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What can I do with a Women's & Gender Studies major?

A Women's and Gender Studies degree is very flexible. Like majors in other Social Sciences and Humanities the Women's and Gender Studies major does not prepare students for one job, but for many different kinds of employment. Women's and Gender Studies courses train students in critical thinking skills, social science research methods and writing. Coursework provides knowledge about the interplay of gender, race, class and sexuality in the United States and globally. The required internship program allows students the opportunity to evaluate possible careers and also provides employment experiences which help graduates find employment. A major in Women's and Gender Studies, with its combination of cross-disciplinary, analytic and practical skills, prepares a well-rounded graduate who has the tools to adapt to a world of rapidly changing work and family structures.

Women's and Gender Studies prepares students for a variety of employment opportunities and for professional and graduate education in a number of fields. The required internship, and the ability to integrate a minor (including the Women's Health minor) into the major or facilitate a double major, permits students to build their academic credentials and acquire career-specific skills and expertise. The following are jobs and graduate work of a few recent graduates from our Department.

Sample Employment of Alumni with the B.A. degree

  • Domestic Violence Prevention Educator, Project Sanctuary, Ukiah
  • Experiential Education Facilitator, Princeton University
  • YWCA Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services Program, Santa Rosa
  • Director of the Eating Disorder Forum and Task Force, Petaluma Health Care District
  • Events Coordinator, Stanford University
  • Youth Ministry Coordinator, Sebastopol Community Church
  • Advocate, Sonoma County Victim Assistance
  • Prevention Education Coordinator, United Against Sexual Assault of Sonoma County
  • Peer Educator, New Visions Youth Treatment Program, Rhode Island
  • Graduate Administrative Coordinator, Psychology Master's Programs SSU

Graduate and Professional Education

Ph.D. Programs:

  • California School of Professional Psychology
  • History, UC Irvine
  • Sociology, UC Santa Cruz
  • American Studies, University of New Mexico

MA Programs:

  • Public Policy, Claremont Graduate School
  • American Studies, CSU Fullerton
  • Prescott College, Arizona
  • English, SSU
  • Counseling, Dominican University

Teaching Credential Programs:

  • SSU
  • San Jose State University
  • Dominican

J.D. Programs:

  • Hastings Law School, San Francisco

Who is my WGS Advisor?

In an effort to provide the best academic advising possible, we have instituted a new departmental policy. Each WGS major and minor will have an assigned faculty advisor.

You are strongly encouraged to contact your advisor for an advising session at least once each semester. You are required to bring your transcripts (from SSU and any other universities) to your advising session. A copy of your most recent unofficial SSU transcript (available on-line) is acceptable for advising purposes. Advising occurs during faculty drop-in office hours and by appointment with your advisor. Remember that you are ultimately responsible for staying on top of your requirements, not the faculty. We are here to be of assistance to you.

See below to find your advisor and their contact information. The advisors are assigned by the first letter of your last name. For example, if your last name is Adams, your advisor will be Professor Charlene Tung.

Advisor Assignments:

WGS Majors and Minors

  • Charlene Tung: last names beginning A-H
  • Lena McQuade: last names beginning I-P
  • Don Romesburg: last names beginning Q-Z

Queer Studies Minors

  • Don Romesburg
Dr. Lena McQuade
Office: Stev 3016H
Dr. Don Romesburg
Office: Stev 3016G
Dr. Charlene Tung
Office: Stev 3016F

What are the Internship (WGS 499/395) requirements and how do I register?

*Internship registration contracts are due by Thursday, 2nd week of classes*

Number of hours required to receive credit (CR/NC only)
WGS 395 (CIP units)
  • 1 unit = 30 hours
  • 2 units = 60 hours
  • 3 units = 90 hours
  • 4 units =120 hours
WGS 499 (Internship Units)
  • 1 unit = 45 hours
  • 2 units = 90 hours
  • 3 units = 135 hours
  • 4 units = 180 hours
What is the difference between a CIP and an internship?
WGS 395: Community Involvement Program (CIP). The Community Involvement Program (CIP) allows students to earn units for their volunteer community service work. CIP is intended to assist students in clarifying career and/or academic interests in a variety of work settings. The CIP placement should involve direct contact with and meaningful service to people within the community, usually in an off-campus setting. The placement is strictly volunteer. Students may not receive monetary compensation for work that leads to CIP academic credit. Credit/No Credit basis only. Students may enroll in CIP for a maximum of four units in any one semester.
NOTE: A maximum of six units of CIP credit may be applied towards graduation.
WGS 499: Internship. An internship is a pre-professional experience designed in close consultation with a faculty advisor, which gives the student an opportunity to apply knowledge from the classroom in an employment setting consistent with the student’s chosen career field. Internships may pay a wage or stipend or may be unpaid. The internship program is designed for students as a means to incorporate qualified and supervised work into their educational program and gain academic credit while making valuable career connections. You may complete 1-4 units of internship during a semester.
How do I find an internship/CIP and sign up for units?
  1. Find an internship/CIP site. A list of some possible internships is attached. Also see the listings in Rachel Carson Hall 18 and in Career Services (Salazar 1070.) It is also possible to arrange your own CIP/internship setting in consultation with any WGS faculty supervisor. Be sure to consider what new skills and abilities you would like to develop from the CIP/internship.
  2. Phone one or more potential internship settings. Discuss 1) the duties the internship might include and 2) the number of hours you are available (and need) to work during the semester in order to complete your CIP/internship.
  3. Meet with your on-site supervisor to complete official forms. Bring with you either the "internship agreement" form (for WGS 499) or "volunteer agreement" form (for WGS 395). Both forms are available from RCH 18 or your instructor. Discuss how you will maintain an official log of your hours. Be sure to discuss any special requirements (expectations for individuals working in that setting, such as confidentiality or safety issues).
  4. Submit completed forms to RCH 18 (put in Charlene Tung’s box) by 3:00, THURSDAY OF 2ND WEEK OF SEMESTER. WGS will obtain signatures from the Dean, assign you a WGS instructor (Romesburg or Tung) and file the internship agreement with Admissions and Records.
Course requirements
  1. Find your Instructor. You will be assigned a WGS instructor for your internship. You can find your instructor by checking your schedule sometime in the middle of September or February (after the paperwork for your CIP or internship is processed and posted on-line). You should contact your WGS instructor if you have any problems at your internship site. Please turn you end-of-semester paperwork into your WGS instructor's box (not necessarily the same person as your WGS academic advisor).
  2. Log/Schedule. Maintain a log of hours spent working on the internship/CIP. Keep in mind the total number of hours necessary to earn your units.
  3. Progress Report. Each student must schedule a meeting with your assigned instructor to provide a progress report on the internship at least once during the semester. The meeting should occur BY MID-SEMESTER, WEEK 8. It is your responsibility to do this!
  4. Internship Supervisor Letter. You must provide your WGS instructor with a letter from your supervisor verifying that you have completed the necessary hours and duties to complete the units. This letter (typed or hand-written) should: 1) be on the organization's letterhead and 2) state the number of hours you completed during the internship. DUE by FRIDAY OF WEEK 16 ( 5:00) to your WGS instructor’s mailbox/via e-mail.
  5. Summary paper. (1 unit =3-5 pages, 2 units =4-6 pages, 3 units =5-7 pages, 4 units =6-8 pages). DUE BY FRIDAY WEEK 16 (5:00) to your WGS instructor's box. Assignment details are listed below.

If you do not submit the paperwork in a timely manner, you may not receive credit for the internship/CIP course.

Dr. Lena McQuade
Office: Stev 3016H
Dr. Don Romesburg
Office: Stev 3016G
Dr. Charlene Tung
Office: Stev 3016F

WGS 395/499 Summary Paper Instruction

*Summary Paper Due Friday of week 16*

This essay asks you to reflect on your internship experience. It also provides the WGS Department with information about the different ways students apply WGS concepts to “real world” settings.

The length of your paper corresponds with the number of units you will receive credit for:
  • 1 unit = 3-5 pages
  • 2 units = 4-6 pages
  • 3 units = 5-7 pages
  • 4 units = 6-8 pages
Your paper should be typed and double-spaced with normal size font and margins. On the top left-hand corner of your paper, please include the following information:
  • Your name
  • Date
  • Your placement, including specific units and location
  • Your on-site internship supervisor’s name
Please address each of the following questions in your paper:
  • Briefly describe your internship setting. What are the goals of the agency or organization in which participated?
  • Describe what you actually did in the internship. What worked well for you in the placement? What were some of the problems your encountered? How did you resolve problems?
  • How helpful was your on-site supervisor? Did you feel adequately trained for your internship?
  • In your opinion, is your internship agency or organization effective in meeting its organizational goals? Why or why not? Did you feel you were able to help the organization meet its goals?
  • Did you find yourself applying information from your WGS classes to the internship setting? Did your experience as a WGS major prepare you in any way for the internship? Did you find yourself bringing your internship experience(s) back to your classmates/classrooms in a meaningful way? Please explain with specific examples and details.
Dr. Lena McQuade
Office: Stev 3016H
Dr. Don Romesburg
Office: Stev 3016G
Dr. Charlene Tung
Office: Stev 3016F

What are some Internship/CIP possibilities?

*The deadline for submitting all internship forms is Thursday, 2nd week of classes*

Below are just a few of the opportunities available to WGS students (and others interested in obtaining credit through WGS). Note that all WGS majors are required to complete 4 units Internship. See WGS 499/395 Syllabus for details and requirements.

If you would like to speak to current WGS students who have interned at these locations, ask the WGS faculty. Speaking to current WGS students can also provide other referrals to various agencies. You are also welcome to look at past WGS Newsletters—all list past internships and community involvement projects.


Circle of Sisters
An after school program for girls in Sonoma County Schools (e.g Guerneville, Rohnert Park). Circle of Sisters serves girls ages 10-14. They strive to help girls sustain wholeness in body, mind and spirit throughout their lives. Service opportunities include assisting facilitators in planning and conducting workshops and/or developing curricular and promotional materials for the program.
Contact Amy Chevrolet, 525-5311 or
Community Action Partnerships of Sonoma County
A network of organizations who partner with low income families and individuals to help them achieve economic and social stability, to build community, and to advocate for social and economic justice. Their programs and services include: Head Start & Early Head Start;Housing; Health; Youth, Family & Neighborhoods; Centro Laboral de Graton; Family Resource Center; and Fair Housing of Sonoma County. Community Action Partnerships of Sonoma County
The Family Connection
An award winning nonprofit program that uses volunteers to help families transition out of homelessness ( They create teams of volunteers who, under the supervision of a professional Family Support Coordinator, form support systems for families who have been homeless. Each team is matched for up for one year with one family. Interns become team members and also participate in a weekly intern seminar.
Contact Sara Jones, 579-3630 or
The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Historical Society (GLBTHS)
Located in San Francisco, this is a community-based archives and museum dedicated to preserving the histories of GLBT communities in Northern California. This internship program provides students with the opportunity to gain valuable hands-on experience working with a community based non-profit historical organization.
Contact Karen Bullock-Jordan, 415-777-5455 ext. 5# or
The Living Room
A drop-in center for homeless/at-risk women and children only, providing breakfast, lunch, toiletries, diapers, writing supplies, stamps, bus tickets, telephone, message service, post office box, peer support, and referrals for housing, jobs and social services. Interns are needed to work at the front desk and help coordinate other activities.
Contact Carla Fittipaldi, Mother and Child Program Coordinator 495-3909 or Arlene, Program Coordinator 579-0142
Sonoma County Women's Voices
Looking for interns to contact and coordinate young women writers of articles, fiction, creative non-fiction, and poetry for publication in Women's Voices; write for the newspaper, including coverage of SSU events of interest to other women; or ther duties as well.
Contact Jane Boyle, 792-1819 or
VERITY: Rape Crisis and Counseling Center of Sonoma County
Various internships available through Prevention Department including: Presenter for the Child Abuse or Teen Assault Prevention Projects (CAPP/TAPP); Present Self Defense workshops to female teens; Present same-sex sexual assault workshops to LGBT youth. You will receive 10-20 hours of training on presenting prevention of sexual assault or self-defense or same-sex sexual assault. VERITY: Rape Crisis and Counseling Center of Sonoma County.
Focus of agency is on domestic violence. Operates only Safe House in Sonoma County, as well as a therapeutic preschool serving children who have witnessed violence. Various internship opportunities including gaining experience in case management, staffing 24-hour hotline (40-hour training required—applicable to internship hours), assisting with support groups, and collecting/analyzing data for the YWCA.
Contact Donata Bohanec, Volunteer Coordinator 546-9922 ext. 3208 or


Women’s and Gender Studies Newsletter Intern
Newsletter comes out 1x/semester. As an Editorial Assistant, valuable experience to be gained in desktop publishing, editing, writing, and layout design.
Contact Professor Charlene Tung,
Women’s and Gender Studies Development Intern
Gain experience in basics of fundraising and alumni relations development. Valuable for those considering a career in the non-profit sector (or maybe even starting your own organization!).
Contact Professor Don Romesburg,
Women’s and Gender Studies Deptartment Interns
Position includes a variety of possibilities (including serving as the departmental liasion to community colleges; major fairs; online community development; office assistance).
Multi-Cultural Center
Newly formed center on-campus (formerlyWomen’s Resource Center and Intercultural Center). Gain experience in progam development, event planning, and student services.
Contact Gina Geck,
Women’s Oral History Project
On-going project interviewing women from Sonoma County. Gain experience in interviewing and transcribing interviews, archival research and curating exhibits.
Contact Professor Michelle Jolly,

Online resources to assist in finding a site

Sonoma County Volunteer Program
There are a few paid internship positions with the County of Sonoma and many or more unpaid volunteer opportunities working in County agencies. Recent volunteer opps include working in a youth nutrition program and with pregnant teens (esp. appropriate for Women’s Health internships). For more information, see the Sonoma County department of Human Resources
Volunteer Center of Sonoma County
This organization coordinates up to date information about internships for various orgs throughout Sonoma County. For example, Girl Scouts, Hospice of Petaluma, Council on Aging, and Sonoma County Legal Aid. Volunteer Center of Sonoma County
SSU Career Services
This on-campus office has updated listings on internship opportunities (both paid and unpaid) in a variety of fields in and around Sonoma County. Their goal is to connect employers/internships with students.
Dr. Lena McQuade
Office: Stev 3016H
Dr. Don Romesburg
Office: Stev 3016G
Dr. Charlene Tung
Office: Stev 3016F

For a comprehensive list of web sites that refer to graduate work, please visit the following links:

Dr. Lena McQuade
Office: Stev 3016H
Dr. Don Romesburg
Office: Stev 3016G
Dr. Charlene Tung
Office: Stev 3016F