Women and Gender Studies Degrees

Associate of Arts Degree in Women, Gender and Queer Studies

The Women, Gender and Queer Studies Associate in Arts degree, which requires 22 units in the major, offers students an interdisciplinary, social justice approach to examining the complex ways that gender informs identity, with an emphasis on the intersection of gender with other identity markers such as race, class, sexuality, ability, ethnicity, nation, and religion, in cultures around the world. A field at the forefront of multicultural and transnational scholarship, Women, Gender and Queer Studies is dynamic and constantly evolving.

In WGQS core courses, students have the opportunity to study the history of women in various world cultures through the millennia, as well as historical changes in Western culture forged by the suffrage, civil rights, gay liberation, and labor movements of the 19th and 20th centuries. Students also have the opportunity to examine contemporary social justice movements and activism in their local communities and around the globe on topics ranging from voting rights to representation in government, from sex work to human trafficking, and from the wage and education gaps to the division of labor.

Drawing on concepts from Global Feminist Studies and Queer Theory, WGQS courses prepare students to analyze gender and sexuality as social constructs both performative and fluid; to think critically about power dynamics based on race, gender, sexuality, social class, ability, and nation; and to develop global perspectives on inequality, development, and human rights issues. The A.A. degree in Women, Gender and Queer Studies also prepares students to contribute to dialogue on issues of fairness and justice locally, nationally, and globally.

The WGQS AA program of study offers lower division courses that help students prepare for transfer to four-year institutions where students have opportunities to engage in advanced scholarship in the vibrant, expanding fields of Social Justice, Gender, Ethnic, and Global Studies leading to careers in professional fields such as humanities, law, education, psychology, administration of justice, and social work; for positions in government agencies and non-governmental organizations focused on human rights and social justice. After completing the Women, Gender and Queer Studies AA, students will be able to:

  • Examine women’s access to political, social, and economic power throughout history and across cultures.
  • Analyze gender roles using intersectional analysis, via lenses of race, ethnicity, sex identity, gender, sexuality, social class, and ability, in various cultural and historical contexts.
  • Compare the social construction of gender, race, class, sexuality, and disabilities in different cultures and historical periods; analyze the intersection of these social constructs in the lives of women, men, and gender variant individuals in different global societies.
  • Describe gender and sexuality as existing on a continuum rather than as static identities, using historical, psychological, sociological, and semantical language analysis as evidence.
  • Analyze cultural attitudes about sexuality using intersectional, feminist, and historical perspectives.
  • Analyze and critique the social construction of sexuality and gender categories such as woman, man, non-binary, lesbian, gay, straight, bisexual, trans, and queer.
  • Analyze and critique gender images in literature, visual and performing arts, media, and popular culture.
  • Participate in dialogue about fairness and justice in matters related to sex identity, gender, race, ethnicity, class, sexuality, ability, culture and religion.

Required Core Courses: 10 units

Course Number Course Title Units
WGQS 1 Introduction to Women’s Studies 4 units
WGQS 2 Women in the Arts: Multicultural Perspectives 3 units
WGQS 3 Introduction to Gender Studies 3 units
WGQS 4A Women in World Cultures from Prehistory to 1500 CE 3 units

Complete at least 9 units from the following:

Course Number Course Title Units
ARTS 14 Women in Art History 3 units
BIOL 55 Biology of Sex 3 units
HEDU 10 Human Sexuality 3 units
PSYC 9 Psychology Women: A Multicultural 3 units
WGQS 4A Women in World Cultures from Prehistory to 1500 CE 3 units
WGQS 2 Women in the Arts: Multicultural Perspectives 3 units
ANTH 3 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology 3 units
ANTH 3H General Psychology 3 units
PSYC 1 English Composition 3 units
SOCI 2 Social Problems 3 units
ENGL 1B English Composition 3 units
ENGL 41 Literature and Film 3 units
ENGL 43 Classical Mythology 3 units
ENGL 43H Honors Classical Mythology 3 units
ENGL 46 Contemporary American MultiCultural Literature 3 units
ENGL 46H Honors Contemporary American Multi-Cultural 3 units
ENGL 49 Modern Fiction 3 units
ENGL 49H Honors Modern Fiction 3 units
ENGL 1A English Composition 3 units
ENGL 1C Critical Thinking and Writing 3 units
ENGL 1CH Honors Critical Thinking and Writing 3 units
CHST 5 Diversity: Childhood and Culture 3 units
SOCI 28 Sociology of Gender 3 units

OR

Complete other English courses identified in the Schedule of 3 Classes as having a Women’s Studies, Gender Studies, or Queer Studies emphasis. Students should consult with the Chair of WGQS to determine which courses qualify in a given semester.

Total Major Units: 22 units

To be awarded an A.A. Degree, a student must complete:

  1. All the major requirements
  2. Additional units to meet the college graduation requirement

Fall, Year 1 (4 units)

Course Number Course Title Units
WGQS 1 Introduction to Women’s Studies 4 units

Spring, Year 1 (6 Units)

Course Number Course Title Units
WGQS 3 Introduction to Gender and Queer Studies 3 units
Electives (Any Course) 3 units

Fall, Year 2 (6 Units)

Course Number Course Title Units
WGQS 2 Women in the Arts: Multicultural Perspectives 3 units
Electives (Any Course) 3 units

Fall or Spring, Year 2 (6 Units)

Course Number Course Title Units
WGQS 4A Women in World Cultures 3 units
Electives (Any Course) 3 units
Last Updated 10/1/19