Programs & Study Options

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Description of Major

Women's and Gender Studies is a 44 unit major housed in the School of Social Sciences at Sonoma State University. Women's and Gender Studies is an interdisciplinary and dynamic discipline that is a major presence at universities throughout the country and increasingly, the world. The major offers students the ability to acquire knowledge and develop skills in the following ways:

Knowledge.

Students are trained to critically examine the experiences and opportunities of women and men in relation to race, ethnicity, class, sexuality, and nation. Students develop an understanding of masculinity and femininity as historically and culturally specific constructions that shape human development. Students acquire an advanced appreciation of how and why gender influences and is embedded in the division of labor, mechanisms of social control, and major societal institutions including the family, health care, education, law, religion, the workplace, and the media. Students gain important knowledge about historical and contemporary forms of resistance and activism around issues of gender including feminist movements, gay rights movements, men's movements, women's health movements, and others. Students learn about the major themes in feminist theory and applications of feminist theory to real life problems.

Skills.

The curriculum consistently reinforces the development of strengthened abilities in writing, critical thinking, group project planning and public speaking. Furthermore, WGS students are required to complete a major research project (WGS 425) that provides them with skills in qualitative data collection and analysis.

Experience in the real world.

WGS requires a 4 unit internship. Most students complete this requirement through service in several settings, thereby increasing student experience in different work environments and enhancing their resumes for employment. A complete databank of available internships is maintained and continually updated by the WGS Department. Examples of internships include: Planned Parenthood, United Against Sexual Assault, YWCA, Circle of Sisters, several local elementary and secondary schools, Read to Me Program, Women's Health Resource Center at Sutter Community Hospital, National Women's History Project, and numerous other opportunities.

Ability to double major or minor.

WGS encourages students to double major or minor in another discipline. The 44 unit major is designed to effectively and efficiently coordinate the number of units necessary to accomplish these goals.

Preparation for advanced study.

Many WGS majors pursue advanced degrees. WGS prepares students by providing a foundation in the major trends in feminist theory and research and research and writing skills. Past students have presented papers at conferences and submitted articles for publication in preparation for graduate school. WGS majors have also spent a semester in a university in another country (Ireland and Australia most recently) providing them with experiences and opportunities valuable to advanced education and career development.

WGS Major study plan

Women’s & Gender Studies Major - 44 Units

  1. Core Requirements – 21 units
    • WGS 280 Women’s Bodies: Health and Body Image (GE, category E)
    • or WGS 285 Men’s Health, Men’s Lives (GE, category E)
    • or WGS 350 Gender, Sexuality & Family (GE, category E) 3 units
    • WGS 375 Gender, Race and Class (GE, category D1; Ethnic Studies) 3 units
    • WGS 425 Feminist Research Methods (Fall only) 4 units
    • WGS 475 Contemporary Feminist Theory (Fall only) 4 units
    • WGS 485 Senior Seminar (Spring only) 4 units
    • Electives: Any combination of courses on gender, 3 units are highly encouraged to be from WGS.
  2. Disciplinary Concentration – 15 units
    Students must specialize in one discipline (defined as any recognized major or minor in the University) by completing 15 units of course work in that area as follows:
    1. A course on gender (3-4 units). Examples include: Sociology of Gender, Women Writers, Gender and Archeology or Women in U.S. History.
    2. An introductory (3-4 units) course in the discipline (may be lower or upper division).
    3. Additional upper division units (8-10 units) in the disciplinary area chosen in consultation with a WGS advisor.
  3. Skills Application in Education or Human Services – 8 units
    • WGS 390 Gender, Work and Organization (Spring only) 4 units
    • WGS 395/499 CIP/Internships 4 units
      Internships must be completed in an appropriate organization selected in consultation with a WGS advisor.

For more information, please visit the Women’s & Gender Studies Deptartment Office in Rachel Carson Hall (RCH) #18 or call 664-2840. Students should make an appointment by contacting:

Dr. Lena McQuade
Office: RCH 31
Phone: 707-664-2950
Dr. Don Romesburg
Office: RCH 11
Phone: 707-664-2574
Dr. Charlene Tung
Office: RCH 32
Phone: 707-664-2086

WGS Minor study plan

Women’s & Gender Studies Minor – 16 Units

  1. Core Requirements – 10 units
    • WGS 280 Women’s Bodies: Health and Body Image
    • or (GE Category E)
    • WGS 285 Men’s Health, Men’s Lives 3 units
    • or (GE Category E)
    • WGS 350 Gender, Sexuality and Family
    • (GE Category E)
    • WGS 375 Gender, Race and Class 3 units
    • (GE Category D1, Ethnic Studies)
    • WGS 475 Contemporary Feminist Theory 4 units
  2. Supporting Courses – 6 units
    Minors in Women’s and Gender Studies must complete at least two courses from at least two of the following five categories for a total of 6 units. These courses are selected in consultation with a WGS advisor.
    Note: Courses on women and gender offered in other departments can fulfill these requirements.
    1. Women and Gender in American Society
    2. Women and Gender in the Humanities
    3. Biological and Psychological Perspective on Women or Gender
    4. Women or Gender in International and Cross-Cultural Perspective
    5. Special Topics on Women or Gender

For more information, please visit the Women’s & Gender Studies Deptartment Office in Rachel Carson Hall (RCH) #18 or call 664-2840. Students should make an appointment by contacting:

Dr. Lena McQuade
Office: RCH 31
Phone: 707-664-2950
Dr. Don Romesburg
Office: RCH 11
Phone: 707-664-2574
Dr. Charlene Tung
Office: RCH 32
Phone: 707-664-2086

Queer Studies Minor study plan

Queer Studies Minor - 18 Units

  1. Core Requirements – 12 units
    • WGS 255 Intro. to Queer Studies (GE D1) (4 units)
    • WGS 301 Queer Studies Lecture Series (1 unit)
    • WGS 350 Gender, Sexuality, and Family (GE E) (3 units)
    • WGS 455 Queer Theory/Queer Lives (4 units)
  2. Electives – 6-8 units
    Two (or more) chosen in consultation with your Queer Studies Minor advisor.
    Examples of suitable electives:
    • ANTH 302: Biological Basis of Sex Diffferences(4)
    • ANTH/HD 318: Human Development: Sex and the Life Cycle (GE E) (3)
    • HIST 449: Gender and Sexuality in Latin America (4)
    • NURS 480: Health, Sexuality, and Society (GE E) (3)
    • NURS 490 The Sexual Imperative (GE C2) (4)
    • PSY 362: Human Sexualities (4)
    • PSY 405: Psychology of Gender (4)
    • SOCI 360: Sociology of Sexualities (4)
    • WGS 285: Men and Masculinity (GE E) (3)
    • WGS 301: Queer Studies Lecture Series (repeat for more units)
    • Queer/LGBT/sexuality-related Special Studies courses offered in Sciences, Arts/Humanities, and Social Sciences.

For more information contact the Queer Studies Minor Advisor or visit the Women’s & Gender Studies Deptartment Office in Rachel Carson Hall (RCH) #18.

Dr. Don Romesburg
Office: RCH 11
Phone: 707/664-2574

Career Minor in Women's Health study plan

Career Minor in Women's Health - 20 Units

  1. Core Requirements – 10 units
    • WGS 280 Women's Bodies: Health and Image (3 units)
    • NURS 480 Health, Sexuality and Society (3 units) or WGS 350 Gender, Sexuality and Family (3 units) (GE Category E, Upper Division)
    • Practical Application
      • WGS 499 Internship in Women's Health Setting (4 units) or NURS 497 Nursing Externship Setting (3 units)
  2. Electives – 10 units
    All electives must be health related (including mental health), with a significant focus on women's health issues. Electives are chosen in consultation with the Career Minor in Women's Health Advisor.
    Suggested electives (note: offerings vary by year, check with department offering the course)
    • ANTH 318: Human Development: Sex and Life Cycle (3 units, GE category E)
    • BIOL 311: Sexually Transmitted Diseases (3 units, GE category B3)
    • BIOL 318: Biology of Aging (3 units, GE category E)
    • GERN 300 Basic Gerontology (3 units, GE category E)
    • GERN 319/SOCI 319: Aging and Society (4 units, GE category D1)
    • KIN 316: Women in Sports: Issues, Images, Identities (3 units)
    • NURS 303: Maternity and Women's Health Care (NURS only) (6 units)
    • PSYC 358: Health Psychology (3-4 units)
    • PSYC 362: Human Sexuality (Summer) (4 units)
    • PSYC 405: Psychology of Gender (4 units)
    • PSY 408/GERN 408: Transitions in Adult Development (3-4 units)
    • PSY 454: Biofeedback and Somatic & Stress Management (4 units)
    • SCI 150: Intro to Careers in Health Professions (1 unit)
    • WGS 301 Women's Health Lecture Series (1-2 units, Fall)
    • WGS440/SOCI 440:Sociology of Reproduction (4)

For more information contact the Women’s Health Minor Advisor or visit the Women’s & Gender Studies Department Office in Rachel Carson Hall (RCH) #18.

Dr. Lena McQuade
Office: RCH 31
Phone: 707/664-2950

Requirements for a Double Major

The Women’s and Gender Studies major is designed to facilitate a Bachelor of Arts degree with a double major in any other major offered as a Bachelor of Arts at SSU. The double major is a strength for any resume, as it provides prospective employers with evidence of substantial undergraduate education in more than one field. The double major is especially encouraged for students who want to combine graduate study in a more traditional discipline or field with an emphasis on gender issues.

The WGS major is a 44-unit series of course. Students pursuing the double major must declare their majors in both departments and must have at least 24 units in each major that do not count for the other major. Academic advising must occur in both departments and WGS faculty will only advise for the WGS major. Please note that departments may differ in the units that they will accept toward a double major and as a result, ongoing advising in both departments is critical for a well organized study plan.

  1. Required courses that must be completed in WGS: 26 units
    • WGS 350, WGS 280, or WGS 285 (all category E in GE) 3 units
    • WGS 375 (GE, category D1, meets Ethnic Studies requirement) 3 units
    • WGS 390 (Gender, Work, and Organization) 4 units
    • WGS 425 (Feminist Research Methods) 4 units
    • WGS 475 (Contemporary Feminist Theory) 4 units
    • WGS 485 (Senior Seminar) 4 units
    • WGS 395/499 (CIP/Internship) 4 units
  2. Courses that may be taken in another department that WGS will 'double' count: 18 units
    1. Disciplinary Concentration
      WGS majors are required to take 15 units in another major or minor on campus. All of these units may be counted toward a double major.
      These courses include:
      1. A course on women, men, or gender in the disciplinary concentration 3-4 units
      2. An introductory course (upper or lower division) in the discipline 3-4 units
      3. Additional upper division units in the disciplinary concentration chosen in consultation with a WGS advisor. 6-8 units
    2. Electives
      WGS majors are required to complete 3 units of electives.
      • The electives are highly encouraged to include any course(s) on women, men, or gender issues offered in WGS. 3 units.

For more information contact the Women’s Health Minor Advisor or visit the Women’s & Gender Studies Deptartment Office in Rachel Carson Hall (RCH) #18.

Dr. Lena McQuade
Office: RCH 31
Phone: 707/664-2950

WGS Courses

Women's and Gender Studies is a 45 unit major housed in the School of Social Sciences at Sonoma State University. Women's and Gender Studies is an interdisciplinary and dynamic discipline that is a major presence at universities throughout the country and increasingly, the world. The major offers students the ability to acquire knowledge and develop skills in the following ways:

255. Introduction to Queer Studies (4 units) (Fall)
This interdisciplinary course offers an introduction to the field of Queer Studies by analyzing the role of race, gender, sexuality, and nationalism in the social construction of modern gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer (GLBTQ) identities. Students also learn of queer theoretical approaches to politics, culture, and society. Satisfies GE Area D1
280. Women’s Bodies: Health and Image ( 4 units) (Fall and Spring) .
This course examines research and theory about the health and body image concerns of women across race, ethnicity, sexuality, and class throughout the life cycle. This includes health advocacy, gendered representations, women’s health movements, the gender politics of medical research, and sexual and reproductive health. Satisfies GE Area E
285. Men and Masculinity ( 4 units) (Fall and Spring)
This course examines construction of masculinity across axes of race, sexuality, class, nation, and abil ity. Utilizing a multidisciplinary perspective, this course addresses various theories of masculinity and masculinity’s impact on people’s lives in areas such as relationships, media representation, work, culture, development, and health. Satisfies GE Area E.
301. Gender Studies Lecture Series (1 - 4 units) (Fall and Spring)
A weekly lecture series (or occasional workshops) offering presentations and discussions of current issues from feminist and/or queer perspectives. There is usually a semester - long focus on a particular topic. The lectures are open to the community. May be repeated for credit .
311. Special Topics in Women and Gender Studies (1 - 4) (Fall and Spring)
A variable - topics seminar focusing upon intensive study of issues related to WGS in society. May be repeated for credit with different topic.
325. Youth: Gender Perspectives (3 - 4 units) (Once every other year )
This course examines youth, focusing on the complex interconnections of gender, race/ethnicity, social class, sexuality, and othe r factors in understanding the experiences and social conditions of youth in the U.S., as well as the methodological issues that arise in conducting research on youth. This course requires community service learning.
330 . Psychology of Women (3 - 4 units ) (Spring)
An exploration of the psychology of women, with attention to issues of power and conflict, intimacy and dependence, special concerns in therapy for women, and the impact of race, class, ethnicity, and sexual preference o n women’s psychological development. Originates in Psychology. Cross - listed as PSY 404.
350. Gender, Sexuality and Family (3 - 4 units units) (Fall and Spring)
An exploration of changing ideals and practices of gender, sexuality and family l ife in the United States, drawing especi ally on recent feminist scholarship. Topics for reading and discussion will focus on both women and men. Fulfills upper - division GE Area E (The Integrated Person).
365. Women’s History and Women’s Activism (3 - 4 units ) (Spring)
This course will take an activist - historical perspective on the history of American women. We will study historical figures, events, and movements central to the history of feminist activism for equality and social justice. The class will address the politics of writing women into history and documenting the diversity of women’s activism. Cross - listed as HIST 345.
370. Gender in Asian America (3 - 4 units) (Once per year)
This interdisciplinary course examines gender, race, class, and sexuality in Asian America. We consider how Asia n American women and men fit into debates about sexism and racism in the United States - historically and contemporarily. Topics include Asian American participation in women’s/civil right movements as well as popular culture representations. Cross - listed with AMCS 370.
375. Gender, Race and Class (3 units) (Fall and Spring)
An exploration of the intersection of gender, race, and class in the lives of U.S. women and men through a historical approach to the formations of social and political movements, the construction and policing of identity categories, and demands for equality and justice. Satisfies GE Area D1 (Individual and Society) Meets Ethnic Studies requirement.
380. Gender and Social Movements (3 units)
Social movements organized around gender i ssues and identities are significant sources of social change in modern societies. This course analyzes the structure and dynamics of social movements based on gender, with attention to the roles of organizations, resources, leadership, recruitment, commit ment, values, ideology, political culture, and countermovements. Case studies will emphasize the women’s suffrage movement, the women’s peace movement, the feminist movement that began in the 1960s as well as its offshoots and countermovements, the gay and lesbian rights movement, and recent men’s movements.
385. Gender and Globalization ( 3 - 4 units) (Once per year)
This class will use an interdisciplinary approach to explore how gender, race, class, sexuality, nation, and colonialism intersect locally and globally and to understand how gender shapes the lived realities of women world - wide. We will frame our analyses within an understanding of the processes of globalization and global communities .
390. Gender and Work (4 units) (Spring)
This course explores intersections of gender, race, class, immigration, and nation within the U.S. labor market. We examine situations facing workers across economic sectors ranging from professionals to service sector labor. Topics may include: juggling work and family, disc rimination/harassment, welfare reform,globalization, and activism/resistance to workplace challenges. Prerequisite: WGS 255, 280, 285, 350, 375 or instructor consent
395 . Community Involvement Program (1 - 4 units )
The purpose of CIP is to encourage student involvement in the community. Units may be earned for work related to WGS. Cr/NC only. May be repeated for credit. 399 . Student Instructed Course (1 - 4 units ) An introductory or advanced course designed by a sen ior or graduate student and taught under the supervision of faculty sponsor(s). Cr/NC only.
405 . Psychology Of Gender (4 units )
Explores gender through a social psychological perspective. Topics include gender socialization, the structural function of gender stereotypes, masculinity, and gender discrimination. Course originates in the Psychology Department and is cross - listed as PSY 405.
425. Feminist Research Methods (4 units) (Fall)
A feminist critique of traditional methods of constructing knowledge & research practices and a discussion of gender - inclusive research strategies. Students will be given instruction in library and electronic information retrieval, and in grant writing for research funding. Students will design, execute and report on a re search project. Students who are not majoring in WGS may take this class in conjunction with (or after) a methods class in their discipline.
430 . Women and Crime (4 units )
An in - depth analysis of women/girls and crime in the field of criminology and criminal justice. The class examines the significance of gender in pathways to crime as well as the nature and extent of female offending, victimization, and incarceration. The course focuses on feminist theory and methodology. Prerequisites: course restri cted to WGS Majors and Minors. Course originates in CCJS, and is cross - listed as CCJS 430.
440. Sociology of Reproduction (3 - 4 units) (Once per year)
An exploration of sociological perspectives on human reproduction. Topics include reproduction and gender identity, the social implications of reproductive technologies, historical and contemporary perspectives on normal pregnancy and childbirth, the cultural context for breastfeeding, and the politics of reproductive rights and choices in the United States. Cross - listed with Soci 440.
449. Gender and Sexuality In Latin America (4 units)
This course examines changing definitions, institutions, and behaviors related to gender, sexuality, and the family in Latin America from indigenous civilizations to contemp orary societies. Topics include the transition from European colonies to nation - states, and the social, economic, and political changes in Latin America. Course originates in History Department and is cross - listed as HIST 449.
451. Feminist Perspectives in Literature (4 units)
Feminist Perspectives is an advanced course in reading, writing, and research that will engage feminist perspectives in literature. This course is interdisciplinary in approach and is conducted in a semin ar format. May be repeatable once for credit. This course is a cross - list with ENGL 451
455. Queer Theory, Queer Lives (4 units) (Spring)
This interdisciplinary course offers advanced work in queer studies by looking at the production of theories about sa me - sex sexualities in history, culture, and politics. The course presents queer theory in conjunction with critical race theory, feminist theory, and post - colonial studies. Cross - listed as HIST 447
475. Contemporary Feminist Theory (4 units) (Fall)
This c ourse examines both historical and contemporary trends in feminist theory. Students examine how feminist theory might address the complex relationship between race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class, and nation as they relate to the production of knowled ge, the implementation of theory and practice, and social change/activism. Prerequisite: WGS 255, WGS 280, WGS 285, WGS 350, or WGS 375.
485. Senior Seminar (4 units) (Spring)
This course provides WGS students an opportunity for advanced study on a specia l topic each semester (determined by instructor). The seminar format allows students an intensive experience and heightened responsibility for course content. The course should be taken during the student’s senior year. Prerequisite: WGS 475
492. Syllabus Design (1 unit) (Fall and Spring)
Students work on an individual basis with a faculty member to develop reading materials, lecture and discussion topics, and assignments appropriate to the teaching of a specific student - taught course in women’s and gender studies. Student - taught courses must be approved by the coordinator, and students must follow established procedural guidelines for teaching in the women’s and gender studies program. Most student teachers are required to take WGS 492 before teaching, and WGS 493 while teaching. May be repeated for credit.
493. Teaching Supervision (1 unit) (Fall and Spring)
Students acting as teaching assistants or student - teachers enroll in this to gain professional skills development with a faculty member. 495 . Special Studies (1 - 4 units ) Upper - division students may elect to do an independent research or action project under the direction of a women’s and gender studies faculty member. May be repeated for credit.
499 . Internship (1 - 4 units )
Supervised training and experience for advanced students in community agencies concerned with women’s and men’s issues and gender change. Student teaching of a student - taught University course is another form of internship. At present we offer credit (and not a grade) for st udent teaching and off - campus projects. Internships may be paid.
500 . Seminar in Feminist Theory and Research in Social Sciences (3 units )
A survey of feminist critiques of social science theory and research in various disciplines (depending on student i nterest) -- anthropology, history, political science, psychology, and sociology. A survey of feminist attempts to reformulate and transform social science theory and methods, including debates and disagreements among feminist scholars. Requirements will in clude an individual research project and analysis. Prerequisite: at least one course in a social science and at least one course that focuses on women or gender (course may be at graduate or undergraduate level).