Bulletin--Women Studies Program

Women Studies

College of Humanities
Dean: Nancy McDermid

Department of Women Studies
HUM 315
Chair: Susan Shimanoff (Acting)

Graduate Coordinator: Mina Caulfield
Undergraduate Advisers: Chinosole, Inderpal Grewal


Associate Professors—Caulfield, Chinosole, Grewal

Lecturers—Hubbard, Keller, Mahaney, McPhail, Woo

B.A. in Women Studies

Minor in Women Studies

M.A. in Women Studies

Program Scope
Women Studies encourages students to examine, interpret, critique, and appreciate the experiences of women. Striving to be as inclusive as possible, courses take into consideration commonalities and differences of cultural, racial, and class background, as well as of sexual orientation. The course of study places women in specific cultural and historical contexts in relation to the men, children, families, and communities in their lives. The analysis treats the influence of sex role differentiation and existing social structures and institutions on human development in present and past societies. Especially on the upper division and graduate level of study, courses cover the evolving body of new knowledge and theories of feminist scholars, writers, artists, social critics, and social activists. Because the department's purview is international, feminists of the multi-ethnic communities of North, South, and Central America are studied alongside those of Third World and European feminists. The program stresses not only the acquisition of analytic skills but also integrates personal with social awareness in the course offerings.

Courses which fulfill major requirements are offered by the Women Studies Department as well as by other departments. For Women Studies variant topic courses and focus-on-women courses in other departments, the Class Schedule must be consulted each semester.

In consultation with an adviser, each student will develop a major program utilizing both Women Studies and other departmental courses. The emphasis on choice of courses beyond the required core and to some extent within the core will depend upon the focus of the major and the student's career or graduate study objectives. Majors must confer with the department chair in the early stages of their B.A. work for referral to an appropriate adviser.

The Women Studies minor is an 18-unit sequence well-adapted for combination with many existing majors. The twelve units of requirements and stipulated electives and six units of free electives provide a grounding in feminist perspectives and theory, and the opportunity to acquire background on feminist issues in a number of given disciplinary fields (e.g., history, psychology, sociology, literature, ethnic studies, and so on). Students interested in pursuing this minor should see the Women Studies Chair who will direct them to the appropriate adviser.

The Master of Arts in Women Studies is cross-disciplinary, enabling students to combine core and elective courses in Women Studies with electives in other departments and programs across the campus. The program, focusing on international and U.S. women of color issues, enables students to pursue advanced study of the history, status, and contributions of women in different cultures, and of the relationships among feminist theories, social/global structures, and women's lives.

Career Outlook
The B.A. is a liberal arts/humanities degree that focuses on women's issues in literature, history, sociology, anthropology, and ethnic studies. The major provides the incentive, knowledge, and skills that prepare students for a variety of graduate programs; and for careers in traditional and alternative social and educational institutions, as well as in national and international organizations that require expertise in women's issues. Some students have used the degree as a foundation for graduate work in professional degree programs such as teaching, counseling, social work, law, public health, administration, and advocacy.

The M.A. in Women Studies enhances students' ability to participate professionally in a range of organizations in the public and private sector, particularly those addressing women's issues. It has also been a preparatory degree for students interested in teaching or in pursuing doctoral degrees in related fields.


Courses for this program are listed in alphabetical sequence (see Women Studies discipline in the Announcement of Courses section).

The major requires at least 39 units, of which 30 must be at the upper division level. Eighteen units must be chosen from Women Studies core courses as follows:

WOMS 200	Women: The Basic Questions	 3
WOMS 301	Women in Groups or
	WOMS 302	Translating Women's 
			Experience or
	WOMS 303	Woman as Creative Agent	 3
WOMS 400	Critical Analysis and Feminist 
		Research			 3
Any approved course focusing on third world 
women						 3
	Courses presently available:
	WOMS 290	Literature of U.S. 
			Women of Color
	WOMS 544	Contemporary Asian 
			Women Writers
	WOMS 561	Women of Color in 
			the U.S.
	WOMS 562	History of African–
			American Women
	WOMS 564	Women Writers and 
	WOMS 565	Women in the Muslim and 
			Arab Worlds
	AAS 603		Seminar on Asian 
			American Women
	AIS 420		American Indian Women: 
			A Heritage of Equality
	ETHS 571	Women, Class, and Race
	LARA 410	La Raza Women
WOMS 611	Female Sexuality: Social and 
		Theoretical Perspectives or
	WOMS 621	Feminist Thought	 3
WOMS 698	Work Study in Feminist Projects	 3
Electives in Women Studies, or focus-on-women 
courses in departments, or disciplinary courses 
to focus on a particular theme, issue, or set of 
skills based upon each student's academic 
interests and goals. Approval by a Women Studies 
adviser is mandatory.				21
		Total				39


WOMS 200	Women: The Basic Questions	 3
One of the following				 3
	WOMS 301	Women in Groups
	WOMS 302	Translating Women's 
	WOMS 303	Woman as Creative Agent
	WOMS 400	Critical Analysis and 
			Feminist Research
	Any approved course focusing on third 
		world women. (For courses pre-
		sently available, see listing 
		under B.A. in Women Studies)	 3
WOMS 611	Female Sexuality: Social and 
		Theoretical Perspectives or
	WOMS 621	Feminist Thought	 3
Electives in Women Studies or focus-on-women 
	courses					 6
		Total				18


Admission to Program
In order to be admitted to the program, students must meet all general university requirements. They must also possess a bachelor's degree in women studies from an accredited institution or take nine to twelve upper division units on advisement in women studies at San Francisco State University. These courses will not count toward the M.A. degree. Students are expected to possess a grade point average of at least 3.0 in the last 60 semester units attempted for the bachelor's degree.

Applicants must provide the Graduate Admissions Committee with the following items: (1) transcripts of all previous course work; (2) a written statement of background, intentions, and goals, including experience in women studies and with women's issues, rationale for pursuing the M.A., and relation of the M.A. in Women Studies to prior academic work and to career objectives; (3) two letters of reference from individuals with direct knowledge of the applicant's scholarly ability. For Fall admission, applications are due March 31.

Written English Proficiency Requirement
Level One: satisfactory performance in final research paper in WOMS 700. Level Two: successful completion of WOMS 894, 895, or 898.

Advancement to Candidacy
The Graduate Approved Program (GAP) is filed after the student has completed a minimum of twelve units, with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better, and before completing 27 units of work applicable to the M.A. degree. Once the GAP is approved, the student is advanced to candidacy.

Courses for this discipline are listed in alphabetical sequence (see Women Studies discipline in the Announcement of Courses section).

Core Requirements				Units
WOMS 700	Introduction to Graduate 
		Studies				 3
WOMS 710	Women's Consciousness and 
		Resistance in Cross-Cultural 
		Perspectives I: Non-Western 
		Societies			 3
WOMS 711	Women's Consciousness and 
		Resistance in Cross-Cultural 
		Perspectives II: Western 
		Societies			 3
WOMS 712	Lesbians and Women-Identified 
		Women: An International 
		Perspective			 3
WOMS 713	Issues in Feminist Theory	 3
		Total for core			15
One of the following on advisement		 3
	WOMS 750	Issues in Gender, Race, 
			Class, and Sexuality
	WOMS 760	Issues in Women's 
			Literature and Culture
	WOMS 770	Issues in Women and 
			Public Policy
One of the following on advisement		 3
	WOMS 894	Creative Work Project
	WOMS 895	Field Study Project
	WOMS 898	Master's Thesis
Related Field Units (upon approval of major 
	adviser)				 9
		Minimum total			30

Bulletin 1994-96 Table of Contents, SFSU Home Page

last modified July 26, 1995

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