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Master of Arts in Women's and Gender Studies

Major: WGST
Degree Awarded: MA
Unit: GA
Program Webpage: http://louisville.edu/wgs/


Program Information

MA in Women's and Gender Studies

The WGST M.A. is open to qualified individuals with a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. Any undergraduate major is acceptable for admission; however, students without some Women’s and Gender Studies background may be required to take preparatory courses before beginning the M.A. curriculum or in addition to the M.A. curriculum.

The 37 credit hour interdisciplinary degree program is organized around a 19 credit hour core of two introductory seminars, a one (1) credit hour research/writing seminar, and a selection of courses in four areas. In addition to the core, students complete a concentration area and either a thesis or culminating project. Faculty in the WGS Department, as well as faculty in other departments of the university, offer courses in the M.A. program.

The WGST M.A. may be completed in four semesters (fall/spring). Most courses are offered in late afternoon or evening. Limited summer offerings are also available.

MSSW/MA in Women’s and Gender Studies

The dual MSSW/ WGST program recognizes the value of professional education in two interrelated fields and encourages students who have an interest in both Women’s and Gender Studies and Social Work to pursue these degrees simultaneously. Social workers and Women’s and Gender Studies scholars often seek to address identical or related societal concerns, albeit from different perspectives; understanding both disciplines enhances one’s effectiveness in both the analysis of and engagement with contemporary social and cultural issues. Women’s and Gender Studies courses strengthen the social worker’s understanding of the historical foundations for policies and structures that have an impact on social institutions and human conditions; social work courses help Women’s and Gender Studies scholars or activists to better understand human behavior, conflict resolution and social welfare institutions. A Women’s and Gender Studies and Social Work combination provides the tools of social change for an historic problem of gender inequality and injustice.

The curriculum leading to dual degree, a Master of Arts in Women’s and Gender Studies and a Master of Science in Social Work is a 72 credit hour program which combines credits in WGST and the Kent School of Social Work. Students take the core curriculum in both programs, but substitute elective hours with M.A. and MSSW hours. In addition, the Kent School has tailored its second year-long practicum to focus on issues of gender and women, adding that content and experience for the student. Students must apply and be admitted to both programs in order to pursue the dual degree.

Program Admission Procedure

  1. Students must meet the admission criteria established by the U of L School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies (submit a complete application, submit official transcripts verifying the receipt of a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution, and pay application fee).
  2. Students must have a 3.0 GPA in undergraduate work. Provisional admission is possible for students who do not meet this requirement.
  3. Students must submit two letters of recommendation (submitted to the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies). Letters of recommendation must be current (written within the last year), and letter writers must be familiar with the applicant's academic preparation for graduate study. Members of the WGS Graduate Admissions Committee may not be letter writers.
  4. Students must achieve a combined score of at least 900 on the GRE verbal and quantitative sections. Provisional admission is possible for students with lower scores.
  5. Students must submit one academic writing sample of at least five pages (a paper written as part of the requirements of a university or college course), which should be mailed directly to the Department of Women's and Gender Studies. The Graduate Admissions Committee will determine whether the student has the necessary level of competence in written communication to enter the M.A. program.
  6. Students must submit a personal statement of one-two pages discussing how the M.A. in Women’s and Gender Studies relates to the student’s professional or personal goals (mail directly to the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies).
  7. Any undergraduate major is acceptable for admission; however, students without Women’s and Gender Studies background may be required to take preparatory courses before beginning the M.A. curriculum or in addition to the M.A. curriculum. This will be determined by the Graduate Admissions Committee.
  8. Students must maintain a 3.0 average in order to be in good standing.
  9. Up to six (6) credit hours of graduate-level, “A” or “B” grade work in Women’s and Gender Studies done at another institution may be applied toward the student’s U of L degree, upon approval of the director.
  10. Students enrolled in the University of Kentucky or Western Kentucky University graduate certificate programs may transfer up to 12 credit hours of graduate-level “A” or “B” grade work, upon approval of the director.


Curriculum


The M.A. curriculum includes 19 credit hours of core courses; 9 credit hours in a concentration; a thesis or non-thesis option; and three (3) to nine (9) credit hours of electives, depending on whether the thesis is chosen. At least 18 of the 37 credit hours must be in courses at the 600 level.

Core Curriculum (19 credit hours)

Foundation courses:

  • WGST 600 Research and Writing in WGS (1 credit hour)
  • WGST 601  Feminist Research and Theory in the Humanities (3 credit hours) or 
  • WGST 603  History of American Feminisms
  • WGST 602  Feminist Research and Theory in the Social Sciences (3 credit hours)

Women's/Gender History, choose one (3 credit hours)

  • WGST 630  Feminism in Western Civilization
  • WGST 631  Women in Europe and the U.S. in the 20th Century
  • WGST 633  Women in 19th-Century America
  • WGST 513  U.S. Social Justice Movements
  • WGST 632  History of Sexualities
  • WGST 591/691: Topics in WGS [recent example: Global History of Women]

Gender, Race, and Colonialism, choose one not chosen in another category (3 credit hours)

  • WGST 612  Gender, Race, Work and Welfare
  • WGST 643  Black Women's Voices
  • WGST 640  Women's Health in Africa
  • WGST 682  Gender, Race, Culture and Health Care
  • WGST 513  U.S. Social Justice Movements
  • WGST 545  Southern Women: Black and White
  • WGST 558  Women and Leadership in Developing Nations
  • WGST 591, 593, 691, 692: Topics in WGS [recent example: Postcolonial Bodies]

Humanities Perspectives on Women/Gender, choose one not chosen in another category (3 credit hours)

  • WGST 622  The Body in Popular Media
  • WGST 682  Gender, Race, Culture and Health Care
  • WGST 520  Women's Personal Narratives
  • WGST 560  Feminist Philosophical Literature
  • WGST 571  Francophone Women Writers and Critics
  • WGST 593/WGST 692 Topics in WGS [recent example: Feminist Theology]

Social Science Perspectives on Women/Gender, choose one not chosen in another category (3 credit hours)

  • WGST 656  Feminist Theory
  • WGST 612  Gender, Race, Work and Welfare
  • WGST 615  Sociology of Disabilities
  • WGST 513  U.S. Social Justice Movements
  • WGST 538  American Women in Sports
  • WGST 545  Southern Women: Black and White
  • WGST 632  History of Sexualities
  • WGST 643  Black Women's Voices
  • WGST 640  Women's Health in Africa
  • WGST 558  Women and Leadership in Developing Nations
  • WGST 591/691: Topics in WGS [Recent example: Gender and the Law]

Concentration, 9 credit hours:

For the concentration, students take three courses in a concentration, either around a theme or a more traditional grouping.

Thesis option or non-thesis option, 9 credit hours:

Thesis option:

In addition to the core and the concentration:

  • WGST 695  Practicum  or elective (need not be in WGST), 3 credit hours
  • WGST 699  Thesis, 6 credit hours

Non-thesis option:

In addition to the core and the concentration:

  • WGST 695  Practicum or elective (need not be in WGST), 3 credit hours
  • WGST elective, 3 credit hours
  • WGST 698  Culminating Master's Project


Departmental Faculty


Nancy M. Theriot
Professor

Chairperson

Karen Christopher

Associate Professor

Cate Fosl
Associate Professor

Dawn Heinecken
Professor

Susan Jarosi

Associate Professor

Diane Pecknold

Associate Professor

Kaila Story
Associate Professor
Audre Lorde Endowed Chair in Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality 

Tomarra Adams

Associate Professor (Affiliated Faculty. Pan-African Studies)

Ann Allen
Professor Emerita (Affiliated Faculty. History)

Simona Bertacco

Assistant Professor (Affiliated Faculty, Humanities)

Beth Boehm
Professor (Affiliated Faculty, English)

Tom Byers

Professor Emeritus (Affiliated Faculty English)

Karen Chandler
Associate Professor (Affiliated Faculty English)

Anne Caldwell
Associate Professor (Affiliated Faculty, Political Science)

Julia Dietrich
Professor (Affiliated Faculty, English)

Christine Ehrick
Associate Professor (Affiliated Faculty, History)

Lauren Freeman

Assistant Professor (Affiliated Faculty, Philosophy)

Patricia Gagne
Professor (Affiliated Faculty, Sociology)

Alan Golding
Professor (Affiliated Faculty, English)

Trish Gray
Assistant Professor (Affiliated Faculty, Political Science)

Susan Griffin
Professor (Affiliated Faculty, English)

Karen Hadley
Associate Professor (Affiliated Faculty, English)

Mary Hums

Professor (Affiliated Faculty, Health Education and Promotion)

Greg Hutcheson

Associate Professor (Affiliated Faculty, Classical and Modern Languages)

Lara Kelland

Assistant Professor (Affiliated Faculty, History) 

Jongwoo J. Kim

Assistant Professor (Affiliated Faculty, Fine Arts) 

Cheryl Kolander
Professor (Affiliated Faculty, Health Education and Promotion)

Karen L. Kopelson
Associate Professor (Affiliated Faculty, English)

Gul Marshall
Associate Professor (Affiliated Faculty, Sociology)

Maryam Moazzen

Assistant Professor (Affiliated Faculty, Humanities) 

Laura Moyer

Assistant Professor (Affiliated Faculty, Political Science)

Wendy Pfeffer
Professor (Affiliated Faculty, Classical and Modern Languages)

Natalie Polzer
Associate Professor (Affiliated Faculty, Humanities)

Nancy Potter
Professor (Affiliated Faculty, Philosophy)

Theresa Rajack-Talley
Professor (Affiliated Faculty, Pan-African Studies)

Edwin S. Segal
Professor Emeritus (Affiliated Faculty, Anthropology)

Mary P. Sheridan

Associate Professor (Affiliated Faculty, English) 

Arthur Slavin
Professor Emeritus (Affiliated Faculty, Humanities)

Mary Ann Stenger
Professor Emerita (Affiliated Faculty, Humanities)

Margaret Walker
Assistant Professor (Affiliated Faculty, Geography and GeoSciences)


Contact Information

Women's and Gender Studies - MA

Nancy M. Theriot
(502)852-8160
nancyt@louisville.edu
 

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