Jan 21, 2022  
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog [Current Academic Year] 
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog [Current Academic Year]

Women’s and Gender Studies [M.A.]

This degree explores the conceptual, analytical, and practical aspects of women and gender in a global context. The interdisciplinary nature of the women’s and gender studies program allows students, in consultation with the graduate advisor, to create tailored programs of study designed to meet their goals. The program draws upon a range of courses in the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business, Education, Health and Human Services, and Technology. This highly flexible program fosters scholarly debate and develops research skills for students seeking employment in the nonprofit sector, industry, government, or business and those planning to pursue additional academic degrees. Persons already employed will find the program useful to their professional advancement.

Program Admission

Graduate School Application

After reviewing the admission requirements below, please select the appropriate application. The University is transitioning application platforms; pay close attention when selecting the application below.

The program you are applying to may not accept applicants every semester.

For additional information regarding the application process, please see Graduate Admissions or International Admissions.

Admission Requirements

Minimum Graduate School Requirements

A four-year baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or an equivalent degree from a non-U.S. institution. In addition, a minimum cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 2.7 on a 4.0 scale, or 3.0 in the last half of the undergraduate program, is required for full admission. Applicants who do not meet minimum admission requirements may be considered for conditional admission. See International Admissions for international applicant requirements.

Applicants must also meet the following program requirements:

  • Prior completion of at least two courses with substantial content on women and/or gender and a grade of B or better.
  • A 2.75 undergraduate GPA overall, a 3.0 in the last half cumulative undergraduate GPA, or a minimum 3.0 in previously taken graduate coursework. Please comment on any grades that are not within this range.
  • The applicant must write and submit a 2-3 page (double-spaced) personal statement. The personal statement must be written in such a way as to demonstrate graduate-level writing proficiency and must include the following elements:
    • an explanation of your academic goals: specifically, areas of the field of WGST that you find particularly appealing; professors at EMU with whom you would like to work and why; research questions about the field of WGST and the role of women in society, that you hope to pursue in the course of your graduate study;
    • an explanation of your professional goals and how your WGST graduate degree will help you attain these goals;
    • a discussion of any prior professional and/or community-based experience related to women and/or gender and how that informs your understanding of the field of women’s and gender studies; and
    • an explanation of how previous coursework related to women and/or gender shaped your desire to pursue further study. What particular courses and writers have influenced you?
  • Two letters of recommendation from former professors addressing the candidate’s preparation and ability to complete graduate work.
  • Applicants whose first language is not English demonstrated English Language proficiency as shown by official test scores on the International English Language Testing System.  For the English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) Test, students need a 90-91 on the IBT.

Conditional Admission

Students not meeting regular admission requirements may be admitted on a conditional basis with the approval of the WGST admissions committee

Non-Degree Admissions

Students not meeting the GPA requirement may be granted non-degree admission with the permission of the WGST admissions committee and the Graduate School.

Department Information

Women’s and Gender Studies Elizabeth Currans, Ph.D., Department Head | 714A Pray-Harrold, 734.487.1177, ecurrans@emich.edu

Advisor Information

Mary Elizabeth Murphy​, Ph.D., Professor, 714S Pray-Harrold, 734.487.3183, mmurph54@emich.edu

Degree Requirements: 30 hours

Students should consult the advisor for other approved women’s and gender studies courses offered each semester. The Master of Arts in Women’s and Gender Studies is distributed among core courses, restricted elective courses, and complementary concentration courses as follows:

Core Courses: 15 hours

Capstone Experience: 6 hours

Choose six hours from one of the following three options

  • Option I - Practicum

    A practicum offers the student the opportunity to explore intellectual questions while gaining marketable work experience. Students will be able to apply the knowledge they have gained in their graduate coursework in practical ways as they perform 300 hours of volunteer work at their chosen site. The practicum option requires students to complete a 15-18 page critical reflection paper.

  • 1 hr
  • 2 hrs
  • 3 hrs
  • 4 hrs

    Option II - Thesis

    The thesis is the documentation of the student’s original research and scholarship. Theses are typically 70-100 pages in length. Enrolling in a thesis course requires a GPA in the Women’s and Gender Studies Master of Arts program of 3. 7 or higher.

  • 1 hr
  • 2 hrs
  • 3 hrs

    Option III - Final Project

    Final projects are frequently creative in nature and provide students the opportunity to explore forms of scholarship outside the traditional scope of a thesis, including policy papers, curriculum workbooks, scripts, novels, and performances.

  • 1 hr
  • 2 hrs
  • 3 hrs

    Option IV - Coursework

    The coursework option provides the student the opportunity to expand their depth of knowledge by (a) taking one additional restricted elective course and (b) taking an Independent Study course in which the student works with the instructor of any previous Women’s and Gender Studies graduate course to revise and expand a term paper for submission to a peer-reviewed venue (e. g., a professional journal or national conference).

  • 3 hrs
  • Any approved restricted elective course (WGST 500-699), as listed below 3 hrs

Restricted Elective Courses: 9 hours

Complementary Concentration Courses: 6 hours

Students must select one complementary concentration in consolation with the advisor. Possibilities include:

  • Activism
  • Communication, Media, and Theatre Arts
  • Counseling
  • Criminology
  • Critical Race/Ethnic Studies
  • Educational leadership
  • English Language & Literature
  • Environmental Studies
  • Gerontology/Aging Studies
  • Globalization
  • History
  • Justice Studies
  • Nonprofit Management
  • Performance Studies
  • Philosophy
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Sexualities
  • Social Foundations of Education
  • Social Work
  • Sociology
  • Technology Studies