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 WGS 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 36-hour interdisciplinary degree program is organized around an 18-hour core of two introductory seminars 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 WGS 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 WGS 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 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 & 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 & Gender Studies relates to the student’s professional or personal goals (mail directly to the Department of Women’s & 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) 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 UofL degree, upon approval of the director.
  10. Students enrolled in the UK or WKU graduate certificate programs may transfer up to 12 hours of graduate-level “A” or “B” grade work, upon approval of the director.

Curriculum

The M.A. curriculum includes 18 hours of core courses; 9 hours in a concentration; a thesis or non-thesis option; and three to nine hours of electives, depending on whether the thesis is chosen. At least 18 of the 36 hours must be in courses at the 600 level.

Core Curriculum (19 hours)

Foundation courses:

WGST 600 Research and Writing in WGS (1 hour)

WGST 601  Feminist Research and Theory in the Humanities (3 hours) or

WGST 603  History of American Feminisms
WGST 602  Feminist Research and Theory in the Social Sciences (3 hours)

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

Thesis option:

In addition to the core and the concentration:
WGST 695  Practicum  or elective (need not be in WGS), 3 hours
WGST 699  Thesis, 6 hours

Non-thesis option:

In addition to the core and the concentration:
WGST 695  Practicum or elective (need not be in WGS), 3 hours
WGST elective, 3 hours
WGST 698  Culminating Master's Project

Faculty

Tomarra Adams

Associate Professor (Affiliated Faculty of Pan-African Studies)

Ann Allen

Professor Emerita (Affiliated Faculty of History)

Simona Bertacco

Assistant Professor (Affiliated Faculty of Humanities)

Beth Boehm

Professor (Affiliated Faculty of English)

Tom Byers

Professor Emeritus (Affiliated Faculty of English)

Anne Caldwell

Associate Professor (Affiliated Faculty of Political Science)

Karen Chandler

Associate Professor (Affiliated Faculty of English)

Karen Christopher

Associate Professor

Julia Dietrich

Professor (Affiliated Faculty of English)

Christine Ehrick

Associate Professor (Affiliated Faculty of History)

Cate Fosl

Associate Professor

Lauren Freeman

Assistant Professor (Affiliated Faculty of Philosophy)

Patricia Gagne

Professor (Affiliated Faculty of Sociology)

Alan Golding

Professor (Affiliated Faculty of English)

Trish Gray

Assistant Professor (Affiliated Faculty of Political Science)

Susan Griffin

Professor (Affiliated Faculty of English)

Karen Hadley

Associate Professor (Affiliated Faculty of English)

Dawn Heinecken

Professor

Mary Hums

Professor (Affiliated Faculty of Health Education and Promotion)

Greg Hutcheson

Associate Professor (Affiliated Faculty of Classical and Modern Languages)

Susan Jarosi

Associate Professor

Lara Kelland

Assistant Professor (Affiliated Faculty of History)

Jongwoo J. Kim

Assistant Professor (Affiliated Facultyof Fine Arts)

Cheryl Kolander

Professor (Affiliated Faculty of Health Education and Promotion)

Karen L. Kopelson

Associate Professor (Affiliated Faculty of English)

Gul Marshall

Associate Professor (Affiliated Faculty of Sociology)

Maryam Moazzen

Assistant Professor (Affiliated Faculty of Humanities)

Laura Moyer

Assistant Professor (Affiliated Faculty of Political Science)

Diane Pecknold

Associate Professor

Wendy Pfeffer

Professor (Affiliated Faculty of Classical and Modern Languages)

Natalie Polzer

Professor (Affiliated Faculty of Humanities)

Nancy Potter

Professor (Affiliated Faculty of Philosophy)

Theresa Rajack-Talley

Professor (Affiliated Faculty of Pan-African Studies)

Edwin S. Segal

Professor Emeritus (Affiliated Faculty of Anthropology)

Mary P. Sheridan

Associate Professor (Affiliated Faculty of English)

Arthur Slavin

Professor Emeritus (Affiliated Faculty of Humanities)

Mary Stenger

Professor Emerita (Affiliated Faculty of Humanities)

Kaila Story
Associate ProfessorM

Audre Lord Endowed Chair in Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality

Nancy M. Theriot
Professor

Chairperson

Margaret Walker

Assistant Professor (Affiliated Professor of Geography and Geosciences)