Master of Arts in Women’s and Gender Studies

The MA in Women’s & Gender Studies combines advanced Women’s & Gender Studies courses in feminist theory, research methods, global feminisms, and selected topics with graduate-level courses in many disciplines. Currently Women’s & Gender Studies offers over 90 core and cross-listed courses drawn from approximately thirty departments across campus, taught by our own faculty, as well as a number of affiliated faculty.

Credits and Courses

To earn an MA in Women’s and Gender Studies, students must complete 30 credits. Fifteen credits are in required Women’s and Gender Studies courses (15 with thesis option):

WGS 700Feminist Issues and Scholarship3
WGS 701Feminisms in Global Context3
WGS 710Advanced Feminist Theory3
WGS 711Feminist Epistemologies and Research Practices3
WGS 740Advanced Queer Theory3
Select one G or U/G WGS course 13
Select 12 credits in graduate-level courses in consultation with the WGS Director of Graduate Studies.12
Total Credits30

Excluding WGS 497,WGS 700, WGS 990, and WGS 999

No more than six credits may be in undergraduate/graduate (U/G) courses, and no more than six transfer credits may apply. Students may not count more than three credits of WGS 999 toward the degree.

Additional Requirements

Thesis, Paper or Project, or Examination

Students complete the degree with a written thesis, paper or project, or comprehensive examination. All options include an oral defense.

The thesis is an academic research paper that demonstrates the student’s ability to carry out an independent investigation, to analyze data (qualitative and/or quantitative), and to present the results in a clear, systematic form. The thesis includes a review of relevant scholarship and makes a contribution to the field.

The master’s paper is a more limited, shorter scholarly product that often takes the form of a scholarly essay of publishable quality. The master’s paper demonstrates the student’s ability to formulate an argument, analyze data, present results in a clear, systematic form, and show familiarity with relevant scholarship.

The master’s project may be a creative or artistic project that is research-based or a research-based practical project.

The examination is a comprehensive written examination that addresses central texts and issues in the field of Women’s and Gender Studies.

Time Limit

Students must complete the MA within five years of enrollment, in compliance with Graduate School time-to-degree requirements.

Students can complete the degree with a written thesis, paper or project, or comprehensive examination. All options include an oral defense. In accordance with Graduate School policy, students must complete the degree within five years of enrollment.

Please see the current Schedule of Classes for a complete list of Women’s & Gender Studies core and cross-listed course offerings. In some cases, only specific subtitles of variable content courses are approved, and those subtitles are indicated in the course list.


The Director of Graduate Studies guides prospective students through the application and admissions process and helps enrolled students choose their first semester classes. Once at UWM, new MA students should arrange to meet with the Women’s & Gender Studies Director of Graduate Studies early in their first semester.


Applicants must satisfy Graduate School requirements for admission and apply online via the UWM Panthera Graduate Admission Application. Additionally, the following materials must be submitted to be considered for admission:

  • Official or unofficial transcripts for all work done at higher education/post-secondary institutions
  • Three letters of recommendation from persons familiar with the applicant’s academic or professional work
  • A sample of the applicant’s written work that demonstrates the applicant’s critical thinking, research, and writing skills
  • A letter of intent explaining the applicant’s reasons for graduate study (the Graduate School Reasons Statement may be used)

Priority Deadline

Applications received by January 15th will be given full consideration. The Women’s & Gender Studies MA Program accepts fall admissions only.

For more information about the Women’s & Gender Studies Graduate program contact the Director of Graduate Studies.

Carolyn Eichner
Director of Graduate Studies
Curtin Hall 523

Graduate Grievance Procedures

Federal law and UWM policy require programs and departments to have procedures for graduate students to appeal academic decisions such as grades or scholastic standing. These procedures ensure the protection of students’ rights. These pages serve as a reference on procedures for graduate student academic appeals.