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Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies


Nikole Hannah-Jones on rejecting a belated offer of tenure from University of North Carolina Chapel Hill:

“I cannot imagine working at and advancing a school named for a man who lobbied against me, who used his wealth to influence the hires and ideology of the journalism school, who ignored my 20 years of journalism experience, all of my credentials, all of my work, because he believed that a project that centered Black Americans equaled the denigration of white Americans.

“For too long, powerful people have expected the people they have mistreated and marginalized to sacrifice themselves to make things whole. The burden of working for racial justice is laid on the very people bearing the brunt of the injustice, and not the powerful people who maintain it. I say to you: I refuse”

Cornel West on his struggle at Harvard University, which ultimately denied him tenure, leading to his resignation:

"Any racial, gender, or queer identity as a thinker should be rooted first and foremost in moral integrity and genuine solidarity with other struggling and suffering human beings and creatures."


Welcome and thank you for your interest in the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS) major and Women’s Studies (WMST) minor. We are excited to be part of your journey at CSUSM, and we look forward to sharing what we love about our interdisciplinary field of study and working with you to achieve your academic goals.

students in class

As you explore our department, keep in mind that this is only an introduction. We encourage you to contact our faculty to learn more about our degree programs and curriculum. The WGSS major and WMST minor join 22 other majors and 33 minors within the College of Humanities, Arts, Behavioral and Social Sciences (CHABSS). The CHABSS Dean’s Office has many student services, in particular, the following two articles that might help you in your academic journey: “Your Professors Are Your Best Resource” and “Making & Staying on the Dean’s List.”

Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies students explore profound themes that change lives and develop a sense of social justice. Our WGSS Department offers an intersectional feminist, interdisciplinary, and academically rigorous program.

We consider such questions as:

  • How are we shaped by politics, economics, art, culture, social media, our changing environment, and education?
  • What expectations are placed on us relative to variables such as gender, race, ethnicity, class, sexuality, faith, ability, and age, and how can such expectations be productively challenged?
  • How do concepts such as identity, family, and work affect us?
  • What can we learn from studying inequalities—such as sexism, racism, classism, ageism, ableism, heterosexism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia—and how can that learning be applied to our lives, our communities, our nation, and the global community? 

WGSS Curriculum and Career Preparation

The WGSS Department offers interdisciplinary courses that examine gender in relation to race, class, sexuality, and other identity markers, in national and international contexts. Our students gain a solid academic foundation on which they develop the professional skills necessary for rewarding careers in the 21st century. Analytical thinking, writing, teamwork, research skills, and a commitment to social justice prepare WGSS students for careers in diverse areas: education, international relations, government, technology, health, counseling, law, human resources, social services, journalism, the creative arts, and public safety, among others.

Our faculty are eager to introduce you to a life-changing curriculum. You’ll find dedicated mentors, learn to advocate for justice, broaden your career prospects, and develop enduring friends in the WGSS Department.

Again, we encourage you to explore our website and contact us to learn more about our Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies major and our Women’s Studies minor.