Brandeis faculty and alums 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. We present the current research across a range of specialities, including: Black Feminism; Black Sexuality Studies; Queer, Transgender and Nonbinary Studies; Postcolonial Feminisms; Asian American Studies; and Women and Anglophone Literature from South Asia and the Caribbean. This broad spectrum of approaches creates opportunities for 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. Visit the program website for more information. Application instructions can be found below.

Degree Options

  • MA: 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 master's degrees create cross-disciplinary dialogue that prepares students for intellectual leadership in a variety of careers as well as their pursuits in continuing their education.
  • 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, 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 the joint programs. Applicants to the joint MA in Social Policy and the joint MA in Sustainable International Development apply through the Heller School.

  • Joint MA and PhD: The joint MA can be obtained while in pursuit of a PhD in one of the following fields: Anthropology, English, Music, Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, Psychology, 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.

How to Apply

Application Deadlines

Joint MA: January 15 priority deadline for special funding opportunities. For information on admission deadlines, please refer to the deadlines under the home department in which you would be pursuing a joint degree. 

MA: Please note that the WGS department is only accepting Joint MA applications this cycle.

Application Requirements

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 send official transcripts to our office. Official transcripts sent prior to an offer of admission will be destroyed. For more information, visit Frequently Asked Questions.

  • Two letters of recommendation, submitted online

  • curriculum vitae (CV) or resumé, which should include your educational history, employment experience, and other relevant information.

  • statement of purpose in essay form, indicating your reasons for undertaking graduate study. In addition, please describe your qualifications for the master's program and your objectives in undertaking this program. You should discuss your plans for your academic and professional career and how the degree will help you attain your goals. 

  • 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): The Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies department does not accept GRE scores for applications to the standalone master's program. If you are applying to the standalone MA in WGS, please do not send your scores to Brandeis. Those that are sent will not be included in the application materials for review. Test score requirements for our joint master's programs with WGS can be found under the Admission Requirements section for the home department in which you would be pursuing a joint degree.

  • International applicants should visit our International Students page to determine if official results from an English language proficiency exam are also required.

(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.

For a more comprehensive description of application requirements, please visit Frequently Asked Questions.

Student Profile

Michelle Guaman

Michelle Guaman was drawn to Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies because of her passion for women's reproductive health, education, and justice. She became interested in these topics shortly after reading Jeanne Flavin’s Our bodies, Our Crimes: The Policing of Women’s Reproduction in America as an undergraduate. “Flavin’s work made me realize that women’s reproductive rights not only entail abortion but encompasses other social issues such as domestic violence, women’s health (e.g. endometriosis and menstruation), and gender equality policies,” says Guaman. She decided that the WGSS program at Brandeis was the ideal place to pursue these interests.