BA in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

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BA in WGSS Page

Effective August 17, 2023

The Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program at San Jose State is committed to intersectional and interdisciplinary scholarship and teaching based on feminist frameworks. WGSS curriculum investigates how gender and gender identity, race, class, sexuality, and nation shape lives. The program emphasizes the importance of an intersectional understanding of gender as integral to social and political structures of power. Students will obtain skills to cultivate critical thinking, engage in dialogue, coalition building, appreciation of diversity, and contribution to social change based on feminist frameworks. The goal of the WGSS program includes integrating the academic and experiential, thereby contributing to social change and justice.

Program Coordinator: Professor Tanya Bakhru

WGSS Faculty
Tanya Bakhru, Professor
Susana L. Gallardo, Assistant Professor
Angela Castillo, Senior Lecturer
Bianca Hernandez, Lecturer

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon graduation, Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies students are expected to be able to:

  1. Identify and analyze the intersections of gender, sexuality, race, class, and nation social and institutional contexts.
  2. Identify and describe major theories and political movements central to Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, placing contemporary developments in cultural, historical, environmental, and embodied contexts.
  3. Describe the global span of feminist movements and the connection among gender and sexual minorities around the world.
  4. Demonstrate critical thinking and research skills through written, oral and creative means.

The Major

All Students should regularly consult the WGSS major advisor. WGSS advisors have drop-in advising hours; for a schedule of advising hours, see Advising

Requirements of the Major (39 units)

To see a list of courses for the major concentration, and course descriptions, please see the current SJSU catalog.


See the SJSU Catalog for complete degree information on the BA in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies. Requirements of the major are only part of the requirements for graduation, as briefly summarized here:

Requirement Units

University Graduation Requirements

44 units

Major Requirements

39 units

University Electives

37 units 


120 units

A minor in another department is strongly recommended.

Some classes “double count” in GE or SJSU Studies as well as in the WGSS major. However, the units for the class only count once. Students should keep track of the cumulative number of units they have earned. Check your transcript on MYSJSU.

Carol Mukhopadhyay Feminist Lecture Series

The SJSU Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies program is home to the biannual Carol Mukhopadhyay Feminist Lecture Series endowed in 2014 by Emeritus SJSU Anthropology Professor Carol Mukhopadhyay. Each year, these lectures bring to campus a prominent or emerging feminist scholar doing cross-cultural or transnational work with a feminist anthropological lens. 

Recent lectures have featured: 

When Speaker Description
Spring 2023

Dr. Anila Daulatzai and Dr. Najwa Mayer

"The Possibilities and Limits of Transnational Feminist Critique in the Context of Afghanistan"

Spring 2022

Irene Berrones-Kolb

"Feminist Creativities: A chat with local artist Irene Berrones-Kolb"
Spring 2021

Maribel Martinez

"A chat with Maribel Martinez"

Fall 2019 

Dr. Maria Cotera, Osa Hidalgo de la Riva, Dr. Susana L. Gallardo, Dr. Maylei Blackwell, Anna Nieto Gomez, and Deanna Romero

"Chicanas Movidas: New Narratives of Activism and Feminism in the Movement Era"

Spring 2019

Dr. Elizabeth Sweet

"She’s a Dream Come True…’: Gender and Representations of Femininity in 20th Century Doll Advertisements"

Spring 2019 

Dr. Theodorea Berry

"Black America Women's Experiences in China and Germany: Examining Intersectionality and Multidimensionality in Alternate Home Spaces"

Fall 2019

Antonia Grace Glenn

"The Ito Sisters" Documentary Screening

Spring 2018

Karen Branan

“Women and Lynching: Lessons for Today”

Spring 2018

Dr. Gohar Shahnazaryan

“Women’s Rights in Contemporary Armenian Society: Between Modernization and Traditions”

Fall 2017

Judy Juanita

“Female Foot Soldiers and DeFacto Feminists: The Unseen Skeletons of Social Movements”

Spring 2017

Dr. Yvonne Y. Kwan 

“Queering Transgenerational Trauma: Depathologizing Pain and Navigating Narratives of Suffering”

Spring 2017

Dr. Huma Ahmed-Gosh

"Globalization and Muslim Women's Lives in Asia: Contesting Islamic Feminisms"

Spring 2017

Dr. Mythri Jegathesan 

"Stately Discomforts: Labor, Reproductive Rights,and Sexuality Among Women Workers in Postwar Sri Lanka"

Spring 2016

Dr. Amy Moff Hudec

“Unsettled and Lost: The Consequences of Being Single in the Mormon - Church”

Fall 2015

Dr. Pat Wasielewski

"Emotional Geography of Living Abroad"

Spring 2015

Dr. Samantha Gottlieb

"Marketing the HPV Vaccine and Women's Health"

Spring 2015

Natalie Valdez

"Food, Fat, Fetus, and the Future: An Ethnographic Examination of Two Clinical Trials"

Spring 2014

Dr. Kathleen Coll

"What the Domestic Workers' Rights Movements is Teaching US About Citizenship