California Studies

College of Behavioral and Social Studies
Dean: Joel J. Kassiola

California Studies Program
SCI 377
Director: Lee Davis


Professors—Birt, Boxer, Chandler, Cherny, Crawford, Cordova, DeLeon, Geisler, Gregory, Kelley, LeGates, Leonard, LeVeen, Monteverdi, Mustart, Nathan, Niesen, Pahl, Pestrong, Powell, Randall, Seely, Tabb, Tierney, Tygiel, Wilkinson

Associate Professors—Davis, Hossfeld, Johnson, Mar, Murphy, Potepan

Assistant Professors—Carrillo, De La Torre, Mirabal, Quesada



Minor in California Studies

Program Scope

California Studies is a multi-disciplinary program whose purpose it is to study the consensus and conflict, unity and diversity, and the continuity and change that characterize the many cultures, artistic and creative expressions, earth and geosciences, as well as social structures, of past and present California.

Students pursuing this minor may draw upon the strengths of many departments offering courses on the various dimensions of California; in particular, Anthropology, American Studies and Humanities, History, American Indian Studies, Asian American Studies, Art, English, Geography, La Raza Studies, Black Studies, Political Science, Economics, NEXA, Biology, Meteorology, and Geology. Certain core courses are required to obtain the minor, with additional elective courses to be chosen by the student.

In differing measures, each student should emerge from the minor with a grasp of California history and political processes, a knowledge and appreciation of the rich diversity of California cultures, creative arts and literatures, an informed view of California's environmental richness and ecological relationships, and a continuing interest in the mutable and dynamic California landscape.

General Education Cluster in California Studies

One of the General Education Segment II clusters is called "California Cultures and Environments." Over ten courses are offered within this cluster. Students select one course from each of three components. Humanistic Aspects includes courses focusing on the application of knowledge, theories, and methods from the study of California within various academic disciplines as well as such applied settings as health, education, communications, and social movements. Sociological Aspects includes courses focusing on the institutions, norms, and social forces that shape society, history, and culture in California. Scientific Aspects includes courses focusing on the physical aspects of the state of California such as geology, meteorology, and oceanography.

Affiliated Programs at SFSU

The California Studies Association (CSA) is an interdisciplinary association of public intellectuals, housed at SFSU, who are dedicated to understanding, quantifying, writing, and speaking publicly about the dynamic character and potential of California and its citizenry. The CSA was founded in 1990 to encourage the study and exchange of ideas about California's past and present, its diverse people, politics, economy, environment, arts, history, and literature. CSA's members grapple with some aspect of a state which is pivotal in shaping regional, national, international, and global affairs.

The H-CALIFORNIA Internet Resources Site is managed by SFSU. It establishes links with other internet web sites relevant to California Studies.

Career Outlook

California Studies is not in itself a career minor. Rather, this many-sided program prepares men and women for a regional and local application of their major fields of study to the immediate world in which they live, the state of California.

Teaching. The California Studies Minor with its breadth of courses across the SFSU curriculum and its regional emphasis on California offers an excellent preparation for the multiple subject credential in elementary school teaching. By concentrating on courses in a specific credential field—history or social science—California Studies minors can qualify themselves for high school teaching in California.

Other alternatives. A minor in California Studies in combination with a related bachelor of arts or science degree is good preparation for entry into professions requiring advanced degrees. These include law, public administration, city planning, library, and museum work. Independent careers, in writing, in the arts, in politics, and in business, often attract California Studies minors.


Required Core Units
AMST 410/ HUM 450 California Culture 3
HIST 450 History of California 3
Units selected from the following: 9
AIS 450 Perspectives of Native California Indians
AAS 300 Asian Americans in California
BL S 312 Kalifia: The Black Heritage of California
LARA 315 La Raza in California
Total for core 15
Elective Courses
Choose one course from each of the following categories: 9
Humanities and Creative Arts
ENG 531 Selected California Literature
NEXA 398 John Steinbeck and "Doc" Ricketts: Literature and the Sea
HUM/IAC 371 Art and Artists of California
HUM 376 San Francisco
IAC 370 Art and Artists of San Francisco
Behavioral and Social Sciences
ANTH 356 Archaeology of California
ANTH 352 People and Cultures of California
ECON 530 The Political Economy of the San Francisco Bay Area
GEOG 552 Geography of California
GEOG 651 San Francisco Bay Area Environmental Issues
PLSI 473 California Politics
Natural Sciences
BIOL 300 Nature Study
BIOL 305 Marine Plants and Animals of the California Coast
GEOL 350 Geology of the National Parks (by advisement)
GEOL 272 Earthquakes and the San Andreas Fault
GEOL 356 Geology of California
METR 356 California Weather Events
Total for minor 24

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