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M.A. Degree in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

The Master of Arts (M.A.) degree in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies prepares students for doctoral work in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies or in a related discipline and enhances careers relating to women’s or gender issues. As the interdisciplinary practice of feminist scholarship, Women’s, Gender, and Sexulaity Studies interrogates and envisions alternatives to social structures, institutions, ideologies, relationships, and perceptions of gender in traditional academic disciplines.

Students wishing to apply to the M.A. program may do so by clicking here. Please click here for more information on applying, and keep in mind that all application materials are due by February 15th. Contact our Graduate Director with any additional questions.

Master of Arts Degree Requirements

  1. Thirty hours of graduate coursework, 15 hours of which are required (WSt 8001, WSt 8002, WSt 8003, WSt 8004, and WSt 8005) and 15 hours of coursework that may be chosen from Women’s Studies Institute courses or from approved courses in other departments.
  2. The written comprehensive examination.
  3. A minimum of six hours of Thesis Research (WSt 8999).
  4. A thesis, approved by a thesis committee.

Course Descriptions: Core Courses

WSt 8001. Feminist Theories. (3 hours)

Sudents will be exposed to feminist intersectional approaches to gender, race, class and sexuality. This course serves as an introduction to the spectrum of feminist theories and their intellectual contexts. Students will be exposed to theoretical projects such as liberalism/neoliberalism, marxism, poststructuralism/postmodernism, psychoanalytic theory, and postcolonial studies. Engagements and critiques of these theories may include but are not limited to womanism, black feminist thought, queer theory, ecofeminism, transnational feminism, marxist/socialist feminism, and psychoanalytic feminism.

WSt 8002. Globalization and Gender. (3 hours)

An exploration of the social, political, and economic impacts of globalization aimed toward understanding the gendered dynamics of global economic restructuring. The course will include a consideration of the relationship between globalization on the one hand and imperialism, national security, and imprisonment on the other. Students will survey a range of feminist theories and responses to globalization, including, but not limited to, transnational feminisms postcolonial theory, and postmodern theories.

WSt 8003. New Directions in Feminism. (3 hours)

Emerging perspectives in feminist theory, feminist activism, and the field of women's studies. May examine how feminism and women's studies intersect with other critical theories and social movements. Specific topics vary by instructor.

WSt 8004. Feminist Methodologies. (3 hours)

This interdisciplinary course critiques masculinist and other hegemonic knowledge practices by moving between epistemology, theory, methods and ethics. Rather than training students in particular research methods, this course engages students with feminist epistemological and methodological critiques and theories applicable to their research mehods and design.

WSt 8005. Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Proseminar. (3 hours)

Introduction to discipline-specific research skills and socialization experiences in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Open only to Institute for Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies M.A. students and required for all first-year WSI M.A. students. Students take Part A of this year-long course in Fall for 1 credit hour and Part B in the Spring for 2 credit hours. Students are required to attend certain departmental events in addition to class sessions.

In addition to our regular course offerings, we frequently offer “Special Topics” courses. Here are some examples of special topics courses recently or currently offered:

  • Arab and Islamic Feminisms (now in our regular curriculum as WSt 4840/6840)
  • Sexuality and Gender in Southeast Asia
  • Women and Voodoo

For a listing of currently offered Women's, gender, and Sexuality Studies courses, visit GoSOLAR.

For a complete list of graduate courses offered by the Institute for Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, visit the Georgia State University Graduate Catalog.

Please note that in the case of any conflict of information, the Graduate Catalog supersedes the WGSS website.

Our students have a wide range of research interests, reflecting the diversity of the field of women’s, gender, and sexuality studies. Some recent M.A. thesis projects by WGSS students are as follows:

  • Goolsby, Julie, “A Manifest Cyborg: Laurie Anderson and Technology” (2006).
  • Chenault, Wesley, “Working the Margins: Women in the Comic Book Industry” (2006).
  • McCord, Mary Larken, “’So Very Fetch’: Constructing Girls on Film in the Era of Girl Power and Girls in Crisis” (2008)
  • Gradney, Alysia A., “Mason Jar Project: An Exploratory Look at the Ways in Which the Mammy Figure has Shaped Both Social and Cultural Understandings of the Contemporary Fat Black Female Body in America” (2008).

Here is a complete listing of the WGSS M.A. graduates and thesis topics.