Women's Studies

College of Arts and Humanities

Division of World Cultural and Gender Studies


Women's Studies Advisory Board

Ivonne Heinze-Balcazar (Modern Languages), Program Coordinator (310) 243-3325 or (310) 243-3327      

Please contact program office for current membership.

Program Description

The Women's Studies Minor is administered through the College of Arts and Humanities.  It explores the experiences of women in cultures and societies around the world. Participants of this program engage in an on-going dialogue and debate related to women's voices. The Women's Studies Program at CSUDH examines the social construction of gender and sexual differences. Women's Studies seeks to acknowledge and understand how gender relates to and intersects with ethnicity, race, social class, religion, sexuality, nationality, globalization and other factors that have shaped women's and men's lives. The interdisciplinary practice of Women's Studies draws from diverse academic approaches. A student's program may draw from approaches such as Anthropology, Chicana Studies, Communication, Creative Writing, Interdisciplinary Studies, Labor Studies, History, Linguistics, Literature, Sociology, Psychology, Political Science, the Visual and Performing Arts, Philosophy, Women and Business, and Asian Pacific Studies. CSUDH Women's Studies students will acquire the knowledge and skills to advocate for social justice and change and engage in service learning. Students will also learn the importance of interconnecting communities, from local to global levels. The Women's Studies Program is part of the Division of World Cultural Studies.

Academic Advisement

Students are expected to seek faculty advisement from faculty teaching in the minor and on a regular basis thereafter. Since Women's Studies courses must be coordinated with many departments, it is especially important that Women's Studies Minors keep in touch with faculty advisors in the program on a regular basis, to keep informed about what courses are being offered each semester so that they can plan their schedules accordingly. Substitution of courses other than those in the program requires the prior approval of an advisor. The faculty can also assist students in recommending graduate programs in Women's Studies.


No specific high school or community college courses are required as prerequisites. Students are expected to have adequate reading and writing skills and an interest in understanding the complex forces that determine gender roles.

Career Possibilities

Women's Studies enables students to meet the challenges of the 21st Century and to become leaders in many different occupations, from business to education, community organizations to government agencies, politics to research and arts and literature. Our students have launched successful careers as lawyers, teachers, artists, community leaders, elected officials, business managers, and other professionals.

Minor in Women's Studies (15 units)

A.  Core Required Courses (3 units):

WMS 250. Introduction to Women's Studies (3)


B.  Electives in Women's Studies (12 units):

     Students may select from the following courses or courses from other disciplines that focus on women and gender and are pre-approved by a Women's Studies advisor: CHS 460, CHS 495*, HIS 379*, HIS 380, ENG 347, IDS 320*, IDS 325, IDS 336*, POL 325, PSY 376, SOC 311, SOC 320, SOC 334, SOC 384, WMS 494, WMS 495 and WMS 496.


       1. For frequency of courses listed in this program consult the department that offers the specific course of interest.

       2. *These Special Topics courses must be approved by an advisor for content relevant to Women's Studies.

Course Offerings

Lower Division

WMS 250        Introduction to Women's Studies (3).

Introduces students to Women's Studies. Students learn about gender from a multicultural, multiracial feminist and global perspective. Emphasis is on women's history; gender, culture and nation; social institutions; sexuality, sexism and violence; and local and transnational women's movements.

Upper Division

WMS 494        Independent Study (1-3).

Prerequisites: Consent of instructor and program coordinator.

Independent study of a particular problem, issue, or readings under the direction of a member of the Women's Studies faculty. Course is not repeatable for credit in the Women's Studies minor.

WMS 495        Special Topics in Women's Studies (3).

An intensive study of an issue or a concept in Women's Studies that is of particular interest to both the faculty member and the students. Repeatable course with different topics. Three hours of seminar per week.

WMS 496        Internship in Women's Studies (3).

Practical application of coursework in Women's Studies through supervised work and field experience in politics, law, art, communications, social welfare agencies or other area as approved by the instructor and coordinator of the program. Course is not repeatable for credit in the Women's Studies minor.