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Advising for Women's Studies Majors and Minors

Undergraduate Advising

Paola Martinez
Email: [email protected]

Scheduled Advising Appointments

Schedule an appointment with Women’s Studies advisor Paola Martinez on EAB.

If you cannot make these hours or have an advising question or issue that can be handled via email, please email us at [email protected]. We will respond M-F within 24 hours.

Frequently Asked Questions

Declaring the minor or major is easy - there are no deadlines, fees, or hassles. Review program information on the department website and contact the adviser. You may drop by during office hours or make an appointment by email. When you are ready to declare, fill out the top portion of the Declaration of Undergraduate Major and Minor Form and email it to the advisor for their signature.
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 (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:

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.

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/have an educational international experience 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. Visit the Global Education office site for more information. It is possible to waive this requirement if necessary via a Request for Adjustment of Academic Requirements form; contact the advisor.

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. WMNST598 is an internship course designed to place students with organizations. This handbook includes a list of agencies in a variety of fields (politics, history, health, cultural arts, community services, etc.) that have requested interns. You may also contact agencies that are not listed and set up an internship that is relevant to Women’s Studies yourself.

For more information about WMNST598 requirements and participating agencies, first review the Women’s Studies Department internships page. Then, make a meeting with the director of the internship program, Dr. Irene Lara; 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.


  • 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. This handbook includes advice for applying to graduate school (you should begin at least a year in advance!) and information about MA/PhD programs in Women's Studies. Furthermore, Women’s Studies faculty organize an “Applying to Graduate School Workshop” for all interested Women’s Studies students. Email [email protected] for relevant handouts and more information.
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.
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 Canvas, through which they send announcements of Women's Studies events and opportunities on campus and in the community. If you want to be added, please fill out this form.

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