Women’s and Gender Studies

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 Gender Studies
  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

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 325Interpersonal Communication 13
COMM 432Film and Cultural Politics3
COMM 445Gender Communication3
COMM 482Children and Media3
COMM 494Special Topics in Communication Studies3
POLS 316State and Local Government3
PSYC 359DHealth Psychology of Women and Ethnic Groups3
SOCI 101DIntroduction to Sociology 13
SOCI 311Sociology of Families3
SOCI 494Special Topics in Contemporary Sociology3
ENGL 121Composition and Literature 13
ENGL 215Children's Literature3
ENGL 220Studies in Genre3
ENGL 226Studies in Literary Traditions3
ENGL 230Studies in United States Literature3
ENGL 236Studies in World Literature3
ENGL 342Romanticism3
ENGL 358United States Ethnic Literature3
ENGL 374Gender and Literature3
ETHN 494Special Topics in Ethnic Studies3
FREN 414French Women Writers3
HIST 323Medieval Woman3
HIST 331The Global Renaissance3
HIST 346Topics in Medieval and Early Modern Europe3
HIST 347Topics in Modern Europe3
HIST 367Women's Lives in East Asia3
PHIL 111Philosophy of Human Nature 13
SPAN 302Cultural History of Spain 13
SPAN 426Studies in 18th and 19th Century Pennisular Literature and Culture3
THRS 114Introduction to Catholic Theology 13
THRS 318Islam, Women and Literature3
THRS 334Christian Social Ethics 13
THRS 367Feminist Theology and Ethics3
THRS 370Gender and Religion in the United States3
Business Administration
MGMT 306Women in Management3

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



Units: 3-4

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.


Units: 3 Repeatability: Yes (Can be repeated for Credit)

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.


Units: 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.


Units: 1-3 Repeatability: Yes (Can be repeated for Credit)

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.

Program Director

Evelyn Kirkley, PhD, Theology and Religious Studies