Jump to content

Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies

Women's Studies is an interdisciplinary major founded on the understanding that the social production of gender is inseparable from that of race, sexuality, class, nationality, ability and other categories of difference. Our curriculum places feminist concerns within a transnational context, while respecting the need for geographic and historical specificity. These frameworks inform our teaching, our research, our institutional and community practices, and the principles we bring to our classrooms. Women and Gender Studies offers a wide range of classes that use the lens of gender to examine colonialism and post colonialism, globalization, history, sexuality, queer theory, literature, popular culture, feminist video production, area studies, film fashion and food. The Women and Gender Studies Program offers both an undergraduate major and minor. We also work collaboratively with other units on campus to sponsor two undergraduate minors, Sexuality Studies and Social and Ethnic Relations, and an undergraduate concentration in transnational production and consumption.

The Program. One of the most exciting and challenging aspects of the Women and Gender Studies Program is that students, in consultation with the peer and faculty advisers, can pursue their particular academic interests and design their course of study accordingly. In devising their major plan, students will draw on courses offered in African American and African Studies, American Studies, Anthropology, Asian American Studies, Chicana/o Studies, Comparative Literature, English, French, German and Italian Studies, History, Linguistics, Native American Studies, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, Spanish, Textiles and Clothing, and other related disciplines.

In addition to offering a broad array of courses that deal with gender, class, race, ethnicity, and sexuality, the Women and Gender Studies Program affords interested students the opportunity to earn internship credit and conduct independent research as well as take advantage of the Honors Thesis option.

Students design a program of study in consultation with an adviser that is in accordance with their individual career goals. Many Women and Gender Studies majors find it advantageous to pursue a double major, or to minor in another field of study. Upon successful completion of the degree requirements, students majoring in the program will graduate with a Bachelor of Arts Women's Studies.

Career Alternatives. A degree in Women's Studies opens many possibilities for future employment. The major introduces students to relevant social issues, fosters critical thinking, and encourages social advocacy.

Pre-professional students will discover that a major in Women's Studies offers useful preparatory training for medical or law school. It is particularly suitable for those interested in specializing in social policy, international development, social justice or gender-related work in a wide range of institutions and contexts. Students who plan to do practical work in counseling, clinical psychology, social services, education, media or politics. will also find Women's Studies provides a strong foundation. Those who wish to pursue graduate level research in such fields as anthropology, comparative literature, cultural studies, economics, education, ethnic studies, English, film studies, history, languages and literatures, performance studies, philosophy, political science, and sociology will also benefit from a strong undergraduate background in critical theory, social analysis, history, feminist social theory, and a sound understanding of cultural representation and narratives of difference.

Increasingly, media and cultural institutions, corporations, and personnel firms are hiring specialists in women and gender studies trained in understanding the complex cultural challenges and demands arising from diverse communities. State and federal agencies need people who have special understanding of the problems that diverse groups of women face in society, industry, and the professions. Educational institutions across the spectrum need specialists to develop and administer women and gender studies programs, multi-cultural community centers and other organizations designed specifically to deal with gender, social diversity and inequality, and a growing range of old and new social challenges arising in the context of globalization.

Some of our alumni have developed careers other than those described above. Talking to your Women and Gender Studies faculty and peer adviser can give you even more ideas about possible future careers. Doing internships related to your coursework allows you to integrate theory with hands-on practice and service in the community.

Page content manager can be reached at Catalog-Comment@ucdavis.edu.

Updated: November 21, 2017 12:17 PM