MA in Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies

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In the pioneering Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS) Master of Arts degree program, students create an individualized program of study that combines course work with opportunities for practical experience at top agencies and organizations in the nation's capital. Graduates gain the professional skills needed to become competitive participants in the realm of public policy, nonprofit leadership, business, law and more.

Students are expected to develop intellectual depth and a degree of expertise through a four-course concentration in either a specific discipline or a topical area. Examples of specific disciplines include anthropology, sociology, English, history and philosophy, among others. Examples of topical areas include women and health, international development, race and gender and LGBT sexuality.

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Chitra Panjabi MA '10

"My graduate degree was critical in further developing a feminist lens and approach. ... I now have a deeper understanding of my work advocating for social justice."

Chitra Panjabi
MA '10

Thesis versus Practicum

As part of the master’s program, each student chooses to write a thesis or complete one of the practicum options. Although it is possible to complete both a thesis and a practicum, most students choose one or the other.

Course Requirements

The following requirements must be fulfilled: 36 credits, including 12 credits in core courses, 3 credits in practicum or thesis research, and 21 credits in elective courses.
WGSS 6220Fundamentals of Feminist Theory
WGSS 6221Research Issues in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
WGSS 6225Contemporary Feminist Theory
or WGSS 6230 Global Feminisms
WGSS 6299Capstone Research Seminar
Practicum or thesis (3 credits)
WGSS 6283Practicum in Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies
or WGSS 6999 Thesis Research
With the advisor’s approval, students develop a four-course (12 credit) concentration. In addition, they take three elective courses (9 credits) that may or may not be related to their chosen concentration.