Women's and Gender Studies (MA)

Master of Arts in Women's and Gender Studies (WGSTMA)
Unit: College of Arts and Sciences (GA)
Department: Women's and Gender Studies
Program Webpage: louisville.edu/wgs/

Program Information

MA in Women's and Gender Studies

The Women's and Gender Studies Master of Arts degree program is open to qualified individuals with a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. Any undergraduate major is acceptable for admission; however, students without some Women's and Gender Studies background may be required to take preparatory courses before beginning the MA curriculum or in addition to the MA curriculum.

The 37-credit hour interdisciplinary degree program is organized around a 19-credit hour core of two introductory seminars, a one-credit research/writing course, and a selection of courses in four areas. In addition to the core, students complete a concentration area and either a thesis or culminating project.

Faculty in the Women's and Gender Studies Department, as well as faculty in other departments of the university, offer courses in the MA program.

The Women's and Gender Studies MA may be completed in four semesters (fall/spring). Most courses are offered in late afternoon or evening. Limited summer offerings are also available.


Accelerated BA-BS/MA in WGS

Women's and Gender Studies majors who are already thinking about pursuing an MA in Women's and Gender Studies can speed up the process by applying some of their undergraduate credit hours toward a master's degree. The basic idea is to take three graduate level courses/nine hours (either 500-level with the additional graduate level assignments, or 600-level) while still an undergraduate, and then have those credits apply both toward the undergraduate degree and towards an eventual master's degree from UofL.

Students in the accelerated Master of Arts in Women's and Gender Studies program may take a maximum of nine hours for graduate credit, which will also apply to the requirements for the baccalaureate degree. To be considered for admission to the Accelerated Master of Arts in Women's and Gender Studies program, students must:

  • Complete an application for admission to the Women's and Gender Studies Department's Master of Arts program (including GRE scores, transcripts, two letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and a writing sample) no later than the end of their junior year.
  • Have a minimum overall grade point average (GPA) of 3.35, a Women's and Gender Studies GPA of 3.35, and meet all other requirements for admission to the Women's and Gender Studies Department's Master of Arts program.

Students must retain a 3.35 GPA in Women's and Gender Studies during their senior year to remain in the program. Once admitted to the accelerated BA/MA program and starting the graduate work, students are expected to maintain a full graduate load of 9 credit hours.

Students in the accelerated BA/MA program must meet all of the MA requirements including receiving at least 18 of their 36-hour program in 600-level, courses.


Dual MSSW/MA in Women's and Gender Studies

The dual Master of Science in Social Work/Master of Arts in Women's and Gender Studies program recognizes the value of professional education in two interrelated fields and encourages students who have an interest in both Women's and Gender Studies and Social Work to pursue these degrees simultaneously. Social workers and Women's and Gender Studies scholars often seek to address identical or related societal concerns, albeit from different perspectives; understanding both disciplines enhances one's effectiveness in both the analysis of and engagement with contemporary social and cultural issues. Women's and Gender Studies courses strengthen the social worker's understanding of the historical foundations for policies and structures that have an impact on social institutions and human conditions; Social Work courses help Women's and Gender Studies scholars or activists to better understand human behavior, conflict resolution and social welfare institutions. A Women's and Gender Studies and Social Work combination provides the tools of social change for an historic problem of gender inequality and injustice.

The curriculum leading to a dual degree is a 79-credit hour program which combines credits in Women's and Gender Studies and the Kent School of Social Work. Students take the core curriculum in both programs, but substitute elective hours with MA and MSSW hours. In addition, the Kent School has tailored its second year-long practicum to focus on issues of gender and women, adding that content and experience for the student.

Students must apply and be admitted to both programs in order to pursue the dual degree.

Admission Requirements

Students wishing to be admitted to the MA in Women's and Gender Studies must meet the following requirements for admission:

  1. Students must meet the admission criteria established by the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies (submit a complete application, submit official transcripts verifying the receipt of a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution, and pay application fee).
  2. Students must have a 3.0 GPA in undergraduate work. Provisional admission is possible for students who do not meet this requirement.
  3. Students must submit two letters of recommendation (submitted to the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies). Letters of recommendation must be current (written within the last year), and letter writers must be familiar with the applicant's academic preparation for graduate study. Members of the WGS Graduate Admissions Committee may not be letter writers.
  4. Students must submit GRE scores to UofL. GRE scores will be one of many factors used in evaluating students for admission.
  5. Students must submit one academic writing sample of at least five pages (a paper written as part of the requirements of a university or college course), which should be mailed directly to the Department of Women's & Gender Studies. The Graduate Admissions Committee will determine whether the student has the necessary level of competence in written communication to enter the MA program.
  6. Students must submit a personal statement of one-two pages discussing how the MA in Women's & Gender Studies relates to the student's professional or personal goals (mail directly to the Department of Women's & Gender Studies).

Any undergraduate major is acceptable for admission; however, students without Women's and Gender Studies background may be required to take preparatory courses before beginning the MA curriculum or in addition to the MA curriculum. This will be determined by the Graduate Admissions Committee.

Up to six (6) hours of graduate-level, A- or B-graded work in Women's and Gender Studies done at another institution may be applied toward the student's UofL degree, upon approval of the director.

Students enrolled in the UK or WKU graduate certificate programs may transfer up to 12 hours of graduate-level A- or B-graded work, upon approval of the director.

Students must maintain a 3.0 average in order to be in good standing.

Students must apply and be admitted to both programs in order to pursue the dual MSSW/MA degree program. Admission requirements for the Kent School of Social Work can be found on the MSSW page.

Program Requirements

The MA curriculum includes:

  • 18 hours of core courses;
  • 9 hours in a concentration;
  • a thesis or non-thesis option; and
  • three to nine hours of electives, depending on whether the thesis is chosen.

At least 18 of the 36 hours must be in courses at the 600 level.

Core Curriculum
Foundation Courses:
WGST 600Research/Writing in Women's and Gender Studies.1
WGST 601Feminist Research in the Humanities3
or WGST 603 History of U.S. Feminisms
WGST 602Feminist Research and Methods in the Social Sciences3
Women's/Gender History
Select one of the following:3
U. S. Social Justice Movements
Topics in Women's and Gender Studies: Social Sciences (recent example: Global History of Women) 1
Feminism in Western Civilization
Women in the Twentieth Century in Europe and the U.S.
History of American Sexualities
Women in 19th-Century America
Advanced Topics in Women's & Gender Studies-Social Sciences (recent example: Global History of Women) 1
Gender, Race, and Colonialism
Select one of the following, not chosen in another category:3
U. S. Social Justice Movements
Southern Women: Black and White
Women in Developing Countries
Topics in Women's and Gender Studies: Social Sciences (recent example: Postcolonial Bodies) 1
Topics in Women's and Gender Studies: Humanities 1
Gender, Race, Work, and Welfare
Black Women's Voices
Women's Health in Africa
Gender, Race and Culture in Health Care
Advanced Topics in Women's & Gender Studies-Humanities 1
Humanities Perspectives on Women/Gender
Select one not chosen in another category:3
Women's Personal Narratives
Feminist Philosophical Literature
Francophone Women Writers
Topics in Women's and Gender Studies: Humanities (recent example: Feminist Theology)
The Body in Popular Media
Gender, Race and Culture in Health Care
Advanced Topics in Women's & Gender Studies-Humanities
Social Science Perspectives on Women/Gender
Select one not chosen in another category:3
U. S. Social Justice Movements
American Woman in Sports
Southern Women: Black and White
Women in Developing Countries
Topics in Women's and Gender Studies: Social Sciences (recent example: Gender and the Law)
Gender, Race, Work, and Welfare
Seminar in the Sociology of Disabilities
History of American Sexualities
Women's Health in Africa
Black Women's Voices
Feminist Theory
Advanced Topics in Women's & Gender Studies-Social Sciences
Concentration
For the concentration, students take three courses in a concentration, either around a theme or a more traditional grouping9
Thesis Option or Non-Thesis Option
Select the thesis or non-thesis option9
Thesis Option
Women's Studies Practicum (or elective, which need not be in WGS)
Thesis
Non-Thesis Option
Women's Studies Practicum (or elective, which need not be in WGS)
WGST elective
Master's Degree Project
Minimum Total Hours37

Up to six (6) hours of graduate-level, A- or B-graded grade work in Women's and Gender Studies done at another institution may be applied toward the student's UofL degree, upon approval of the director.

Students enrolled in the UK or WKU graduate certificate programs may transfer up to 12 hours of graduate-level A-or B-graded work, upon approval of the director.

Students must maintain a 3.0 average in order to be in good standing.