Overview of Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies

WGSS was built out of the dual goals of examining inequalities resulting from gender, race, sexual orientation and class using an interdisciplinary lens, and translating this research into meaningful, tangible knowledge that contributes to the betterment of communities. Our interdisciplinary faculty members are engaged in research that examines many of the cutting edge issues vexing contemporary times, both domestically and globally, such as discrimination, violence, human trafficking, health and inequality, and migration, to name a few. The common thread throughout these different areas of research is the focus on investigating the factors that create and contribute to vulnerability across time and geography.

Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies is one aspect of feminism, one where academic discussion and learning go on. WGSS students learn about the ways in which people's roles in society have been constructed and the ways in which these roles have changed and continue to change. WGSS courses will make you informed about, and sensitive to issues of gender in relation to education, lifestyle, social roles and status, sexuality, legal status and equity. You will face these issues at work; WGSS courses will help you to deal with them in an informed, responsible, and just manner.

What will women, gender, & sexuality studies give me?

  • Awareness of the issues facing people of all genders – and the world – today 
  • Knowledge of many different academic fields
  • Critical thinking and problem-solving skills
  • Strong writing and researching abilities
  • A solid base on which to enter the workforce, pursue further education and have an impact in the world
  • Graduates of WGSS go on to do many different things, and the possibilities are endless

Admission to the MA Program in Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies

Applicants may submit their graduate application online. For further information regarding the application process, including department-specific deadlines and required supplemental documentation, please visit the Admissions page of the department website.

The Master of Arts in Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies requires 30 credit hours of coursework and a written comprehensive exam.

Core Courses (9)

WGSS 800 History of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies (offered every fall)
WGSS 801 Feminist Theory (offered every fall)
WGSS 802 Feminist Methodologies (offered every spring)

Elective Theory (3)

1 course selected by the student and advisor which provides theoretic support for the student’s research

Elective Methods (3)

1 course selected by the student and advisor which provides methodological support for the student’s research

Elective Courses (15)

Five graduate level courses selected by the student and advisor with at least 50% of content related to gender and/or sexuality

MA Exam

In the last semester of course enrollment, students will complete a written comprehensive exam based on MA program content. A committee of three faculty members evaluates the exam upon completion.


Further details about meeting the degree requirements can be found in the WGSS Graduate Student Handbook.