Graduate Programs in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Brandeis faculty and alumni are in the vanguard of feminist scholars worldwide. The Brandeis University Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program (WGS) provides a strong grounding in discipline-specific studies along with an interdisciplinary education in the theories, methods and scholarship of women's, gender, and sexuality studies. By introducing current research in a range of fields, the MA degrees create cross-disciplinary dialogue and prepare students for intellectual leadership in careers as diverse as public policy, education, social service, law, management, and writing. Doctoral students will find that our curriculum is excellent preparation for teaching in women’s, gender, and sexuality studies and in their chosen disciplines.
The Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program offers a stand-alone MA program as well as several joint MA programs (please see the list below under “Degree Options”). The joint master's degree in women's, gender, and sexuality studies and another discipline may be pursued independently or in conjunction with a PhD in one of several fields. There is no PhD offered solely in women’s, gender, and sexuality studies; all the degrees we offer are on the MA level. Students pursuing the MA degrees are encouraged to enroll in courses offered by the Graduate Consortium in Women's Studies (Boston College, Boston University, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Northeastern University, Simmons College, Tufts University, and UMass Boston).
MA: The MA program is a full-time, two semester program (8 courses) which offers students grounding in feminist and gender theory, knowledge, and methodologies. Although the program does not offer specific tracks, students may choose to specialize in the particular strengths of the program, which include: gender and legal studies, sexuality studies, social and public policy, comparative literature and culture, or any of the disciplines in our joint MA programs (Anthropology, English, Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, Public Policy, Sociology, and Sustainable International Development). The program can be done part-time, if necessary.
Joint MA: A terminal MA in women's, gender, and sexuality studies is offered in conjunction with one of the following disciplines: Anthropology, English, Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, Public Policy (Joint MPP, through Brandeis’ Heller School for Social Policy and Management), Sociology, or Sustainable International Development (through Brandeis’ Heller School for Social Policy and Management). Most of these degrees can be earned in one year, but students may benefit from the rich array of course offerings by extending their studies into a second year. Students apply directly to a joint program, with the exception of the joint MPP and the joint MA in Sustainable International Development. Applicants to the joint MPP and the joint MA in Sustainable International Development will apply to the Heller School.
Joint MA degree and PhD: The joint MA can be obtained while in pursuit of a PhD in one of the following fields: Anthropology, English, History, Music, Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, Psychology, Social Policy (through Brandeis’ Heller School for Social Policy and Management), and Sociology. This degree option replaces a master's degree in the student's program. Students currently enrolled in an affiliated Brandeis PhD program may enroll in the joint MA at any time during their graduate studies with the approval of the joint MA graduate advisor in their home department. Prospective PhD students interested in pursuing the joint MA must apply directly to the PhD program through the home department, but should note their interest in the joint program in their statement of purpose.
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For the most updated course listing, course descriptions, and degree requirements, please visit the Registrar.
MA: January 15
Joint MA: For information on admission deadlines, please go here and refer to the deadlines under the home department in which you would be pursuing a joint degree.
Application requirements are below for the (1) MA program and (2) Joint MA programs:
(1) To apply for the MA program, you need to submit:
An online application;
An application fee;
Transcripts from all universities and colleges attended must be uploaded to your application; do not mail official transcripts to our office. For more information, visit Frequently Asked Questions;
Two letters of recommendation, submitted online;
A curriculum vitae (CV) or resumé;
A statement of purpose indicating your reasons for undertaking graduate study. In addition, please describe your qualifications for the academic program and your objectives in undertaking this program. Applicants should also discuss their academic and professional career plans and how the Graduate School could help them attain these goals.
A critical writing sample not to exceed 35 pages; the 35-page maximum may consist of a single critical essay or two shorter essays of approximately equal length.
Graduate Record Exam (GRE) required. Our GRE institution code is 3092 (please note: this institution code only applies to GRE scores).
International applicants: Additional requirements for international applicants (non-U.S. citizens or non-permanent residents), minimum TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE scores, and important information regarding visas. If you are submitting TOEFL scores, please note that our TOEFL institution code is 3261.
(2) To apply for the Joint MA programs:
For prospective Sustainable International Development (SID) and Master's in Public Policy (MPP) students who are interested in the joint degree with Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies: Students should apply directly to the joint degree program using the Heller School application.
For specific admission requirements for the other joint MA programs, please refer to the deadlines under the home department in which you would be pursuing a joint degree. Note that GRE scores are required for all joint MA programs with WGS in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
For a more comprehensive description of application requirements, please visit Frequently Asked Questions.
Generous scholarships and financial aid are available; for more information please visit Financial Aid.
Post Brandeis, about one-third of our recent graduates enroll in PhD programs at prestigious universities, and two-thirds of our graduates enter the workforce in fields as diverse as law, advocacy, research, and higher education.
Students and alumni can work closely with Career Services for an array of resources, including CV/resume help, job search, and networking.