Women’s Studies

Department Affiliation: History and Political Science

Women's Studies Minor

The minor in Women's Studies (WS) offers an interdisciplinary, cross-cultural and critical understanding of women and issues relating to gender including the practice of leadership. Courses focus on the intellectual, political and cultural life of women in a variety of social and historical contexts. The minor provides students with a strong theoretical and empirical background in understanding how gender and women’s roles in society are shaped by factors such as race, class, ethnicity, culture and sexuality. The program emphasizes women as agents of social change through advocacy and policy making. The interdisciplinary nature of the minor exposes students to a diversity of approaches and views on gender and women’s issues.

The Women’s Studies program is well suited for students who are interested in pursuing advanced academic work in M.A. and Ph.D. programs, professional schools in law, business or medicine as well as for those students planning a career in public service, advocacy or social activism.

Women’s Studies Curriculum

The Women’s Studies minor consists of 18 total units, including WS 10 (Introduction to Women’s Studies). Nine (9) of the remaining fifteen units must be at the upper division level, and at least two of the courses must be from two different departments. All courses that are counted towards the WS minor must be approved by the Director of the Women’s Studies program. Courses that emphasize leadership theory or practice are designated “LWS.”

Requirements for the Minor

18 total units consisting of:

LWS 10

Introduction to Women’s Studies


The remaining 15 units will consist of the following courses that carry the Women’s Studies course designation (Course descriptions can be found in the appropriate departmental sections of the catalog.):


Leadership Concepts


WST 10

Introduction to Women’s Studies


LWS 100

Leadership Studies


WST 191

Internship in Leadership


WST 196H

Senior Honors Thesis


ART 174

Women in Contemporary Art


BUS 140

Women’s Issues in Business and Economics


ENG 27/127

Women in Quest


ENG 123

Women’s Voices in Literature


ENG 129

Ethnic Literature of America


HIS 191

Major Issues in US Women’s History


HIS 192

Women of Color in the US


HIS 186

Gender in American Life and Thought


NUR 182

Leadership and Management


PHI 170

Social and Political Philosophy


PHI 178

Philosophy of Women


PHI 179

Women and Values


POL 102

Women and the Law


POL 139

Women in International Politics


POL 147

Women and Development


PSY 110

Gender Issues in Psychology


PSY 139

Child Abuse and Family Violence


PSY 144

Psychology of Prejudice


PSY 175

Human Sexuality


PSY 186

Violence Against Women


RST 23

Spiritual Journeys of Women


RST 135

Women and Christianity


SOC 115

Sociology of Violence


SOC 160

Diversity in Society


SOC 161

Dynamics of Majority-Minority Relations


SOC 163

Women’s and Children’s Human Rights


SOC 164

Advocacy and Human Rights


SOC 191

Social Movements


SPA 146

Women in Hispanic Literature


Women’s Studies Courses

LWS 1A Leadership Concepts (1)

An introduction to key leadership issues and concepts, with special emphasis on the connection of self-awareness, self-development and the role of gender to the leadership process.

LWS 1C Orientation Leader Training Course (1)

This course seeks to facilitate learning opportunities and experiences that will provide students with the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to become effective Orientation Leaders. Topics include public speaking, group facilitation, conflict management, and team leadership. Students will gain a thorough knowledge of college resources and services and develop an understanding of the college experience and the importance of Orientation in the transition of new students.

LWS 5 Leadership in Action (1)

The course will help students explore, participate, and reflect on applying leadership theories and models to real-life issues and problems. Students will expand on exploration of personal and team leadership and learn effective skills and strategies for turning their leadership knowledge into action.

WST 10 Introduction to Women’s Studies (3)

Analyzes the theories, concepts and issues in Women’s Studies. Emphasis is placed on leadership, social justice and agency. This course focuses on women’s issues (both historical and contemporary) by examining how gender interacts with race, class, sexuality and ethnicity. Gender is applied to various forms of social organization in different societies such as work, health, education, mass communication/media, law and policy.

LWS 100 Leadership Studies (3)

A critical examination of the leadership process, including emerging approaches to leadership, the leaders and strategies for change. A special focus will be on the role of college students in the leadership process.

LWS 125 Applied Leadership (3)

An experience-oriented course involving the student’s observation and some application of the principles of effective leadership. Weekly seminars integrate fieldwork with theories and models of community and civic leadership.

WST 191 Internship in Leadership (3)

Qualified students intern in nonprofit organizations, government offices, or businesses where women's needs and concerns are being addressed. Selected readings and a written analysis of issues and experiences are required. Prerequisite: LWS 10. Maximum 3 units may be applied towards LWS minor.

WST 196H Seniors Honors Thesis (3)

Open only to students admitted to the Honors Program.