Academic Course Catalogs

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Women’s and Gender Studies

Program Coordinator
Lori Watson, PhD, Philosophy

The Women’s and Gender Studies Minor

Gender studies is an interdisciplinary academic minor that takes as its focus the history, development, and consequences of culturally acquired sexual identities. It is a field of study as complex as the many disciplines it weaves together. At USD, those disciplines include anthropology, business, communication, economics, English, French, philosophy, political science, psychology, religion, and sociology. Gender studies addresses such topics as the acquisition of gender identity across cultures; the influence of gender upon spirituality, moral choice, creativity, and language use; the relationship of gender to a wide spectrum of social problems such as poverty and violence; and the history of various gender-related issues such as family life, marriage, reproduction, divorce, child rearing, sexual behavior, and sexual orientation.

The gender studies minor is an 18 unit program that includes the following requirements:

  1. GNDS 101, Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies (3)
  2. Two lower- or upper division elective courses to be selected from a list generated each semester by the program coordinators or from the courses listed below in this course catalog.
  3. Two elective upper division courses to be selected from a list generated each semester by the program coordinators or from the courses listed below in this course catalog. Thus 3-9 units of lower-division work, and 9-15 units of upper division coursework are required.
  4. Two of the four elective courses listed in items 2 and 3 above must be in the humanities and two must be in the social sciences.
  5. GNDS 495, Advanced Women’s and Gender Studies (3)

Women’s and Gender Studies Courses (GNDS)

GNDS 101 Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies (3)
An interdisciplinary introduction to such issues as gender socialization; men, women, and friendship; men, women, and romance; gender and communication; gender and language; gender and the media; gender and morality; gender and economics; gender and ways of knowing; gender and spirituality; etc.

GNDS 494 Topics in Women’s and Gender Studies (3)
An advanced course focusing on topics of interest and importance to the study of gender. For example, topics might include such subjects as violence against women; the men’s movement; contemporary theories of love relationships; and lesbian, gay, and bi-sexual issues. This course may be repeated for credit when the topic changes. Students must have completed 12 units of coursework in the gender studies minor or have consent of the instructor.

GNDS 495 Advanced Women’s and Gender Studies (3)
A capstone seminar course devoted to advanced study in the field, supplemented by directed research in students’ areas of primary interest in their majors. When appropriate, it may include an internship component. The research experience will culminate in a symposium.

GNDS 499 Independent Study (1-3)
A program of advanced study in an area of special interest, arranged between the student and the instructor. The independent study must include at a minimum extensive readings, consistent consultations with the sponsoring instructor, and a final report or project. Prerequisite: Approval of one of the gender studies program coordinators.

Interdisciplinary Courses

Courses in this edition of the undergraduate catalog that count toward the women’s and gender studies minor are listed below. Other courses that will count toward the minor will be provided on a semester-by-semester basis. Students should select their courses in consultation with one of the program coordinators. Please see the full course descriptions under the appropriate departmental listings.

Social Sciences

COMM 325
COMM 432
COMM 445
COMM 482
COMM 494
SOCI 311
SOCI 320
SOCI 353
SOCI 357
SOCI 464
SOCI 494
SOCI 494
Interpersonal Communication (3)*
Film and Cultural Politics (3)
Gender Communication (3)
Children and Media (3)
Feminist Rhetoric (3)
Sex, Power and Politics (3)
Health Psychology of Women and Ethnic Groups (3)
Intro to Sociology (3)*
Popular Culture (3)
U.S. Society (3)
Sociology of Families (3)
Inequality and Stratification (3)
Gender thru the Prism of Difference (3)
Sexualities (3)
Community, Consensus, Commitment (3)*
Race and Performance (3)
Women in Poverty (3)


ENGL 121
ENGL 223
ENGL 224
ENGL 225
ENGL 228
ENGL 231
ENGL 342
ENGL 358
ENGL 374
ETHN 110
ETHN 494
ETHN 494
ETHN 494
FREN 414
HIST 323
HIST 331
HIST 346
HIST 347
HIST 367
PHIL 111
SPAN 302
SPAN 426
THRS 114
THRS 334
THRS 367
THRS 370
Composition and Literature (3)*
Growing-up Fiction (3)
Women’s Literature (3)
Women Writers (3)
Chicano Lives (3)
Literature in Violent Times (3)
Children Literature (3)
Romanticism (3)
U.S. Ethnic Literature (3)
Gender and Literature (3)
Ethnic Identity in the United States (3)*
African-Americans Civil Rights (3)
Race and Performance (3)
Race, Gender vs Mex Border (3)
French Women Writers (3)
Medieval Women (3)
Renaissance Europe (3)
Modern European Women and Politics (3)
Modern European Women and Power (3)
Women in East Asia (3)
Philosophy of Human Nature (3)*
Cultural History of Spain (3)*
Spanish Literature of the 18th and 19th Century (3)
Foundations in Catholic Theology (3)*
Christian Social Ethics* (3)
Feminist Theology (3)
Gender and Religion in the United States (3)

Business Administration

MGMT 306
ECON 321
Women in Management (3)
Women and Work (3)

* Students must consult with gender studies advisors to assure enrollment in the appropriate section.