FAQs FOR BA/MA TRACK IN FEMINIST PRACTICES FOR SOCIAL CHANGE
When is the application deadline? Is there an ‘Early Decision’ Deadline?
WGSS is offering an early decision deadline of February 1, 2020, for students interested in applying early decision to the BA/MA Track. Students who apply by this deadline are required to enroll in the BA/MA Track if accepted. Applications that are submitted by February 1, 2020, date but that are incomplete will be evaluated with applications submitted by the final application deadline of April 1, 2020.
The general application deadline is April 1, 2020.
When applying to the BA/MA Track, students should complete the application for the WGSS Master’s degree. On the application itself, they should select the option for the “BA/MA Track in Feminist Practices for Social Change.” They should also indicate the year in which they plan to enroll in the MA Program by consulting with either Ileana Nachescu, Assistant to the WGSS Undergraduate Director, or with Julie Rajan, WGSS Master’s Program Director.
What does the application process require?
When applying to the BA/MA Track, students should complete the application for the WGSS Master’s Program. For application information and to apply on-online, please go to http://gradstudy.rutgers.edu/
On the application itself, students should select the option noted as “BA/MA Track in Feminist Practices for Social Change.”
**STUDENTS SHOULD BE CAREFUL NOT TO SELECT THE OPTION FOR EITHER THE WGSS MA TRACK BY THE SAME NAME OR THE WGSS MA DEGREE WITH THESIS.
On the application, students should also indicate the month and year in which they plan to enroll in the MA Program. Students should consult with Ileana Nachescu, Assistant to the WGSS Undergraduate Director, or with Julie Rajan, Master’s Program Director, to determine that year of matriculation.
In order to be considered for entrance into the Track, applicants should submit the following:
- A non-refundable application fee, the amount set by the Graduate School of New Brunswick.
- Three recommendations: Ideally the letters are from professors and scholars who can speak to the applicant's abilities and suitability for graduate study in WGSS. Letters from an academic in another discipline or from professionals would also be acceptable.
- CV listing academic background and achievements, work or volunteer experience, honors or awards, affiliations with campus or other organizations, study abroad experience, classes taken related to the focus of the MA Track, language ability, etc.
- Copy of official undergraduate transcript
- If applicable, official documentation of credits earned in graduate courses taken at the undergraduate level
- Personal Statement: Applicants should stress their interest in activism in social justice/human rights as related to women, sexuality, and gender in the Personal Statement. They should address the following questions:
- Why are you interested in completing this Track specifically?
- What skills and experience do you bring to this Track?
- How will completing this Track assist you in your future endeavors?
- What are some of your goals in completing this Track?
- Writing sample of 5-8 pages: Typically, the writing sample will be from an undergraduate class, perhaps a final paper. It should demonstrate strong analytical abilities.
- GPA of at least 3.2
- No GRE is required
Students who successfully pass the first phase of the selection process will be interviewed. These interviews must be conducted in person.
Incomplete applications will not be considered.
What is the timeline to complete the BA/MA Program?
All Rutgers students who are completing their sophomore or junior year of undergraduate work may apply for the BA/MA Track.
Students who were sophomores when they were accepted into the BA/MA Program will complete all graduate work toward the MA by their fifth year in the Program (four years for the BA + 1 additional year to complete the MA). They will be awarded the MA degree in the spring of that fifth year.
Students who were juniors when they were accepted into the WGSS MA Program may complete all graduate work toward the MA by their fifth or sixth year in the BA/MA Program (four years for the BA + 2-4 semesters to complete the MA). They will be awarded the WGSS MA degree when they have completed all of the required coursework as well as the Practicum.
Who can apply for this Track?
All Rutgers students who are completing their sophomore or junior year of undergraduate work may apply for the BA/MA Track.
May I apply for entrance into the BA/MA Track in my Freshman Year if I know that I want to major in WGSS and complete an MA in WGSS?
Rutgers students only in their sophomore and junior years and who declare themselves as WGSS majors may apply for entrance into the BA/MA Track. However, all students are free to meet with Ileana Nachescu, the WGSS Undergrad Director, or with Julie Rajan, MA Program Director, to inquire about the BA/MA track at any time.
May students outside of the University apply?
Only students of Rutgers University who are majoring in WGSS may apply to this Track. Students who are transferring into the University and who have declared their major in WGSS may apply. We welcome such applicants.
Can transfer students apply?
BA/MA applications are currently available only to students who have already matriculated into Rutgers University and are majoring in WGS. Students who have transferred into Rutgers University, who have declared their major in WGS, and who will apply during either their sophomore or junior year at Rutgers University may apply for acceptance into the BA/MA Track.
Transfer students wishing to transfer undergraduate courses toward their BA in WGSS must consult with the WGSS Undergraduate Director.
Transfer students seeking to transfer graduate credit they earned as an undergraduate student at another university toward the graduate work in the BA/MA degree must consult with the WGSS Master’s Program Director.
May International students apply for the BA/MA track?
BA/MA applications are currently available to students who have already matriculated into Rutgers University and are majoring in WGSS. International students may apply for the BA/MA Track as long as they are already officially Rutgers students, are majoring in WGS, and apply either in the sophomore or junior year of their undergraduate work at Rutgers University.
Can students majoring in both WGSS and another degree apply?
All students who are completing their sophomore or junior year of undergraduate work may apply for the BA/MA Track even if they are also majoring in another discipline, as long as they are already Rutgers students and are majoring in WGSS. They may matriculate into the MA portion of the track only when they have completed all degree requirements toward the BA WGSS major.
What are the requirements of the BA/MA Track?
Students will complete criteria for both a BA in WGSS, as well as for the WGSS MA degree with a Track in Feminist Practices for Social Change.
First, students will complete all core and elective courses required of the BA and toward their major in WGSS. In the final semesters of their undergraduate degree, students will initiate coursework for the WGSS Masters degree: sophomores accepted into the WGSS BA/MA Program will begin graduate work in the spring of their junior year; and juniors accepted into the WGSS MA Program will begin work in the fall of their senior year.
After students are awarded their BA in WGSS, they will be enrolled as full-time graduate students in the WGSS MA Program. They will then complete coursework as well as a Practicum toward the WGSS Masters degree.
All students enrolled in the MA track must complete 30 credits total, as follows:
- Three Core Courses (12 credits): Feminism Theory and Practices (515), Social Justice Movements (516), and Advocacy Tactics and Techniques (517).
- Five Electives (15 credits) from a range of WGSS graduate courses, including: Gender and Human Rights, Gender and Development, Feminist Knowledge Production, Feminist Genealogies, Feminist Advocacy at the UN
- 6 credits applied toward Practicum Research work (at the time when the student is completing Practicum work)
What is a Practicum?
In keeping with the professional orientation of the BA/MA Track, the Practicum will be the capstone experience for students as they complete their coursework. A Practicum provides students with the opportunity to experience the phenomenon of praxis: applying what they have learned in the classroom to actual experience in activist work. Students will complete Practicum work in an organization of their choice and focused on work related to women’s, gender, and sexuality studies.
Over the past 25 years, WGSS has developed strong working relations with a host of feminist NGOs, INGOs, and research centers and institutes, where we have placed students in the past on the east coast from New York City to Washington, D.C. Some students who possess requisite linguistic fluency have chosen to complete Practicum placements in Ghana, India, Lebanon, Spain, and Vietnam. Others have done important work with the constitutive units of Rutgers Institute for Women’s Leadership, most notably with the Center for American Women and Politics, the Center for Women’s Global Leadership, the IWL, the Center for Women and Work, and the Center on Violence against Women and Children.
During the time period in which students are initiating progress toward starting their Practicum work, completing the Practicum, and writing and defending their Practicum Report, students should register a total of six credits: 988:884 and 988:585. Students cannot graduate without registering for all six of these credits.
What kind of opportunities are available to students completing the BA/MA Track in Feminist Practices for Social Change?
Students completing the BA/MA track have multiple opportunities for advancing themselves through academic and activist work. Some opportunities include:
Undergraduate students may, for example:
- Complete their undergraduate degree with honors through the WGSS Honors Program: https://womens-studies.rutgers.edu/academics/undergraduate/honors
- Apply for matriculation into the IWL Leadership Scholars Program. This is a two-year selective, interdisciplinary certificate program administered by the Institute for Women’s Leadership (IWL) that prepares Rutgers undergraduates to be informed, innovative, and socially responsible leaders: https://iwl.rutgers.edu/leadership-scholars-certificate-program/
- Apply for induction into the Triota Honors Society, a national honors society recognizing academic excellence in students completing degrees in women’s and gender studies: https://womens-studies.rutgers.edu/academics/undergraduate/national-honor-society-iota-iota-iota
- Complete a WGSS minor in Social Justice, Critical Sexualities Studies, and/or Gender and Media: https://womens-studies.rutgers.edu/academics/undergraduate/minors
- Apply to study abroad for six weeks during a summer term in Kassel, Germany, through the European Institute (please direct inquiries to Ileana Nachescu, Assistant Undergraduate Director or Julie Rajan, Director of the MA Program)
Once BA/MA students have been awarded their BA degree, they will be officially recognized as graduate students. At that point, BA/MA students may:
- Apply to be a teaching assistant for classes related to the WGSS Social Justice Minor for undergraduate students
- Participate in the bi-annual WGSS graduate student conference
- Apply for travel funding to present at or attend conferences related to activist work or academic research
- Apply to study abroad in Europe for one semester through the GEMMA Program
- Apply to study abroad for 6 weeks during summer in Kassel, Germany, through the European Institute
- Complete a variety of certificates in various units and departments through Rutgers, including through The Center for Violence against Women and Children (https://socialwork.rutgers.edu/node/675) or Africana Studies (https://africanastudies.rutgers.edu/academics/graduate-certificate)
- Apply for graduate fellowships, such as to The Eagleton Institute for Politics Graduate Fellowship Program (https://eagleton.rutgers.edu/grad-fellowships/);
May I change my mind to complete a Thesis instead of a Practicum for this Track?
Students who apply to the BA/MA Track in Feminist Practices for Social Change must complete the requirements of the Track and must complete the Practicum. Students matriculating into this Track can neither complete a thesis nor transfer into the WGSS Master’s Program with Thesis at any point while completing the five-year BA/MA Track.
May I complete an MA Thesis later?
Students interested in completing a Master’s Thesis should apply directly and specifically to the traditional Master’s Program in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Students who have already matriculated into the BA/MA Track and who then decide they want to complete a Thesis must withdraw from the Track and apply separately for the Masters in WGSS with Thesis.
How many graduate classes may I take at undergraduate rates while completing undergraduate work toward the BA portion of the BA/MA Track?
As a rule, the GSNB allows undergraduate students to complete no more than 12 credits (3 classes) at the graduate level at undergraduate tuition rates. These should all be completed while students are technically considered undergraduate students.
Is there any funding available for students completing the BA/MA Track?
Currently, WGSS does not offer funding for any students matriculating into the BA/MA track. Students, however, may check for job openings throughout Rutgers as well as among units of the IWL Consortium: https://iwl.rutgers.edu/consortium/ (see the navigation bar on right-hand side) for job opportunities.
Can I count any BA credits toward the MA degree?
Rutgers SGS allows Rutgers BA students to apply 3 advanced undergraduate credits (or one course) at the 400 level or higher toward the MA portion of their BA/MA degree. These credits must be categorized as WGSS classes (988).
Ultimately, whether these credits will be applied toward the MA is at the discretion of the WGSS MA Director.
May I transfer any graduate credits I have earned as a BA student towards completing the MA portion of the BA/MA track?
WGSS will certainly consider inquiries regarding whether graduate courses taken by students who are undergraduates can be applied toward the MA portion of the degree. Please keep in mind that transfer courses cannot be counted toward core courses in the Track, only toward electives.
As a rule, however, WGSS will only consider for transfer graduate courses up to a limit of three that are officially recorded as WGSS courses and in which a student has earned an ‘A.’ This rule applies also to transfer students seeking to transfer graduate credit from another university toward the graduate work in the BA/MA Track.