Catalog 2023-2024

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Women, Gender and Queer Studies

Associate in Arts Degree

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. Career Options: Education, Social Justice Studies, Civil Service, Social Work, Business, Psychology, Sociology, Law, Ethnic Studies, Management, Marketing Communications, Politics, Public Relations, Research, Teaching, Technical Communications, and Writing. Note: Some career options require more than two years of college study.

Major Core Requirements (13 units)

Course NumberCourse TitleUnits
WGQS001Introduction to Women's Studies4 units
WGQS002Women in the Arts: Multicultural Perspectives3 units
WGQS003Introduction to Gender and Queer Studies3 units
WGQS004AWomen in World Cultures3 units

Major Electives (9 units)

Course NumberCourse TitleUnits
Only one:

Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
Honors Introduction to Cultural Anthropology

3 units
3 units
ARTS014Women in Art History3 units
BIOL055Biology of Sex3 units
CHST005Diversity - Childhood and Culture3 units
ENGL001AEnglish Composition3 units
ENGL001BCritical Thinking Through Literature3 units
Only one:

Critical Thinking and Writing
Honors Critical Thinking and Writing

3 units
3 units
Only one:

African American Literature
Honors African American Literature

3 units
3 units
Only one:

U.S. Latino Literature
Honors U.S. Latino Literature

3 units
3 units
Only one:

Asian American Literature
Honors Asian American Literature

3 units
3 units
Only one:

Literature and Film
Honors Literature and Film

3 units
3 units
Only one:

Classical Mythology
Honors Classical Mythology

3 units
3 units
Only one:

Contemporary American Multi-Cultural Literature
Honors Contemporary American Multi-Cultural Literature

3 units
3 units
Only one:

Modern Fiction
Honors Modern Fiction

3 units
3 units
HIST012African American History3 units
HIST014History of the Native North Americans3 units
HIST016Mexican-American History3 units
HSCI010Human Sexuality3 units
KINT033Women in Sports3 units
PSYC001General Psychology3 units
PSYC009Psychology of Women: A Multicultural Perspective3 units
SJST001Introduction to Ethnic and Social Justice Studies3 units
SOCI002Social Problems3 units
SOCI028Sociology of Gender3 units
Complete other English courses identified in the Schedule of 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 Associate Degree, a student must:

  1. Achieve a grade of “C” or better in the major requirements.
  2. Completion of WVC, CSU-Breadth, or IGETC General Education patterns. Students whose goal is to obtain a bachelor’s degree should complete the CSU-Breadth or IGETC General Education pattern.
  3. Complete additional degree applicable units to meet the minimum 60-unit Associate Degree requirements.

Upon successful completion of this program a student 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.
  • Analyze and critique gender images in literature, visual and performing arts, media, and popular culture.
  • 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.
  • Participate in dialogue about fairness and justice in matters related to sex identity, gender, race, ethnicity, class, sexuality, ability, culture and religion.
  • Analyze and critique the social construction of sexuality and gender categories such as man, woman, non-binary, lesbian, gay, straight, bisexual, trans, and queer.
Last Updated 7/19/23