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 Graduate College

Women's and Gender Studies (MA)'s-gender-studies
225 Sabin Hall
Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0509

Head: Dr. Catherine MacGillivray, Director
Phone: (319) 273-7102

Graduate Coordinator: Dr. Elizabeth Lefler
Phone: (319) 273-7637

Read UNI Catalog Description:

Students interested in this program must submit a completed Application for Admission to Graduate Study and should refer to their MyUNIverse Student Center To-Do list or contact the Director of Women's and Gender Studies for any other application requirements. Graduate information and application for graduate admission can be found at

Admission to the program is competitive. Detailed information on admission requirements and procedures may be obtained from the Women's and Gender Studies office.

The Graduate Record Examination (General Test) is not required for admission to the program

The Women’s and Gender Studies curriculum is designed to meet the needs of students who strive for analytic clarity and rigor in gender-focused research. Students may employ the skills in reflective and critical analysis as well as the broad base of knowledge that they obtain in the program to

  1. prepare for a Ph.D. program with a disciplinary or interdisciplinary focus on gender or,
  2. prepare for a career in the public or private sector in the areas of gender and wellness, gender and violence prevention, or another area based on student interest or,
  3. satisfy strong intellectual interests and curiosity while pursuing advanced education in the liberal arts.

Through core courses and selected electives, students enrolled in the Master of Arts in Women's and Gender Studies will accomplish several objectives: examine theories concerning the social and historical constructions of gender; explore how gender defines relationships among women, among men, and between men and women; recognize that women's lives have been under-represented in traditional disciplines and investigate previously neglected materials in order to identify women's as well as men's roles in cultural or social endeavors; study, compare, and evaluate an array of disciplinary perspectives on gender, including, but not limited to, cross-cultural, economic, sociological, historical, and literary perspectives; identify intersections of gender with race, class, age, sexual identity, and ethnicity, both locally and globally, both in the present and in the past; and employ new methodological and critical approaches to materials customarily treated in other ways, revising the content and assumptions of particular disciplines to address gender and related issues more effectively.

Only graduate courses (course numbers 5000 or above) will apply to a graduate degree, even if the undergraduate course number (4999 or less) is listed. No exceptions will be made.

The M.A. in Women's and Gender Studies has 2 tracks: thesis and applied (non-thesis). The thesis track requires a minimum of 31 semester hours of study; the non-thesis applied track requires a minimum of 32 hours; 15 hours of 6000-level course work, including 6 hours of WGS 6299 is required for the thesis option; 12 hours of 6000-level course work is required for the applied option.  Additional non-program hours may be required if courses on a student’s program of study have prerequisites which instructors choose not to waive.

Successful completion of a written comprehensive examination is required for both tracks.  The Applied Track also requires a culminating project supervised by 2 WGS faculty members.  The project may take a wide variety of forms, but it should meet the following 3 requirements: 1) shows evidence of theoretically informed and self-reflexive praxis; 2) shows evidence of knowledge and research skills appropriate to the project; and 3) is related to the student’s focus area. 

Common core (13 hours – required for all students):
Required (4 Hours)4
WGS 6289 (680:289)
Graduate Seminar in Women's and Gender Studies: Comparative Feminist Theories
WGS 6291
Graduate Proseminar in Women's and Gender Studies
Feminist Theories in the Social Sciences and Humanities (3 hours)3
Select one of the following:
ENGLISH 6120 (620:206)
Feminist Literary Theories and Practice
PHIL 6010 (650:250)
Critical Perspectives on Gender
SOC 4071/5071 (980:171g)
Feminist Theories in the Social Sciences
COMM 4346/5346 (48C:153g)
Gender Issues in Communication
History (3 Hours)3
HISUS 4260/5260 (961:146g)
United States Women's History
or HISEUB 4690/5690 (963:161g)
Modern European Women's History
Research Methodology (3 Hours)3
In consultation with and approval of thesis advisor, one course from the following or other course approved by the thesis advisor or program director:
COMMGRAD 6022 (48C:236)
Communication Research Methodology
ENGLISH 4120/5120 (620:128g)
Images of Women in Literature
ENGLISH 4140/5140 (620:161g)
Literary Criticism
ENGLISH 6100 (620:201)
Introduction to Graduate Study in English
HIST 6050 (960:290)
Historical Methods
PSYCH 6002 (400:241)
Research Design
SOC 4015/5015 (980:178g)
Qualitative Research Methods
or ANTH 4015/5015 (990:178g)
Qualitative Research Methods
INTDEPED 7305 (190:305)
Qualitative Methods in Educational Research
MEASRES 7301 (250:301)
Advanced Experimental Research in Education
HPELS 6210 (440:210)
Quantitative Methods in HPELS
HPELS 6215 (440:215)
Qualitative Methods
LYHS 6410 (430:220)
Evaluation, Research and Accountability
Total Hours13
Thesis Track
Common Core13
WGS 6299 Research Women's and Gender Studies6
Electives related to Thesis Topic 112
Total Hours31

1 With the approval of the thesis advisor, the student individually designs an elective sequence, selecting courses from the humanities, fine arts, social and natural sciences that best contribute to the student’s thesis project.

Applied Track
Common Core13
WGS 6195Graduate Internship in Women's and Gender Studies4
LYHS 6406 (430:253)Fundraising and Grant Seeking for Nonprofit Agencies3
Electives in Focus Area12
Total Hours32
Focus Areas:
1) Gender and Wellness
Required (choose one course from the following):3
HPE 4162/5162 (410:162g)
Introduction to Women's Health
or HPE 4328/5328 (410:128g)
Selected Topics in Women's Health
Electives (choose 9 hours from the following):9
HPE 4162/5162 (410:162g)
Introduction to Women's Health
HPE 4328/5328 (410:128g)
Selected Topics in Women's Health
HPE 4161/5161 (410:161g)
Global Health Mission
HPE 4167/5167 (410:167g)
Cultural Competency for the Helping Professions
HPE 4247/5247 (410:147g)
Minority Health
HPE 4353/5353 (410:153g)
Public Health Theory and Application
HPE 4373/5373
Planning and Evaluation of Public Health/Health Promotion Programs
HPE 4383/5383
Implementation of and Advocacy for Public Health and Health Promotion Programs
HPE 4438/5438 (410:138g)
International Health
HPE 7214 (410:319)
Health Disparities
2) Gender and Violence Prevention
Choose 12 hours from the following:12
FAM SERV 3145/5145 (31F:145g)
Violence in Intimate Relationships
COMM 4447/5447 (48C:108g)
Performance and Social Change
COMM 4346/5346 (48C:153g)
Gender Issues in Communication
SOC 3050/5050 (980:129g)
Men and Masculinities
CRIM 3319/5319 (982:119g)
CRIM 4331/5331 (982:131g)
Women, Crime and Society
WGS 6297 Practicum Women and Gender Studies
3) Individualized (tailored to student interests, with permission of advisor)12

A Graduate Certificate in Women’s and Gender Studies is also available. For requirements go to or in PDF copy go to the "Interdisciplinary" section.