agreements exist for the courses and schools in question. If the Registrar rejects a course you believe should have been transferable, bring supporting documents to the undergraduate adviser to determine if that decision can be challenged by a Request for Adjustment of Academic Requirements (RAAR).

Many schools offer equivalents to SDSU's major preparation (lower division) courses. Note that SDSU need not offer an equivalent course in order to accept transfer credit, particularly at the upper division level. If you have taken courses about women or gender elsewhere for which no SDSU equivalents exist, the undergraduate advisor can probably help you apply those units toward the major or minor. Under no circumstances will the university allow more than 12 units of upper division coursework to be transferred for the major, or 6 units to the minor (that is, half of your upper division major or minor units must be completed at SDSU).

Possibly. See the undergraduate advisor for approval and for the RAAR (Request for Adjustment of Academic Requirement). She will help you complete it and sign it, and you will turn it in to the Academic Advising Center.

Under some circumstances, however, 3 units of 499 credit can be substituted for one course (3 units) at the 300 level, and 3 units of 597 credit can be substituted for one course (3 units) at the 500 level To be considered for substitution, students should talk with the undergraduate advisor.
When you apply for graduation, you have the option to follow the catalog when you declared your major or the catalog when you actually graduate. Notify your Graduation Specialist if you want to change catalog years.
No, the double major satisfies the requirement for a minor, although you can choose to have a double major and a minor. You will, however, need to see the department advisor for a form allowing the substitution of a second major for the minor.

In some cases they can be used. The details are below:

Foundations
Majors and minors may count Women's Studies 101 (Social and Behavioral Sciences) and Women's Studies 102 (Humanities) toward the Foundations Requirement. Be aware that a maximum of 7 units from one department can count for General Education.

American Institutions
Women's Studies 341A and 341B can be used by both majors and minors to satisfy the American Institutions Requirement. However, Women's Studies Majors cannot use Women's Studies 341A or 341B to clear the 3 units of American Institutions in Foundations General Education.

Explorations
Several 300-level classes satisfy Explorations requirements in Humanities, Natural Sciences, and Social and Behavioral Sciences. These classes can count for both Explorations and the Women's Studies minor. Women's Studies majors cannot use any Women's Studies classes to fulfill the Explorations Requirement, unless they are a double major and Women’s Studies is listed as their second major.

Double Majors
One 300-level Women's Studies course can be used to both satisfy the Explorations GE and fulfill a requirement for the Women's Studies major only if Women’s Studies is the student's second major.

All Women’s Studies majors must either study abroad or complete an internship (WS 598). Women’s Studies faculty frequently lead short-term travel-study trips, but we give credit to students who participate in any university approved program.

Most study abroad programs require that you meet first with a major or minor adviser for approval of planned coursework. However, final approval of units is done upon your return. Normally you must wait until the international transcript evaluators have determined transferability of your overseas coursework, though we can facilitate this process by meeting to go over your materials. If the Registrar rejects a course you believe should have been transferable, bring supporting documents to the department adviser to determine if that decision can be challenged by a Request for Adjustment of Academic Requirements (RAAR).

Note that SDSU need not offer an exact equivalent course in order to accept credits from abroad, particularly at the upper division level. When you take courses overseas for which no SDSU equivalents exist, please meet with the undergraduate advisor to see how best to apply those units toward the major or minor.

Yes, there are several. A current list of scholarship opportunities is available on this website.

Yes. The Department sponsors a "Feminist Research Colloquium" lecture series during both the fall and spring semesters. Attendance and written responses often count as a “community event” opportunity for optional credit Women’s Studies classes.

Definitely. 

The Women’s Studies Internship program awards 3 units academic credit (WMNST 598) to undergraduate and undergraduate students for working in community organizations. These apprentice-style placements allow students to gain on-site experience in the field of Women's Studies. Law offices, social service agencies, legislative and other public offices, museums, and health clinics are typical placements.

For more information, see the director of the internship program, Irene Lara, Arts and Letters (AL) 353, or email her at [email protected].

The Women’s Studies Department has Guidelines for Negotiated Communication for Problem Resolution that provides a recommended process to improve communication and reduce conflict whenever possible.

The University has a formal grievance procedure. It specifies that students take the following steps:

  1. The student should informally discuss the situation with the professor involved and seek a resolution with that professor.
  2. If that does not resolve the situation, the student should come to the Department Chair, who will attempt to resolve the situation.
  3. Should this prove unsuccessful, the student should then go to the Office of Ombudsmen and file a complaint (594-6578, SSW 3635). The Ombudsmen are student liaisons or mediators. Their job is to assist students in all sorts of problems including administrative procedures, appeals/waivers, and grade disputes. The Student Grievance Committee will handle a student’s complaint.

PLEASE NOTE:

  • In the case of Sexual Harassment/Discrimination complaints, there is a somewhat different procedure. Please refer to the Campus Procedures for Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Complaints Filed by Students. A copy is available in the Office of the Ombudsmen.
  • At every step in this process written documentation must be kept by all parties involved.
  • Sometimes students find it helpful to discuss the problem with another student before consulting the faculty.
Like all degrees in the humanities and social sciences, a Woman's Studies degree offers a broad education valuable in many careers. To help our students make the transition into employment, we have an internship program which offers real world work experience.
Absolutely. Graduates from our program have gone on to earn graduate degrees in many academic fields, including Women's Studies. Graduates have also earned graduate degrees in law, business, social work, counseling, library science, teaching and many other fields. Women’s Studies faculty organize an “Applying to Graduate School Workshop” in the fall for all interested Women’s Studies students.
The National Women’s Studies Association is the professional organization graduate students are encouraged to join. The NWSA Conference is held in various locations across the United States. The Women’s Studies Department may provide limited financial support to students who formally participate in the program of this annual conference of NWSLocally, the Pacific Southwest Women’s Studies Student Association holds an annual conference. They are eager for co-organizers and paper presenters.
Go to the University Academic Advising Center. You can be seen on a drop-in basis.
You should apply for graduation two semesters before you plan to graduate. Applications are available in the Cashier's Office, the Advising Center and the Registrar's Office.
Yes, this is called concurrent master's degree credit. A student who has completed her math and writing competencies, is within 12 units of receiving their BA degree and has a 3.0 GPA in their last 60 units completed, may petition to receive graduate credit for coursework completed in the last semester prior to receiving their BA degree, providing these courses are above and beyond what's required for the BA degree. The petitions and directions may be found in the Graduate Division Office.
The Women's Studies undergraduate advisor keeps a Women’s Studies Majors and Minors “Homeroom” page on Canva, through which she sends announcements of Women's Studies events on campus and in the community. If you want to be added, please send an email to [email protected].


Advising

Anh Hua
Undergraduate Advisor (Fall 2021)
Office: AL 313
Email: [email protected]

Irene Lara
Undergraduate Advisor (Spring 2022)
Office: AL 353
Email: [email protected]

Important Links