WGSS Guide to Graduate Study

A group of MA in WGSS graduates wearing caps and gowns and smiling

The Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS) Program offers resources and other guidance to help new and returning graduate students navigate the information they will need throughout their graduate experience.

For details on application requirements, GRE and TOEFL scores, full-time and part-time options, recommendations and more, read Columbian College’s guidelines to the graduate admissions process.


Program of Study

Students in both the MA in WGSS and the MA in Public Policy-WGSS must craft an individualized program of study. By the end of their first semester, students should meet with their advisor and complete a Program of Study Form in consultation with their advisor. Revisions to the Program of Study Form may be made as needed in consultation with the advisor.

Choosing Program Options

Master's students must choose between an MA in WGSS and an MA in WGSS-Public Policy.


In the Master of Arts in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies degree program, students choose a concentration in either a discipline or topical area:

Specific Disciplines

Specific disciplines include anthropology, sociology, English, history, philosophy or another discipline (with permission). This option most often suits students interested in pursuing a PhD in a discipline, and those whose interests fit easily within disciplinary lines.

Topical Areas

Topical areas include women and health, international development and race and gender. Students may choose the topical area option because their intellectual passions and career objectives are truly interdisciplinary. This option provides flexibility for students with diverse interests.

While there are opportunities for students with policy interests to include policy courses in their program of study through electives or chosen discipline, students who wish to pursue public policy careers may find the MA in Public Policy-WGSS a better fit.

Application Deadlines

  • Graduate Certificate: April 1
  • MA in WGSS: April 1
  • MA in Public Policy-WGSS: April 1
  • MA Applications for Assistantships and Fellowships: February 1

Cost and Financial Aid

Graduate tuition is charged per credit hour. Books and supplies can be estimated at an additional $700/year. For detailed cost information, visit the Student Accounts Office website.

The GW Office of Student Financial Assistance offers financial aid in the form of Federal Direct Stafford, Federal Direct Graduate PLUS and private alternative loans to students who have been admitted to one of our graduate degree or approved graduate certificate programs.

Graduate students may be eligible to receive funding opportunities from the WGSS Program, as well as other available awards and scholarships.

Additional Resources

For more information on the graduate program, consult these university tools.

GW Graduate Student Handbooks

Download the Columbian College master’s, graduate certificate or doctoral student handbooks for general guidance on deadlines, leaves of absence, thesis guidelines and final dissertation defense.

Tools for Thesis Writing