Master of Arts in Women and Gender Studies

Admission to Program

To be admitted to the program, students must meet all general University requirements. The most competitive candidates will have a minimum of 9 to 12 undergraduate WGS or equivalent units with previous work in the feminist study of some or all of the following areas: race, gender, sexuality, colonialism, labor, and disability. Students are expected to possess a GPA of at least 3.0 in the last 60 semester units attempted for the bachelor's degree.

Applicants must provide the department graduate admissions committee with the following items:

  1. transcripts of all previous coursework;
  2. a written statement of background, intentions, and goals, including experience in women and gender studies and with feminist literatures, rationale for pursuing the M.A., and relation of the M.A. in Women and Gender Studies to prior academic work and career objectives;
  3. two letters of reference from individuals with direct knowledge of the applicant's scholarly ability.

For admission, applications are due February 1.

Program Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will complete a major research, creative, or field project, which synthesizes multiple bodies of literature and constructs a sustained and original argument relevant to the field of Women and Gender Studies. Students will demonstrate fluency in their chosen research, creative or field areas and demonstrate precision and clarity of writing (WGS 894, 895, 896, 898)
  2. Students will demonstrate breadth and depth of knowledge of the field of Women and Gender Studies (WGS 700)
  3. Students will confront and analyze the politics of knowledge formation production by identifying and distinguishing multiple disciplinary approaches and methodologies (WGS 820)
  4. Students will compare and contrast concepts central to transnational feminism by understanding how contemporary feminist thinkers in different parts of the world and/or across history have sought to explain why and how gender matters (WGS 713)
  5. Students will be able to chart the disciplinary formation of Women and Gender Studies in relation to intellectual, political, and social movements (WGS 710)
  6. Students will demonstrate knowledge of the role of sexuality in history and culture from a transnational feminist perspective (WGS 712)
  7. Students will explain the mutually constitutive formation of categories of difference, including gender, sexuality, race, nation, and class (department-wide)

Written English Proficiency Requirement

The University has a requirement for written English proficiency that is to be assessed at two different levels.

Level One

Evaluated on the pre-admittance writing sample.

Level Two

Evaluated through written portions of the culminating experience of WGS 894, WGS 895, WGS 896EXM or WGS 898

Advancement to Candidacy

The Advancement to Candidacy (ATC) is filed after the student has completed a minimum of 12 units, with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better, and not later than the semester before graduating. Once the ATC is approved, the student is advanced to candidacy. While the usual culminating requirement consists of WGS 896 and the written comprehensive examination (WGS 896EXM), under certain conditions a student may be given permission to do a Creative Work Project, Field Study Project, or Master's Thesis in their/her/his major field. Students considering these other options should contact the graduate coordinator for further details.

Women and Gender Studies (M.A.) — 30 units

Core Courses (18 units)

WGS 700Introduction to Graduate Study3
WGS 710Feminist Social Movements3
WGS 712Queer Theories3
WGS 713Intellectual Genealogies3
WGS 720Feminist Pedagogies3
or WGS 798 Feminist Internship: Gender and the Nonprofit Industrial Complex
WGS 820Feminist Research Methods3

Culminating Experience (3 units)

Select one of the following on advisement:
WGS 894Creative Work Project3
WGS 895Field Study Project3
WGS 896
Directed Reading - Culminating Experience Examination Preparation
and Culminating Experience Examination
WGS 898Master's Thesis3

Related Field Units (9 units)

(upon approval of graduate advisor)

WGS 797 ( units) is recommended in the second year.