Women's and Gender Studies
Brandeis faculty and alumni are in the vanguard of feminist scholars worldwide. The Brandeis University Women's and Gender 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 and gender studies. By introducing current research in a range of fields, the M.A. 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 and gender studies and in their chosen disciplines.
The Women's and Gender Studies Program offers a stand-alone M.A. program as well as several joint M.A. programs (please see the list below under “Degree Options”). The joint master's degree in women's and gender studies and another discipline may be pursued independently or in conjunction with a Ph.D. in one of several fields. There is no Ph.D. offered solely in women’s and gender studies. All the degrees we offer are on the M.A. level. Students pursuing the M.A. 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).
- M.A.: The M.A. 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 M.A. 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 M.A.: A terminal M.A. in women's and gender studies is offered in conjunction with one of the following disciplines: Anthropology, English, Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, Public Policy (Joint M.P.P., 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 M.P.P. and the joint M.A. in Sustainable International Development. Applicants to the joint M.P.P. and the joint M.A. in Sustainable International Development will apply to the Heller School.
- Joint M.A. Degree and Ph.D.: The joint M.A. can be obtained while in pursuit of a Ph.D. 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 Ph.D. program may enroll in the joint M.A. at any time during their graduate studies with the approval of the joint M.A. graduate advisor in their home department. Prospective Ph.D. students interested in pursuing the joint M.A. must apply directly to the Ph.D. program through the home department, but should note their interest in the joint program in their statement of purpose.
For the most updated course listing, course descriptions, and degree requirements, please click here.
We encourage you to explore one of the department’s greatest assets through our faculty pages. Learn more about the people who will help guide you along your graduate school path here.
Consortium: Our membership in the Boston consortium allows you to take courses at Tufts University, Boston University, and Boston College, thus enhancing your Brandeis experience and the spirit of collaboration which Brandeis embodies.
Student Services: At Brandeis, you will become part of a community that is strengthened by life both within and outside of the classroom and laboratory walls. Please go here to see the array of University resources, events, and programming for graduate students.
Joint M.A. programs: For information on admission semesters, please go here and refer to the deadlines under the home department in which you would be pursuing a joint degree.
M.A.: January 15
Joint M.A.: 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) M.A. program and (2) Joint M.A. programs:
(1) To apply for the M.A. program, you need to submit:
- An application to the graduate school, which can be electronically submitted here;
- An application fee (please click here for instructions);
- Official transcripts from all universities and colleges attended; applicants must provide a final transcript indicating successful completion of an undergraduate degree program before registration;
- Three letters of recommendation, which the admissions committee prefers to be submitted online (please click here for more information);
- 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 ETS institution code is 3092.
International students: For additional requirements for international applicants (non-U.S. citizens or non-permanent residents), minimum TOEFL and IELTS scores, and important information regarding visas, please click here.
For a more comprehensive description of application requirements, please click here.
(2) To apply for the Joint M.A. programs:
For prospective Sustainable International Development (SID) and Master's in Public Policy (M.P.P.) students who are interested in the joint degree with Women's and Gender Studies: Students should apply directly to the joint degree program using the Heller School application.
For specific admission requirements for the other joint M.A. programs, please go here and refer to the deadlines under the home department in which you would be pursuing a joint degree.
Generous financial aid is available; for more information please click here.