Philosophy and Social Sciences Department

Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies


About Social Justice Studies, Gender Studies

Broadly, Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies is an interdisciplinary field of inquiry analyzing social justice in the structures of power, especially as they are grounded in gender, race, sexuality, ethnicity, nationality, ability, and other inequalities, and as they configure historical and contemporary struggles for social change.

Folks who enroll in our classes each semester gain the opportunity to understand how social, historical, and psychological forces, organized by the central concept of gender, shape them as individuals; to attain a fuller understanding of human behavior, culture, and society made possible by investigating women's lives; to acquaint themselves with the experience of women of different economic classes, sexual orientations, and cultural and racial backgrounds; and to transfer the critical and analytical skills they acquire in the study of gender and society to other classes, beyond the campus to other activities, and eventually to their professional careers.

Employers today are increasingly aware of gender and diversity issues, and recognize that Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies majors are trained to deal with them. Many graduates work in social change and nonprofit helping organizations, where they apply what they have learned to real-life problems. The Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies major also provides excellent preparation for transfer into a variety of programs in such areas as Women’s Studies, history, sociology, anthropology, psychology, and English, as well as professional training in law, medicine, and social work.

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Program Paths

Social Justice Studies, Gender Studies

Associate in Arts for Transfer

This program involves the understanding of the history, sociology, and politics of women, gender, and sexuality in society. The program examines gender and sexuality-based oppression throughout history, and also the ways in which women have taken power over their lives. Students will better understand the impact of women, gender, and sexuality on various cultures at various times, and evaluate changing social patterns and the effects of institutions and cultural assumptions. The program can lead to a variety of careers, including a community organizer, political lobbyist and political strategist. This degree may also prepare the student for further study at the baccalaureate level.

Note: The Women Studies degree has been converted into Social Justice Studies Associate Degree for Transfer. Current students can still obtain the traditional Women Studies degree as long as they have maintained continuous enrollment at SMC. 

Transfer Preparation

Many colleges and universities offer baccalaureate degrees in this field. Students planning to transfer to a four-year college or university need to know which courses completed at Santa Monica College will be accepted at the specific college/university. Please consult a Counselor. SMC has transfer articulation agreements with the many UC and CSU campuses, as well as many private and out-of-state institutions.


Potential Career Options

Career Exploration

Resources and Transfer

Students planning to transfer to a four-year college or university should meet with a counselor to discuss which courses need to be taken at SMC before applying to your designer colleges/universities.

Student Resources

We know college isn't always easy. We are here to help as you navigate through your SMC journey. This resource connects to information about Financial Aid, Tutoring Services, the Center for Wellness and Wellbeing and much more!


Social Justice Studies, Gender Studies is a career education program that does not directly lead to transfer. Students planning to transfer should talk immediately with an Academic Counselor to discuss what SMC courses will help you transfer.

Career Opportunities

Consider scheduling an appointment with a career advisor with knowledge of the Social Justice Studies profession to discuss internship and jobs as well as steps you can take to become job ready.

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