Programs & Study Options

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Download: 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.

Download: WGS Major

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

Download: WGS Minor

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

Download: Queer Studies Minor

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 interdisciplinary sexuality-themed courses 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)
    • PHIL 378: Feminist Philosophy (3)
    • PSY 290: Sexual Identities Across the Lifespan (4)
    • PSY 490: Psychology of Gender (4)
    • SOCI 360: Sociology of Sexualities (4)
    • WGS 285: Men and Masculinity (GE E) 3 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

Download: Career Minor in Women's Health

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

Download: 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

Download: WGS Courses

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:

255 Introduction to Queer Studies (3-4 units) (Fall)
This interdisciplinary course offers an introduction to the emergent field of queer studies by analyzing the role, race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality plan in the social construction of modern gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) identities.
280 Women’s Bodies: Health and Body Image (3 units) (Fall and Spring)
This course examines research and theory about the health and body image concerns of women throughout the life cycle, including the gender politics of medical research, mental health, body image, reproductive health and chronic illness. Students will be exposed to current theoretical work and writing about the body in society, including focusing on weight and appearance issues for women of different races and social classes. Women and men will develop the skills necessary to become better consumers of health information, including training in how to evaluate the quality of medical and health information available on the World Wide Web. Satisfies GE, category E.
285 Men’s Health, Men’s Lives (3 units) (Fall and Spring)
Examination of men’s mental and physical health within the larger context of men’s lives. A multidisciplinary perspective will be used to explore how various populations of men experience health, disease and disability, the social sources of health and illness and men’s body image concerns. In addition, this course will develop an understanding of various theories of manhood or masculinity, and explore how men’s participation in various activities—including relationships, family, fatherhood, sports, crime and violence—influence their health and well-being.
301 Feminist Lecture Series (1-2 units) (Fall and Spring)
A weekly lecture series (or occasional workshops) offering presentations and discussions of current issues from feminist perspectives. There is usually a semester-long focus on a particular topic, such as queer studies or women’s health. The lectures are open to the community.
350 Gender, Sexuality and Family (3 units) (Fall and Spring)
An exploration of changing ideals and practices of gender, sexuality and family life in the United States, drawing especially on recent feminist scholarship. Topics for reading and discussion will focus on both women and men. Prerequisites: ENGL 101 or PHIL 101; and one course in sociology, psychology, American history or women’s studies; or consent of the instructor.
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 Asian American women and men fit into debates about sexism and racism in the U.S. – historically and contemporarily. Topics include Asian American participation in women’s civil rights movements as well as popular culture representation.
375 Gender, Race and Class (3 units) (Fall and Spring)
An overview of the interaction of race, sex, and class oppression and resistance in the historical and contemporary experience of Native American, Asian American, African American, and Latin people. The course seeks to enhance understanding of how racism and sexism function in the political, social, and economic systems of the U.S. Cross-listed as AMCS 420 or POLS 330. Satisfies GE, cat. D1 Ethnic Studies (Individual and Society).
385 Gender and Globalization (4 units) (Fall)
This course examines how globalization processes impact women around the world, including within the U.S. Utilizing sociological, historical, and anthropological studies, literary essays, and films we will examine the role the U.S. plays in the global political economy in relation to women’s labor migration, sweatshop labor, and sex trafficking among other topics.
390 Gender, Work and Organization (4 units) (Spring)
A review and critical evaluation of research on gender, work, and organization. Topics include gender differences in earnings, advancement and career selection, bureaucratic and alternative forms of work organization, balancing work and family demands, and practical and policy solutions for gendered problems men and women face in the workplace.
395/499 Community Involvement Program/Internships (1-4 units)
The purpose of CIP is to encourage student involvement in the community. Projects sponsored by Women’s Studies focus upon women’s needs and organizations. Supervised training and experience for advanced students in community agencies concerned with women and gender change. Student teaching is another form of internship. At present we offer credit (and not a grade) for student teaching and off-campus projects. Special contracts are required and are obtainable either in the Department office or the Center for Field Experience. Internships may be paid. Prerequisite: WGS 395 or consent of instructor.
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 research project. Students who are not majoring in WGS may take this class in conjunction with (or after) a methods class in their discipline.
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.
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 same-sex sexualities in history, culture and politics. The course presents queer theory in conjunction with critical race theory, feminist theory, or post-colonial studies. Prerequisite: WGS 255: Introduction to Queer Studies/Instructor consent.
475 Contemporary Feminist Theory (4 units) (Fall)
An overview of the development of feminist thought since WWII in relation to the historical and social conditions of women and men, and to the development of the women’s movement, men’s movement, and gay and lesbian movements. An exploration of the current controversies about how we conceptualize gender difference. The aim of the intellectual work in this course is not only to increase our knowledge, but to enhance our ability to reason theoretically and to link theory with our practice to end gender inequality. Prerequisite: WGS 280, WGS 285, WGS 350 or WGS 375 or consent of instructor.
485 Senior Seminar (4 units) (Spring)
This course provides an opportunity for advanced study on a special issue each time it is offered, including topics such as health, family and work. The special topic will be explored in seminar format for the first half of the course. The second half of the course will be devoted to student presentations on the development of gender analysis within their disciplinary concentrations. Students will write research papers or design organizational or advocacy programming. This course is for seniors. Prerequisites: WGS 350 & 375 or instructor’s consent.
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 course. Student-taught courses must be approved by the Coordinator, and students must follow established procedural guidelines for teaching in the Women’s Studies program. Most student teachers are required to take WGS 492 before teaching and WGS 493 while teaching.
493 Teaching Supervision (1 unit) (Fall and Spring)
In order to continue professional skill development in the teaching of adults, students enrolled in WGS 499 (Intern. In Teaching) are required to enroll in concurrent supervised group discussion relating to the implementation of adult learning theory. Students acting as teaching assistants in the University or teaching adults in q community context are also able to enroll in this course. Prerequisite: EDUC 490. Corequisite: WGS 499 or instructor’s consent.