Women and Gender Studies Department {College of Liberal & Creative Arts}

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WGS BA Degree

Bachelor of Arts in Women and Gender Studies

Women and gender studies examines the importance of gender and feminisms in relation to issues such as race, class, sexuality, labor, colonialism, multiculturalism, and globalization. Students study how bodies, families, communities, and nations are gendered in specific cultural, political, and historical locations, and investigate connections to their own lives, roles, and contributions.

The expertise of the department lies in the interdisciplinary, multicultural, and transnational studies of gender inequality. Students are taught to draw from a range of theoretical and methodological approaches in their study of women and gender. Courses consider global structures of power and histories of racism in relation to local, national, and transnational feminist practices. The department provides analysis and debate of innovative work by feminists who confront and transform various institutions and arenas, including academia, politics, law, sexuality, advocacy, pedagogy, non-profit groups, global non-governmental organizations, communities, labor struggles, and cultural productions.

The goals of the department include the development of conceptual, analytic, and critical thinking skills in relation to gender and feminism in a transnational framework; the ability to integrate academic studies in women and gender studies into personal and professional goals; the development of skills to forumulate and implement theoretically-informed political, cultural, and community action; the ability to analyze gender from an interdisciplinary perspective, using a range of methodological tools; an historical understanding of gender in relation to structural inequality, social movements, migration flows, and labor struggles; and the ability to critically examine representation, politics and cultural production through a feminist lens.

Department Chair:

Deborah Cohler (dcohler@sfsu.edu)

Undergraduate Advisors:

Evren Savci (A-C)
Nan Alamilla Boyd (D-G)
Martha Kenney (H-L)
Julietta Hua (M-R)
Kasturi Ray (S-Z)


Students wishing to declare Women and Gender Studies as their major should make an appointment with one of the undergraduate advisors. (Advisees are assigned by last name - see above). Before meeting with an adviser make sure you fill out an advising form.

Download WGS Major Advising form (pdf) Get Adobe Reader

Students majoring in Women and Gender Studies may draw from both WGS courses, and courses focusing on women, gender and sexuality. The choice of electives is flexible, and your advisor will assist you in devising a program appropriate to your own needs and interests. With the consent of your academic advisor, you may also use courses with a focus on women taken at other colleges and universities as part of the Women and Gender Studies major.

The Major requires at least 39 units, no more than 9 of them lower division; 12 units must be chosen from required courses as follows:

Required Courses:

WGS 200 Introduction to Women and Gender Studies
WGS 300GW: Politics of Gender, Race and Nation
WGS 690: Senior Seminar
WGS 698: Internship

27 units of electives are required, of which 21 units must be taken within the department and 6 units may be taken outside the department.

WGS electives offer exciting interdisciplinary and innovative approaches to a wide variety of subject areas. These courses include Gender, Health, and Environment; Gender, Poverty and Globalization; History of African American Women; Lesbian, Queer and Transgender Identity; Gender, Race and Sexuality in Popular Music; Gender and the Law; Gender, Globalization and Women's Human Rights; Women Writers and the Politics of Decolonization; Women in the Muslim and Arab Worlds; Queer Literatures and Media; and many others.

General Education

Students may double-count a maximum of 12 units for both General Education and the Women and Gender Studies major. Some GE clusters focus on women or gender, and others include a course or courses on women as a component.

Credit/No credit

A maximum of 9 units within the Major can be taken Credit/No Credit, but students are strongly urged to take all courses within the Major for letter grades.


On the morning of the University Commencement Ceremony (usually from 10:00 a.m. - noon), the Department of Women and Gender Studies hosts a party to recognize all graduating WGS BA (major and minor) and MA students and to celebrate with them and their friends and family. The party includes a brief program where each graduating student’s name is read. Students who are graduating in the Fall semester may decide whether or not they would like to be recognized either the semester before or after (not both). The party is free and open to all who would like to join the celebration. In the interests of space, however, we require that students RSVP with the number of their guests by two weeks before the party.

Career Options

Administrator of Nonprofit Women's Groups
Administrator of Women's Health Clinic
Advocate for Women and Gender Issues
Affrirmative Action Officer, Government, Business, and Industry, and Educational Institutions
Career Counselor for Women
Community Organizer/Outreach Consultant
Coordinator of Re-entry or Adult Education Programs
Coordinatior of Women's Programs in Government and Business
Counselor, Social Servies for Women
Criminal Justice Advocate for Women
Director of Women's Center
Health Care Provider
Lobbyist for Women's Issues
Media Analyst
Policy Analyst on Women and Gender Issues
Researcher on Women's Projects
Union Organizerhttps://sites.sfsu.edu/wgsdept/node/87

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