This is an archive of the 2020-2021 University Catalog.
To access the most recent version, please visit

This is an archive of the 2020-2021 University Catalog.
To access the most recent version, please visit


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

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 (3 units)

GWS 100 Introduction to Gender and Women’s Studies (3)
or GWS 110 Women, Work and Family (3)

(Either course serves as a preparatory course for GWS 300.)

2. Upper Division Required Courses (15 units)

GWS 300 Women as Agents of Change (3)
GWS 301 Feminist Theories (3)
GWS 302 Feminist Methods (3)
GWS 305/CS Gender and Women’s Studies Community Service (3)
GWS 400 Senior Seminar in Gender and Women’s Studies (3)

3. Electives (15 units)

Fifteen 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. Three 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.

GWS 220 Men, Masculinity and Patriarchy (3)
GWS 222 Gender, Sexuality and American Indian Communities (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 360 Feminist Ethics (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 338 Philosophy of Religion (3)
PHIL 348 Philosophy and Feminism (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 349 Women in American History (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 433 Women Authors (3)
ENGL 434 19th Century Women Novelists (3)
FLIT 455 Women Writers of Asia (3)
GWS 310 Latin American Women Writers (3)

5. General Education (48 units)

Undergraduate students must complete 48 units of General Education as described in this Catalog.
9 units are satisfied by the following courses in the major: GWS 305/CS fulfills E Lifelong Learning; and GWS 100 or GWS 110 and GWS 300 satisfy F Comparative Cultural Studies (GWS 300 also fulfills the Information Competence requirement).

If taken, AFRS 346, CHS 381, GWS 230 or RS 304 satisfies C2 Humanities; and CHS 346, GWS 220, GWS 222, GWS 320, GWS 340, GWS 370, POLS 350 and/or SOC 324 satisfies D1 Social Sciences.

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: Florence Kyomugisha
Jerome Richfield (JR) 340
(818) 677-3110

Student Learning Outcomes

Students will:

  1. Obtain a level of proficiency in the discipline of Gender and Women’s Studies, which can include but is not limited to knowledge of feminist movements, intersectionality, queer and trans* studies, imperialism and coloniality, transnational feminisms, feminist theories and/or feminist research methods.
  2. Recognize the gender dimension of social, economic, cultural, historical, political, national and global inequalities; become familiar with a range of past and present major issues affecting women and men in society; and learn how to critically assess these issues from a feminist perspective.
  3. Articulate ethical propositions, demonstrate self-reflexivity about their ideas and social and political positions, and practice empathetic listening with one another and with the underprivileged that promote gender, race, class, sexual justice and democratic values.
  4. Develop a sense of agency grounded in the development of their skills in oral and written communication. They learn to express ideas effectively, tailoring arguments and presentation styles to audience and context.
  5. 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, including print and electronic media, film and video, and Internet technologies.