California Studies

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

California Studies Program
SCI 377
Fax: 415-338-7047
Director: Lee Davis


Professors—Birt, Boxer, Chandler, Cherny, Cordova, Crawford, De Leon, Issel, LeGates, Leonard, LeVeen, Monteverdi, Mustart, Pahl, Pestrong, Randall, Sim, Tabb, Tierney, Tygiel, Wilkinson

Associate Professors—Carrillo, Davis, Hossfeld, Johnson, Mar, Murphy, Niesen, Quesada, Steier

Assistant Professors—Mirabal

Lecturers—Davila, Drescher, Drew

Adjunct—Caldararo, Fentress


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, 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 III 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.

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.


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
  RAZA 315 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  
HUM 376 San Francisco
CA 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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