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UC Santa Barbara General CatalogUniversity of California, Santa Barbara

Feminist Studies

Division of Social Sciences
South Hall 4631
Telephone: (805) 893-4330
E-mail: use individual staff and faculty emails on website
Interim Department Chair: Elizabeth Marchant


Feminist Studies is an interdisciplinary department and major that explores the ways that gender, intersecting with race, class, ethnicity, sexuality, nationality, and other differences, shapes and is shaped by social, economic, political, and cultural forces and institutions. The Feminist Studies major is designed to provide the student with the opportunity to understand the dynamics of gender, sexuality, race, class, and other markers of identity; social and political movements for change; and individual and social transformations around the globe. The Feminist Studies curriculum is composed of its own core interdisciplinary courses as well as a variety of courses selected from disciplines within the humanities and social sciences.

The Feminist Studies major can form the basis of an excellent liberal arts education. It can also be used as preparation for careers in law, social service, public policy, the arts, publishing, and teaching, and as preparation for graduate study in the social sciences or humanities generally or Feminist Studies in particular.

Students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Feminist Studies who are interested in a California Teaching Credential should contact the credential advisor in the Graduate School of Education as soon as possible.

Incoming students and prospective majors are invited to consult the Feminist Studies Student Affairs Coordinator. Further descriptions of the Feminist Studies curriculum and of major requirements are available in the department office.

Honors Program

The Honors Program in Feminist Studies provides the opportunity for qualified undergraduates to undertake advanced research and work individually with a Feminist Studies faculty mentor. To apply to the program, students must have a grade-point average of 3.5 in the Feminist Studies major (3.0 overall) and have completed at least two quarters of the junior year. Candidates apply to the Honors Program by submitting an application form and potential topics for an undergraduate thesis project. Interested students should make contact with the Student Affairs Coordinator during the spring or summer prior to their proposed enrollment. The deadline to submit application materials is in September.

The Honors Program requires completion of a substantial research project and departmental honors courses. In the fall students participate in the Honors Seminar (Feminist Studies 195HA), followed by independent or group study with a faculty mentor in the winter and spring quarters (Feminist Studies 195HB and 195HC). The program culminates in a presentation of research at a symposium in the spring. Honors projects are due by the last day of final examinations. Successful completion of the research project carries the designation of “Distinction in the Major” at graduation if a student’s project is accepted by the faculty mentor and the student maintains a GPA of 3.5 in the Feminist Studies Honors courses and major. Students enroll for 8 units of academic credit in the Feminist Studies 195H series.