Women's Studies, B.A.


Women's Studies Program

Kathryn Forbes, Coordinator
McKee Fisk Building, Room 243

Degrees and Programs Offered

BA in Women's Studies, B.A.
MN in Women's Studies, Minor

Courses Offered

Women's Studies is an approach that places women in the center of inquiry. The primary mission of Women's Studies is to analyze gender. Students acquire both a local and global perspective on gender. Attentiveness to diversity, privilege and power, and women's unique creative contributions to human experience are central aspects of this training. More than simply a body of knowledge, Women's Studies encourages students to apply their learning to transform their lives and their communities. Women's Studies offers a vital perspective everywhere gender impacts our world.



Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements

Women's Studies Major

1. Major requirements (36 units)
Core: WS 103, 143, 153, 175S (12 units)
Approved electives (24 units)

2. General Education requirements (49 units)

3. Other requirements (6 units)
Upper-division writing and Multicultural and International (MI)

4. Sufficient elective units to meet required total units (varies)

5. Total units (120)*

*G.E. and MI courses can be double-counted with major requirements. The writing requirement may be met by taking the upper-division writing exam. Consult the program coordinator or faculty advisor for additional details.

Advising Notes

  1. The 24 units of electives must be selected from a list of approved courses available in the Women's Studies Program office.At least one course must be selected from each of the following three clusters:
    Cluster 1, Gender and Diversity - WS 120/120S, 125, 136T (with advisor approval), 150T (with advisor approval), 151T (with advisor approval); ASAM 138; CLAS 162; WS/AFRS 137.
    • Cluster 2, Women and the Arts and Humanities -
    WS 110, 136T (with advisor approval), 148, 150T (with advisor approval), 151T (with advisor approval); WS/ENGL 168T; WS/ENGL 194T; WS/HIST 102T; LING 130; PHIL 110.
    • Cluster 3, Women and the Social, Natural, and Applied Sciences -
    WS 114, 135, 136T (with advisor approval), 150T (with advisor approval), 151T (with advisor approval), 160; WS/CRIM 126; WS 127/PH 127; WS/PH 130; WS/SOC 132; MGT 189T; SWRK 271T.
  2. No more than 3 units may be selected from the 1-unit Saturday courses: WS 108, 109, 112, 116.
  3. CR/NC grading is not permitted in the women's studies major, except for courses offered only under CR/NC grading.
  4. Some General Education units may dual count toward the major, double major, or minor as appropriate. Some electives may also dual count for their primary and double major as appropriate. Students should consult a program faculty advisor to find out how many units and which courses in their plan of study this may apply to.
  5. Students whose primary major is women's studies should be aware that while any WS courses also offered by the program as General Education courses can count toward their major as appropriate. (This particular restriction does not apply to double majors for whom women's studies is declared as their second major or for women's studies minors.)
  6. Majors are urged to fulfill the upper-division writing skills requirement during the first semester of their junior year. See Degree Requirements.

Double Major in Women's Studies

Many students choose Women's Studies as a second major to complement their first, or primary, major. Double majors say their first major defines the field in which they work. Women's Studies gives them a special focus within that field. Women's Studies requirements are designed to make a dual major possible. All majors take the four core courses. Since in a dual major some courses may double count toward their degree, students pursuing Women's Studies as a double major should speak to an advisor in the Women's Studies program as soon as possible.



The Women's Studies Program has its own full-time and part-time faculty who come from a variety of disciplines: anthropology, history, sociology, political science, English, and philosophy. In addition to this core faculty, cooperating faculty members teach women's studies courses in their home departments: American studies, anthropology education, art, Chicano and Latin American studies, criminology, drama, education, English, ethnic studies, health sciences, history, philosophy, psychology, recreation, and sociology. Saturday School faculty are most often chosen from the community-at-large on the basis of their particular area of expertise.

For faculty phone numbers and e-mail, see the campus directory.

For more on the faculty, see the faculty pages.
The faculty pages are updated by the department or program.


Bachelor of Arts in Women's Studies

A Roadmap identifies the specific set of courses students must complete in their major in sequential order. Information on corequisites or prerequisites is listed along with other pertinent information to assist students in completing courses towards the major.

Click here for roadmap.

Please note: Roadmaps are not a guarantee of course availability.

If you are looking for archived roadmaps, please click here.


careers tab placeholder

As a field, Women’s Studies presents an exciting opportunity to anyone who wants to know more about the impact of gender on their lives and the world. The focus on a core aspect of all our identities makes the field personally rewarding and socially important. Attentiveness to diversity, power, and women's unique creative contributions to human experience are central aspects of this training. Our faculty work closely with students in order to help foster their success. Students also find a sense of community and leadership opportunities through participation in P.O.W.E.R.: The Women’s Studies Student Organization.

Many of our students choose Women’s Studies as their primary field. Other students choose Women’s Studies as a double major to complement a primary field or discipline. Double majors say their first major defines the field in which they work, Women’s Studies gives them a special focus and edge within that field.

What You Can Do

Nationally, Women’s Studies students have established successful careers in a variety of fields from politics to law, k-12 to graduate studies, biology to nursing, the creative arts to telecommunications, criminology to victim services, business and management to grass roots organizing, history to philosophy, and human resources to social services.

Interesting Classes You Might Take

  • Women and Work
  • Women and Politics
  • Women, Ethics, & the Environment
  • Women, Violence, & the Law
  • Women in Cross-Cultural Perspective
  • Introduction to Lesbian and Gay Studies


What You Can Learn

  • How to combine political and intellectual passions with scholarly research to become a leader in today’s rapidly changing world.
  • The role of feminist activism and feminist organizations in the promotion of social policies designed to end social inequality.
  • Critical and analytical tools to understand and contribute to interdisciplinary research on issues faced by women and children in the United States and across the globe.
  • The symbiotic relationship between theory and practice through experiential learning opportunities aimed at unleashing students’ creativity and fostering self awareness.
  • The historical, political, and philosophical roots of feminism and feminist studies across disciplines.


About the College

The College of Social Sciencesstudies the human experience, including the depth of the past and the breadth of the entire planet.

We place emphasis on learning practical skills to aid you in your career. Our students do internships, participate in archaeological digs, or do service-learning projects with a non-profit agency. Students can assist on research projects or organize a social change project.

Whatever a student's major, they enjoy our witty and talented faculty and our caring staff as they discover our social world.

College Contact Information

Phone: (559) 278-3013
FAX: (559) 278-7664

5340 N. Campus Drive MS/SS91
Fresno CA 93740-8019

Contact Information

Women's Studies Program
McKee Fisk Building, 244
2225 East San Ramon M/S MF19
Fresno, CA 93740-8029

Phone: (559) 278-2858
Fax: (559) 278-5230