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Master’s Degree Programs in Gender Studies Overview

Majors Overview November 18, 2015

This article talks about master’s degree programs in gender studies and their education requirements, coursework, career choices, and continuing education choices.

Information on Master’s Degree Programs in Gender Studies

Schools offer master’s degree programs in gender studies under many titles including gender and cultural studies or women’s studies. Students enrolled in these programs are offered an overview of the way gender relates to the world’s economic, political, and societal structures. Students may choose from concentration options such as women and race, and queer studies.

Full-time students can complete these programs within a year. However, the program can be cross-disciplinary, offering students the flexibility of choosing courses from other programs. These courses may cover topic areas such as the psychology of women and gender, black women’s studies, gender and film, and women writers. Completing a project or researching a thesis may be included in the coursework, in addition to an internship option.

Master of Arts (M.A.) Programs in Gender Studies

Program graduates may be awarded a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Women’s and Gender Studies or a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Gender/Cultural Studies. Students may also get the opportunity of concentrating their studies on a specific area, such as queer studies, gender and health, or women’s literature. A capstone experience could include a research project, an internship, or a thesis. Varying by the program, full-time students may complete the program within a calendar year, part-time enrollees may be allowed to take five years. The program will impart knowledge of the ways in which social inequalities and power relations arise in gendered cultures.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree in any field. However, if the undergraduate degree is an area other than gender studies or a related field, the respective student may have to complete prerequisite courses in women’s and gender studies.


Program coursework may cover humanities perspectives on gender or gender history. Additionally, students are often given numerous elective options, including history, sociology, and economics. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•The body in popular media
•Feminist social movements
•Feminism and economic difference
•Sex and gender in American society
•Psychology of women and gender
•Gender, law, and policy
•Communication and gendered communities
•Globalization and Gender
•History of Sexualities

Career Choices

Program graduates may seek jobs in diverse career areas. While a college-level teaching job may require a doctoral degree, students may also choose to pursue non-faculty positions in a school. They may choose from numerous possible career settings that address gender issues, such as:

•Public policy centers
•Social service agencies
•Nonprofit organizations

Continuing Education Choices

Program graduates who seek continuing education may pursue a doctoral degree in gender studies or a related field. A Ph.D. in Women’s and Gender Studies or a Ph.D. in Gender Studies may be a viable option.

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