Area of Focus
  • Behavioral & Social Sciences
  • Humanities
Degrees Offered
  • B.A.
  • Ph.D.
Academic Division
  • Humanities
  • Feminist Studies

Program overview

Feminist studies is an interdisciplinary field of analysis that investigates how relations of gender are embedded in social, political, and cultural formations. The undergraduate program in feminist studies provides students with a unique interdisciplinary and transnational perspective. The department emphasizes theories and practices derived from multiracial and multicultural contexts.


Learning Experience

With over 100 declared majors and course offerings that reach more than 2,000 students annually, the Feminist Studies Department at UC Santa Cruz is one of largest departments focused on gender and sexuality studies in the U.S. Founded as Women's Studies in 1974, it has contributed to the development of internationally recognized feminist scholarship and is one of the oldest and most well-regarded departments in the world. The major in feminist studies offers opportunities to pursue careers in fields such as law, social services, public policy, health care, and higher education. Feminist studies also encourages community service through faculty-sponsored internships and a mutually supportive and collaborative teaching and learning environment.

Study and Research Opportunities

As interdisciplinary scholars who support feminist research and teaching in our department and across campus, Feminist Studies faculty are at the forefront of key debates in feminist philosophy and epistemologies, critical race and ethnic studies, immigration, transgender studies, incarceration, science and technology, human rights and sex trafficking discourses, postcolonial and decolonial theory, media and representation, social justice, and history. Our Affiliated Faculty teach courses across campus that are integral to our major. The undergraduate program offers thematic pathways to facilitate focused courses of study in: culture, power, and representation; Black studies; law, politics, and social change; STEM; decolonial studies; and sexuality studies.

The Feminist Studies Department Library is a non-circulating library of 4,000 books, journals, dissertations, and theses. This space is available to Feminist Studies majors as a quiet place for reading, studying, and meeting with other students. The library is located in Room 316 Humanities 1 and is generally available M-F, 9:00am - 6:00pm.

First-Year (Freshman) Requirements

High school students planning to major in feminist studies at UC Santa Cruz need no special preparation other than the high school courses necessary for UC admission.

two students holding degrees

Transfer Requirements

This is a non-screening major. Transfer students are encouraged to meet with the feminist studies academic advisor to evaluate prior coursework for transfer.

While it is not a condition of admission, transfer students will find it useful to complete the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) in preparation for transfer to UC Santa Cruz. Transfer course agreements and articulation between the University of California and California community colleges can be accessed on the ASSIST.ORG website.

Student studying outside wearing mask

Internships and Career Opportunities

  • Feminist studies alumni go on to study and work in a myriad of fields including law, education, activism, public service, filmmaking, medical fields, and much more. Please check out our Feminist Studies Alumni page and Instagram account to learn what our majors are doing after graduating!

Program Contact



apartment Humanities 1 building, room 403
phone (831) 459-1478 

Similar Programs
  • Women's Studies