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.
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis; students may start the program in Summer, Fall, or Winter.
Graduate assistantships are awarded in April for Fall admits. Therefore, the department recommends submitting applications by the end of March for Fall admission.
After reviewing the admission requirements below, please select the appropriate application. Please keep in mind that some programs require applicants to submit all application materials by a posted deadline and/or admit students one time each year.
For additional information regarding the application process, please see Graduate Admissions or International Admissions.
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.
Students not meeting regular admission requirements may be admitted on a conditional basis with the approval of the WGST admissions committee
Students not meeting the GPA requirement may be granted non-degree admission with the permission of the WGST admissions committee and the Graduate School.
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 the following:
Required Courses: 9 hours
Restricted Elective Courses: 9 hours
Choose a minimum of six credit hours from the following:
- WGST 510 Gender, Sexuality, and Disability 3 hrs
- WGST 530 Women in Film 3 hrs
- WGST 556 Gendered Globalization: Economic, Political and Cultural Dimensions 3 hrs
or SOCL 556 - Gendered Globalization: Economic, Political and Cultural Dimensions 3 hrs
- WGST 575 Queer Theory 3 hrs
- WGST 580 Feminist Acts and Activism 3 hrs
- WGST 650 Topics in Feminism 3 hrs
Choose a minimum of three credit hours from the following:
- HIST 521 Studies in the History of Women in Europe 3 hrs
- SFCE 570 Women and Pedagogy: Life Histories 3 hrs
- WGST 500 Mentoring Youth in Urban Spaces: Feminist Perspectives 3 hrs
- WGST 515 Sociology of Women 3 hrs
or SOCL 515 - Sociology of Women 3 hrs
- WGST 519 LGBTQ+ History 3 hrs
or HIST 519 LGBTQ+ History 3 hrs
- WGST 521 Women and Technology 3 hrs
or TM 521 - Women and Technology 3 hrs
- WGST 526 Topics in Feminist Philosophy 3 hrs
or PHIL 526 - Topics in Feminist Philosophy 3 hrs
- WGST 528 Technology, Gender and Pop Culture 3 hrs
or TS 528 - Technology, Gender and Pop Culture 3 hrs
- WGST 536 Women, Gender, and Sexualities in U.S. History 3 hrs
or HIST 536 Women, Gender, and Sexualities in U.S. History 3 hrs
- WGST 542 Women and Mental Health 2 hrs
- WGST 555 Sexualities in Literature and Culture 3 hrs
or LITR 555 Sexualities in Literature and Culture 3 hrs
- WGST 560 Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault 3 hrs
or CRM 560 - Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault 3 hrs
or SOCL 560 - Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault 3 hrs
- WGST 562 Practice with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Persons 3 hrs
or SWKE 562 - Practice with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Persons 3 hrs
- WGST 565 Women’s Health 3 hrs
or HLED 565 - Women’s Health 3 hrs
- WGST 581 Gender and Education 3 hrs
or SFCE 581 - Gender and Education 3 hrs
- WGST 590 Special Topics 1 hr
- WGST 591 Special Topics 2 hrs
- WGST 592 Special Topics 3 hrs
- WGST 640 Women’s and Gender Studies Abroad 3 hrs
- WGST 697 Independent Study 1 hr
- WGST 698 Independent Study 2 hrs
- WGST 699 Independent Study 3 hrs
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.
- WGST 686 Practicum 1 hr
- WGST 687 Practicum 2 hrs
- WGST 688 Practicum 3 hrs
- WGST 689 Practicum 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. The final thesis must be approved by the Graduate School.
- WGST 690 Thesis 1 hr
- WGST 691 Thesis 2 hrs
- WGST 692 Thesis 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.
- WGST 694 Final Project 1 hr
- WGST 695 Final Project 2 hrs
- WGST 696 Final Project 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).
- WGST 699 Independent Study 3 hrs
- Any approved restricted elective course (WGST 500-699), as listed above 3 hrs
Complementary Concentration Courses: 6 hours
Students must select one complementary concentration in consolation with the advisor. Possibilities include:
- Communication, Media, and Theatre Arts
- Critical Race/Ethnic Studies
- Educational leadership
- English Language & Literature
- Environmental Studies
- Gerontology/Aging Studies
- Justice Studies
- Nonprofit Management
- Performance Studies
- Political Science
- Social Foundations of Education
- Social Work
- Technology Studies
Critical Graduation Information
Each graduate student is responsible for fulfilling the requirements or their equivalents of the Eastern Michigan University catalog in force at the time of their initial registration or a subsequent catalog, including the one in effect at the time of their graduation.
Master’s degree requirements must be completed within six (6) years of first enrollment in the master’s degree program.
In the event a student does not complete the master’s degree requirements within six years of the date of their original registration, the student may be required to have their credits re-evaluated by the academic department(s) of their degree in keeping with catalog requirements in force during the year of their graduation.
The following are minimum requirements for all master’s degrees awarded by Eastern Michigan University. Some programs require more than the minimum in one or more areas below.
- A master’s degree must require a minimum of 30 credit hours.
- No more than six credits of independent study courses, and no more than 12 credit hours of special topics and independent study courses combined, may be applied to a graduate degree.
- Residency Requirement:
- For students admitted to master’s degree programs of 36 or fewer required hours, at least 24 new graduate hours beginning the semester of acceptance and enrollment into the degree program must be earned at EMU. The remaining program requirement hours may be met through transfer or prior degree credit (EMU or elsewhere).
- For students admitted to master’s degree programs of 37 or more required hours, at least 30 new graduate hours beginning the semester of acceptance and enrollment into the degree program must be earned at EMU. Minimum degree hours must still be met for graduation. The remaining program requirement hours may be met through transfer or prior degree credit (EMU or elsewhere).
- Residency and enrollment in multiple programs: Students enrolled in multiple master’s/specialist degree programs must have 24 unique credit hours in each degree program.
- Only credits from one completed graduate certificate may be applied to a master’s or specialist degree in a relevant field of study, as determined by the Graduate School and with the approval of the degree-granting academic department, and be included in the residency hours above.
- Students must maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA in all graduate-level courses taken at EMU and in their program of study to remain in good academic standing and be eligible for graduation. Students do not need to be registered for classes during the semester of graduation.
- The Graduate School does not permit the use of undergraduate courses (499 and below) to meet degree requirements on graduate programs of study.
- Some master’s programs require a thesis; others require a special project or internship; others require students to pass a final exam. See the Graduate School website for Thesis and Dissertation Manuals, all forms, and information about research and human subject approval. Every completed thesis or dissertation must be submitted to Digital Commons. Any form of graduate student work submitted to Digital Commons must first be approved by a faculty advisor and the Graduate School.