This innovative, interdisciplinary department began as the Women's Studies Program in 1988 when feminist professors came together to focus on gender, race, class, sexualities, and nationalities from intersectional and transnational perspectives.
The dissertation fellowship program, that ran from 1991-2009, brought numerous young scholars to UCSB and invigorated the young program. The doctoral emphasis program, also began in the early 90s, paved the way for feminist graduate education on the campus. The Hull Chair in Women and Social Justice, established in 2001, is the first endowed chair of its kind in the field. In 2004 the department added the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer Studies minor.
A department since 2008, Feminist Studies expanded to include 10 faculty, over 50 affiliates, a thriving doctoral emphasis students, a growing Ph.D. program, and graduates about 60 students annually from the major and minors combined.