California Studies  {SF State Bulletin 2011 - 2012}

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California Studies

California Studies Program

HSS 359
Phone: 415-338-1846
Adviser: Phillip Dreyfus



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, Africana Studies, American Indian Studies, American Studies, Anthropology, Asian American Studies, Biology, Economics, English, Environmental Studies, Geography, Geology, History, Hospitality Management, Humanities, Meteorology, Political Science, Latina/Latino Studies and Recreation, Parks, and Tourism. Certain core courses are required to obtain the minor, with additional elective courses to be chosen by the student.


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 dynamic California landscape.


Affiliated Programs at SF State

Liberal Studies

The liberal studies major offers a pattern of courses that emphasize California studies. For details, see the Liberal Studies section of this Bulletin.


American Studies

The American studies program offers a rich range of courses in a California-focused elective program. For details, see the Bachelor of Arts in American Studies section of this Bulletin.


General Education Cluster in California Studies

There is a General Education cluster in Segment III called "California Cultures and Environments." Students select one course from each of three components: California Artistic and Cultural Landscapes, California Social Landscapes, and California Environmental Landscapes.


Students who select this cluster may take an additional four courses to acquire the California Studies Minor. The minor appears on the SF State diploma along with the major degree, while the GE cluster is not listed on the diploma.


Career Outlook

The Minor in California Studies prepares students for regional and local application of their major fields of study to the immediate world in which they live, the state of California. A foundation in California studies is beneficial to those pursuing teaching credentials and careers in business, public policy, public administration, state government, and public history. The minor is also excellent preparation for those pursuing advanced degrees in the social sciences, humanities, earth sciences, or arts.


Minor in California Studies

Core Requirements

Course Title Units
HIST 450 History of California 3

California Artistic and Cultural Landscapes (3 units)

Units chosen from the following:

Course Title
ENG 531 Selected California Literature
HUM 376 Biography of a City: San Francisco
HUM 375 Biography of a City: Los Angeles [topic course]
HUM 450/
AMST 410 
California Culture
HTM 421 California Food, Wine, and Culture

California Social and Ethnic Landscapes (3 units)

Units chosen from the following:

Course Title
AFRS 312 Kalifia: The Black Heritage of California
AIS 410 Perspectives of California Indians
ANTH 352 People and Cultures of California
ANTH 356 Archaeology of California
AA S 300 Asian Americans in California
PLSI 473 California Politics
PLSI 475 San Francisco Political Issues
LTNS 315 Latina/os in California
LTNS 660 Latina/o Politics

California Environmental Landscapes (3 units)

Units chosen from the following:

Course Title
BIOL 300 Nature Study
GEOG 552 Geography of California
GEOG 651 San Francisco Bay Area Environmental Issues
GEOL 272 Earthquakes and the San Andreas Fault
GEOL 350 Geology of the National Parks
GEOL 356 Geology of California
METR 356 California Weather Events

Electives: 9 units - selected from at least two of the above categories.

Total for minor: 21


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