Program: Gender and Women’s Studies, B.A.

Program Description

The Gender and Women’s Studies department emphasizes interdisciplinary, cross-cultural and transnational studies with a focus on the intersectionality of gender, race, class and sexuality. It includes coursework in feminist theories, women and social movements, transnational feminisms, women of color feminisms, postcolonial feminism, women’s economic conditions in the context of globalization and development, productions of women in the media and literature, women and religion, queer studies, women’s health and masculinity studies.

The Gender and Women’s Studies department teaches students to view the world with a critical analytical approach grounded in a social justice framework. The department adheres to a disciplinary practice that centers on an integrative, intersectional framing of issues concerning gender, race, class, sexuality, nationality, ethnicity, age and the differently abled.

Program Requirements

1. Lower Division Required Courses (6 units)

*Either course serves as a preparatory course for GWS 300.

2. Upper Division Required Courses (12 units)

GWS 300 Women as Agents of Change (3)
GWS 301 Feminist Theories (3)
GWS 302 Feminist Methods (3)
GWS 400 Senior Seminar in Gender and Women’s Studies (3)

3. Electives (15 units)

15 units of electives must be taken from the list below. Up to 12 units of electives can be Experimental and Selected Topics courses, as long as the suffix is different. 3 units may be taken outside the department in consultation with a Gender and Women’s Studies advisor.

Additional courses require the consent of the department chair or department advisor. Students may, with the approval of the Gender and Women’s Studies chair, receive credit for up to 3 units of independent study, which may be counted as an elective in the major. Courses can be taken as either electives or concentration, but not both. The 200-level GWS lower division courses can count as electives.

AIS 222/GWS 222 Gender, Sexuality, and American Indian Communities (3)
GWS 220 Men, Masculinity and Patriarchy (3)
GWS 230 Women and Entertainment (3)
GWS 315 Gender, Sexuality and Islam in the U.S. (3)
GWS 320 Women and Urban Life/Urban Space (3)
GWS 340 Women, Gender and Global Development (3)
GWS 351 Gender, Race, Class and Sexuality (3)
GWS 370 Women and Violence (3)
GWS 380 Sexual and Reproductive Health (3)
GWS 396A-Z Experimental Topics (3)
GWS 410 Sex, Lies and Media (3)
GWS 420 Women and Gender in Islamic Societies (3)
GWS 430 Global Sexualities (3)
GWS 440 Latin American Feminisms (3)
GWS 495A-Z Selected Topics (3)

4. Concentration (12 units)

All students must also complete a 12-unit concentration from the list of seven possible concentration areas below. Students choose any four courses from the list within each concentration. They may also design a concentration in consultation with the department chair of Gender and Women’s Studies. However, students should plan their overall course of study to ensure that they complete a total of 40 upper division units (through courses in the major and/or GE) by the time they graduate. Students should see an advisor if they have questions.

a. Philosophy and Religion Concentration (12 units)

ANTH 308 Gender and Culture (3)
GWS 315 Gender, Sexuality and Islam in the U.S. (3)
GWS 420 Women and Gender in Islamic Societies (3)
JS 330 Women in the Jewish Experience (3)
PHIL 337 Philosophy of Religion (3)
PHIL 348 Feminist Philosophy (3)
RS 304 Women and Religion (3)

b. Race and Ethnicity Concentration (12 units)

c. Communication and Media Concentration (12 units)

d. Law and Public Policy Concentration (12 units)

BLAW 391 Women and the Law (3)
GWS 370 Women and Violence (3)
HIST 349A American Women I (3)
HIST 349B Women in American History Since 1848 (3)
POLS 350 Great Questions in Politics (3)
POLS 361 Introduction to Public Policy (3)
POLS 448 Women and Politics in the United States and the World (3)

e. Social Work and Welfare Concentration (12 units)

GWS 370 Women and Violence (3)
FCS 340 Marriage and Family Relations (3)
HSCI 231 Women and Health (3)
SOC 324 Sociology of Sex and Gender (3)
SOC 325 Sex Roles and Work (3)
SOC 357 Anti-Oppressive Social Work Practice (3)

f. Criminology Concentration (12 units)

BLAW 391 Women and the Law (3)
CJS 418 Gender and Crime (3)
GWS 370 Women and Violence (3)
SOC 304 Sociology of Deviance (3)
SOC 324 Sociology of Sex and Gender (3)
SOC 355 Criminology (3)

g. Literature Concentration (12 units)

AFRS 346 Contemporary Black Female Writers (3)
CHS 381 Contemporary Chicana Literature (3)
ENGL 369 Lesbian Writers (3)
ENGL 431 Images of Women in Literature (3)
ENGL 434 19th Century Women Novelists (3)
FLIT 455 Women Writers of Asia (3)

5. General Education (48 units)

Undergraduate students must complete 48 units of General Education as described in this Catalog, including 3 units of coursework meeting the Ethnic Studies (ES) graduation requirement.

9 units are satisfied by the following courses in the major: GWS 100 satisfies C2 Humanities or F Comparative Cultural Studies, or GWS 110 satisfies D1 Social Sciences or F Comparative Cultural Studies; GWS 300 satisfies 3 units of upper division D1 Social Sciences or F Comparative Cultural Studies and fulfills the Information Competence requirement; and GWS 205/CS satisfies E Lifelong Learning.

If taken, QS 201 satisfies A3 Critical Thinking; GWS 351 satisfies C2 Humanities or 3 units of upper division D1 Social Sciences; AFRS 346, CHS 381, GWS 230, PHIL 337 or RS 304 satisfies C2 Humanities; AIS 222/GWS 222, CHS 346, FCS 340, GWS 220, GWS 320, GWS 340, GWS 370, POLS 350 and/or SOC 324 satisfies 3-6 units of D1 Social Sciences; and COMS 360 satisfies 3 units of F Comparative Cultural Studies and fulfills the Information Competence requirement.

Total Units in the Major: 45

General Education Units: 39

Additional Units: 36

Total Units for the B.A. Degree: 120


Department of Gender and Women’s Studies
Chair: Christina Ayala-Alcantar
Jerome Richfield (JR) 340
(818) 677-3110

Program Learning Outcomes

Students receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Gender and Women’s Studies will be able to:

  1. Identify and explain core concepts in the field of gender, women’s and sexuality studies.
  2. Critically analyze historical and contemporary issues from a feminist perspective.
  3. Demonstrate proficiency in specialized topics in the field that may include knowledge of feminist movements; global sexualities; intersectional, transnational and decolonial theories; masculinity studies; critical development studies; gender-based violence; and gender and human rights, etc.
  4. Articulate and employ theories and methods of feminist research and knowledge production.
  5. Develop effective communication skills through oral and written assignments.
  6. Obtain media literacy and information competency by learning how to use visual media and new technologies to assess, interpret and generate information from a variety of sources.
  7. Develop a sense of feminist agency to further principles of equality and justice through civic engagement within and beyond CSUN.

ADT/STAR Act Degree Road Maps

Students who have graduated with a verified Associate Degree for Transfer and have been admitted to a CSUN program that has been deemed similar will be able to complete the baccalaureate degree within 60 semester units. For additional information, see ADT/STAR Act Degree Road Maps.

Gender and Women's Studies - AA-T in Global Studies (2024-Present)

Gender and Women's Studies - AA-T in Social Justice Studies (2024-Present)

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