The M.A. in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS) offers liberal arts degrees that enable students to become active practitioners in a wide range of areas related to this rapidly expanding field of study. The degree is specifically designed so that full-time students can complete the program in one calendar year. The program is structured as a terminal master's degree for students and professionals who seek to deepen their feminist, gender-, and sexuality-related perspectives on activism, policy/advocacy, and research.
Centered at the New Brunswick campus of Rutgers University, this master’s degree draws on the strengths of a core faculty with twenty-five members working on various aspects of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality studies who have made major scholarly contributions to the field. In addition, the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies is part of the Institute for Women’s Leadership (IWL), a consortium of nine units at Rutgers University dedicated to the study of women and gender, to advocacy on behalf of gender equity, and to the promotion of women’s leadership locally, nationally, and globally.
WGSS offers two distinct options to complete a Masters in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Either M.A. option may serve as a supplement for professional degrees in fields such as law, social work, human rights and social justice, public health, labor studies, public policy, or clinical psychology. With an increasing emphasis on careers focusing on the delivery of services to women and families worldwide, WGS helps to fill a growing demand for experts versed in women's and gender issues. The M.A. program is designed to emphasize global and multicultural perspectives on these matters.
- Master’s Degree with Thesis
This option reflects the traditional Master's Degree offered by WGSS. Students completing this option will complete the Masters with a traditional Thesis. This option is best suited for students interested in continuing academic work upon graduation, for example, in a doctoral program. For more information, please see the links listed “MA Program” in the right-hand navigation bar.
- Master’s Track in Feminist Practices for Social Change
WGSS has approved this new Track for implementation in Fall 2020. This Track prepares students interested in activism work in social justice and human rights for professional placement in those fields upon graduation. Students completing this Track will complete core classes different than those required of the traditional Master’s Degree with Thesis. Students will also complete a Practicum rather than a Thesis. For more information, please click here.
Please note that students must apply for only one option. Once accepted into the MA Program, students may not switch into the alternate option.
Strength of Scholarship: Faculty members have a strong research profile and have published widely in their fields. A number of faculty are also directly involved in activist/advocacy work related to critical issues challenging feminism and racial equality, among others.
Commitment of Scholarship: Courses are taught by full-time faculty members committed to teaching and advising.
Small classes: Enable extensive and personal interaction between students and faculty.
Access to Practicum Sites: Students who complete the new MA Track in Feminist Practices for Social Change will have the opportunity to complete a Practicum for their degree. This experience will encourage students to relate the academic knowledge they have gained in the classroom to real-life situations and work related to their field of interest. Our department has access to, and relationships with, practicum sites in New York City, such as UN Women, and throughout New Jersey. In addition, the units of the IWL, including the globally-renowned Center for Women’s Global Leadership, have hosted a number of our students through the years. Though students have generally completed practicum work within the United States, students have the option to complete this portion of their degree in sites internationally that have been approved by WGSS.
Research Resources: As a major state university, Rutgers offers extensive resources to support graduate research, including a comprehensive collection of library material related to feminism, gender, and sexuality. Rutgers is a member of the Association of American Universities—the nationwide consortium of leading research universities—as well as the prestigious Big Ten Academic Alliance.
Teaching Experience: Offers potential teaching opportunities through WGSS Social Justice Minor.
Study Abroad Program: As of 2020-2021, the WGSS Master’s Program is pleased to MA students in either option the chance to take advantage of either of two study abroad options. One MA student will be selected to complete up to three classes during a semester abroad (with a majority of expenses paid) in one of a select number of European Universities affiliated with the Erasmus Mundus Master´s Degree in Women's and Gender Studies, sponsored by the European Commission. A number of MA students may also apply to study abroad for six weeks at the University of Kassel in Kassel, Germany, through the European Institute at lower tuition rates.
Accessibility: Close to the Turnpike and NJ Transit, the program is available to students throughout New Jersey and beyond.
Educational Value: As the State University of New Jersey, a Rutgers education offers tremendous value.
Admission to the M.A. program is entirely separate from admission to the Ph.D. program. Students in the M.A. program who wish to pursue doctoral work in Women's and Gender Studies at Rutgers must apply to the Ph.D. program directly, where they will compete with the general pool of applicants for admissions.
Learn more about the M.A. Learning Goals.