The MA program in Women’s and Gender Studies (WGS) emphasizes an interdisciplinary framework in which students explore and synthesize multiple perspectives on historical and contemporary issues concerning women, gender, and sexuality. This approach stresses theories of intersectionality, which promote analysis of gender and sexuality in relation to race, ethnicity, class, culture, nationality, ability, and other factors that shape experiences, identities, cultural productions, and ways of knowing. Drawing on the strengths of our core faculty, the WGS program focuses on the analysis of social institutions and networks of power while considering avenues of resistance, justice, and transformation.
Graduates of the program have gone on to law school and doctoral-level studies in WGS and other disciplines. Significant numbers of students establish careers in nonprofit service and administration, social services, and education, and most graduates apply their degrees in individual community service, political action, and everyday life. For details about the WGS program, visit the WGS website.
The WGS program only accepts applications for fall-semester enrollment. The priority deadline for admission is March 1.
Applicants must submit the university graduate application, a statement of purpose, a writing sample, two letters of recommendation, a list of completed WGS-related courses, and an official transcript. Students with little or no academic background in WGS may be required to enroll in undergraduate WGS coursework at RU as a prerequisite for graduate study. Students admitted to the graduate program should contact the WGS Program director to plan their course of study.
To earn an MA in WGS, students may choose to complete 33 semester hours, including WGS 497 Master's Project, which may be a scholarly, curricular, creative, or community outreach project; or they may complete 30 semester hours, including WGS 490 Thesis. Students consult with a WGS faculty advisor during their first year to select the appropriate option. With both options, students must complete two required core courses, WGS 402 and WGS 404.
Students must earn grades of B- or better in all course work, and they must maintain a 3.0 grade point average to continue in the program. Students receiving more than two grades of C+ or lower will be unable to continue. Electives must be core or cross-listed WGS courses. Up to six semester hours of credit may be transferred on approval by the WGS director, provided these credits are in compliance with university requirements.
Students must complete a total of 30 semester hours of graduate credit in approved courses. WGS 402 should be taken the first semester of fall enrollment. WGS 404 may be repeated as different topics rotate in under that course number. The thesis, WGS 490, consists of an extensive research and writing project undertaking an original inquiry related to the field of WGS. This provides the opportunity for independent, advanced research in an area of the student's interests, in accordance with programmatic requirements and with committee approval.
A student who has not completed a master’s thesis or project must maintain registration during fall and spring semesters until completion of the project by registering for the appropriate zero-credit course (course number followed by “Y“). Students who have not maintained continuous registration for thesis or other final project will be required to register for all intervening fall and spring semesters prior to graduation.
Students must complete a total of 33 semester hours of graduate credit in approved courses. WGS 402 should be taken the first semester of fall enrollment. WGS core courses rotate different topics under course number WGS 403, WGS 404, WGS 405, WGS 406, WGS 407, and WGS 408, and students may repeat course numbers with different topics.
The project, WGS 497, consists of the completion of a scholarly paper, curriculum development project, creative project, or community outreach project. This directed study provides the opportunity for independent, advanced research in an area of the student’s interests, in accordance with programmatic requirements and with committee approval.
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