The master’s degree in gender and women’s studies provides advanced feminist training in gender analysis for students with a variety of academic backgrounds and career plans. Incorporating local, cross-cultural and transnational emphases, the curriculum encourages students and faculty from the humanities, arts, social sciences and natural sciences to develop innovative ways of expanding knowledge about gender in global, local, and historical contexts. The degree engages the wide-ranging and multidisciplinary perspectives associated with gender studies and women’s studies: queer studies, transgender studies, sexuality studies, race and ethnicity studies, disability studies, area and global studies, cultural studies, postcolonial and transnational studies.
The M.A. curriculum draws from the strengths of current course offerings in the program, as well as from methodologies and course offerings in other fields and departments. Among the domains of inquiry explored within the curriculum are: work, family and education; social movements, the state and civil society; bodies, genders, health and sexualities; individual, collective and communal identities; communications, technology and culture industries; politics of representation, media and cultural practices; migration, immigration, labor and political economy; militarism, international relations and governmental processes; intersectionality of systems of women’s oppression; and arts, performance, and visual cultures. Some courses investigate these topics at the global level while others focus on the local, regional or national levels. The curriculum ensures an overarching transnational and cross-cultural framework. Courses use interdisciplinary methodologies and/or disciplinary approaches.
Application Due Date
Applications for fall 2021 admission are due December 1, 2020.
Consideration for any additional program beyond our terminal MA program will require a new application to that specific program.
Applications are to be submitted online directly to the Graduate School.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can students take courses outside of the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies?
Each student will complete 30 credits of coursework plus a thesis or a comprehensive exam project. Of the 30 credits, at least 15 must be in designated courses in the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies. The remaining credits may also be departmental courses or may be chosen (entirely or in part) from graduate-level courses in other departments and programs in the university. All courses should be selected in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies and/or the advisor, who must approve the selections.
What exactly is required to apply for the MA Program in the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies?
The following items are required as a part of the graduate application:
1) One (1) copy of official transcripts or academic records from each institution attended. International academic records must be in the original language and accompanied by an official English translation. Documents must be issued by the school with the official seal/stamp and an official signature.
2) Three (3) letters of recommendation. We prefer that at least two of the letters come from academic sources. These letters may now be submitted on-line. Please see the Graduate School’s web link for instructions.
3) Statement of reasons why you wish to pursue the M.A. Degree in Gender and Women’s Studies (2-3 pages). In their personal statements, applicants should explicitly articulate their academic interests and goals, describe how an MA in Gender and Women’s Studies compliments those intellectual goals, and explain how the faculty and the program at UW Madison is especially well matched with the applicant’s interests.
4) Curriculum vitae or resumé.
5) Writing sample, such as a paper submitted for a course in an academic program. The admissions committee wishes to see an entire piece of written work, generally between 5 and 10 pages. We prefer an academic paper or policy memo (professional writing) because we are looking for presentation of argument as well as appropriate writing skills.
6) The Department of Gender and Women’s Studies does not require GRE scores.
Can students enroll in this program as a part-time student?
The degree program is designed to be a two-year full-time sequence; however, the program is also flexible enough to allow part-time students to pursue the M.A. All students are expected to maintain satisfactory progress in the graduate program in accordance with the regulations of the Graduate School and department policies.
Is there funding available for students?
The Department of Gender and Women’s Studies offers Teaching Assistant (TA) positions to incoming M.A. students. TA positions provide tuition remission, a stipend and health insurance. Our current departmental policy is to award new M.A. students at least two semesters of guaranteed funding through TA positions in our introductory courses. The Department is sometimes able to offer additional TA positions after the two semesters of guaranteed support based on other factors that include but are not limited to: TA evaluation and performance; additional funding from the College of Letters and Science; and availability of TA positions based on our curriculum schedule each academic year. The availability of TA positions may be different for international students and eligibility will be determined at the time of admission. There are a limited number of TA positions and applicants to the M.A. program should not count on a Teaching Assistant position in the Department as a means of financial support for their entire two years of study. The Department encourages M.A. students to apply for advertised teaching assistant and project assistant positions that may be available elsewhere on campus