Jun 24, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog This is not the most recent catalog version; be sure you are viewing the appropriate catalog 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 various courses in the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business, Education, Health and Human Services, and Engineering 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

Admit Terms and Deadlines

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis; students may start the program in the Summer, Fall, or Winter. See Application Deadlines.

Graduate assistantships are awarded in April for Fall admits. Therefore, the department recommends submitting applications for Fall admission by the end of March.

Minimum Graduate School Requirements

For full admission, applicants must have 1) Earned a four-year baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or an equivalent degree from a non-U.S. institution, 2) 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. Conditional admission may be available to applicants who do not meet minimum admission requirements.

Program Requirements

Applicants must also meet the following program requirements. Requirements may be more stringent than the minimum graduate school 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.

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


Your application will be submitted using GradCAS, a Centralized Application Service (CAS) hosted by Liaison. After reviewing the admission requirements, please review the application instructions  and select the appropriate application.

Domestic Applicants Within the application, follow the instructions to submit an official transcript from all previously attended institutions.

International Applicants Before applying, applicants must review the international application/process deadlines at emich.edu/international as they may differ from general program requirements.

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


Department Information

Women’s and Gender Studies 714A Pray-Harrold, 734.487.1177

Elizabeth Currans, PhDDepartment Head

Advisor Information

Mary Elizabeth Murphy​, PhDProfessor, 714S Pray-Harrold, 734.487.3183

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:

Restricted Elective Courses: 9 hours

Capstone Experience: 6 hours

Choose six hours from one of the following three options

  • Option I - Practicum

    A practicum allows the student to explore intellectual questions while gaining marketable work experience. Students can 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 (70-100 pages) documents the student’s original research and scholarship. 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 Graduate School must approve the final thesis.

  • 1 hr
  • 2 hrs
  • 3 hrs

    Option III - Final Project

    Final projects are frequently creative and allows the student 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 above 3 hrs

Complementary Concentration Courses: 6 hours

Students must select one complimentary concentration in consultation 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.

Critical Graduation Information

Each graduate student is responsible for fulfilling the requirements or 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.