Women and Gender Studies, MA

Gain a deeper understanding of gender issues and receive advanced training in gender-related research. This program offers you an intersectional, transdisciplinary approach to finding practical solutions for real problems, which you can apply in a wide range of nonacademic careers.

Program Description

Degree Awarded: MA Women and Gender Studies

The MA program in women and gender studies is designed for students who wish to gain research skills and knowledge about gender analysis and to apply those tools to real-world problems and solutions. The program is designed for those who want a master's degree as a terminal degree.

This flexible, 30 credit hour master's degree program provides advanced training in feminist research, theory and methodologies. All students may take an internship and all must complete an applied project in which students conduct research that addresses practical, site-specific problems linked to gender. Final projects may take a variety of forms, including program assessments, grant proposals, tests of new interventions or curricula, and so on. These projects may help lead students to careers in human services, program evaluation, policy development and other fields.

Full-time students can complete the degree program within two years while part-time students take longer but can combine work with study.


The M.A. curriculum includes required core, methods, and various elective courses. The program culminates in an Applied Project, in which students conduct research that addresses practical, site-specific, problems linked to gender. Often projects will stem from the student’s experiences in a professional setting, and the primary audience for the project may be the student’s employer or prospective employer. Final projects may take a variety of forms, including program assessments, employee handbooks, grant proposals, policy proposals, tests of new interventions or curricula, and so on, and may help lead students to careers in human services, program evaluation, policy development, community engagement, applied research, and other fields.

A minimum of 30 hours is required. 

Courses and electives

This flexible master's program requires 30 credit hours including the required applied project course. Students shape an individualized program of study in consultation with an assigned faculty mentor and the program’s graduate coordinator

At a Glance: program details

  • Location: Tempe campus
  • Additional Program Fee: No
  • Second Language Requirement: No

Our Women and Gender Studies faculty is one of the largest and most vibrant in the nation with expertise in:

  • sexuality
  • labor
  • race
  • science and technology
  • health
  • visual culture
  • violence
  • globalization
  • historical and literary narrative
  • queer and transgender studies
  • social change

Degree Requirements

Required Core (6 credit hours)
WST 501 Foundations of Feminist Thought (3)
WST 502 Interdisciplinary Gender Research Methodologies (3)

Electives (18 credit hours)

Culminating Experience (6 credit hours)
WST 593 Applied Project (6)

Additional Curriculum Information
Students must successfully provide an oral defense of the applied project.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's or master's degree, in any field, from a regionally accredited institution. Students may be admitted with a BA or BS in any field as long as they have completed two courses in women and gender studies or have equivalent experience. Appropriate majors may include women, gender and sexuality studies; history; English; sociology; religious studies; social work; psychology; communication or ethnic studies. Students who have previously majored in a science, technology, engineering or mathematics field and have interests in gender and education or gender and science may also apply for this program.

Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of their first bachelor's degree program, or applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.

All applicants must submit:

  1. graduate admission application and application fee
  2. official transcripts from all college and universities where the applicant earned a bachelor's or master's degree
  3. personal statement
  4. resume or curriculum vitae
  5. writing sample
  6. two or three letters of recommendation
  7. relevant coursework
  8. proof of English proficiency

Additional Application Information
An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency regardless of current residency.

The personal statement should be approximately 1,000 words and describe any prior research experience and training, professional goals and research interests, and the fit between interests and the program's emphases. The statement should be uploaded.

The writing sample should be seven to 10 pages. This can include a research brief or report, a white paper, a policy paper or a paper for a recent academic course. The writing sample should reflect the applicant's writing ability and critical thinking skills.

The letters of recommendation should be from a recommender who can speak to the applicant's strengths and weaknesses for graduate study; critical thinking, writing, speaking and presentation skills; intellectual ability; leadership potential; interpersonal skills and ability to work with others; or other relevant accomplishments that best highlight the applicant's ability to complete a graduate degree in women and gender studies.

The list of relevant coursework should include at least two courses, undergraduate or graduate, the applicant has taken that focus on gender or women. In addition, the applicant should list any research methods or social justice courses.

GRE scores are not required for admission.

Further details about application requirements and application deadlines are available on the School of Social Transformation's webpage.

Required Core (6 credit hours)

WST 501 Foundations of Feminist Thought (3)
Provides key concepts and theories that have shaped the field of women and gender studies. Also provides overview of resources for research in women's studies scholarship at ASU and prepares students to participate in the field.

WST 502 Interdisciplinary Gender Research Methodologies (3)
Describes the ways in which feminist scholars conceptualize and design their research. Explores the decisions scholars make in their research including the choice of research topics, applications of feminist theories and methodologies, the choice of methods and how and why feminist scholars have increasingly incorporated interdisciplinary methods, and what is at stake in these decisions for the research design and research outcomes. 

Methods Course Requirement (3 credit hours)

All MA students must choose one research methods course to complete the degree; WST 502 cannot be used to meet this requirement. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of gender studies, these courses can be drawn from a wide array of units across the various campuses of Arizona State University. The Graduate Director or student’s Graduate Advisor can advise students on the selection of methods courses.

WST Electives (6 credit hours)

All students are required to take 6 credit hours of graduate-level, WST prefix seminars in the program.

Interdisciplinary Electives (6 credit hours)

Students can pursue additional graduate-level electives within the WST prefix or can choose electives outside the WST prefix in order to gain the interdisciplinary focus needed for their personal research. Students can also pursue internship credits to fulfill these credit requirements.

Electives are chosen in consultation with student’s assigned faculty mentor and the program’s graduate coordinator.

Applied Electives (3 credit hours)

Students must select a 3 credit hour course from the approved applied electives list (Other courses possible by petition).

JUS 591/ECD 591 Social Policy and Critical Advocacy

SST 591 Planning, Implementation, and Evaluation of Social Pedagogy Programs

SST 591 The Practice of Social Pedagogy: Innovative Approaches

SST 591 Transformational Leadership and Embodied Activism

SST 691 Quantitative Methods for Qualitative Researchers

EPA 565 Critical Topics in Education Policy

JUS 633 Community Research

NLM 510 Foundations of Nonprofit Management

NLM 520 Financial Management in Nonprofit Organizations

NLM 540  Strategic Nonprofit Human Resource Management

NLM 560 Leadership and Ethics in the Nonprofit Sector

NLM 562 Social Entrepreneurship

NLM 565 Grant Writing in Nonprofit Organizations

NLM 570 International Non-Governmental Organizations

PAF 504 Microeconomics of Public Policy 1

PAF 505 Public Policy Analysis

PAF 574 Diversity, Ethics and Leading Public Change

SWG 682 Community Participation Strategies

HDA 510 Seminar in Socially Engaged Practice

MGT 545 Becoming Leaders Who Matter

SOS 514 Human Dimensions of Sustainability

THP 514 Projects in Community-Based Drama

THP 582 Theater for Social Change

Applied Project (6 credit hours)

WST 593 Applied Project (6)

Financial Support

The Graduate Education Fellowship is available to five incoming Master’s students in the School of Social Transformation, which provides up to $10,000 of support to academically successful students who are Arizona residents or underrepresented in their discipline. 
When funds are available, student worker grader positions are awarded on a semester basis to master’s students. Graduate and teaching assistantships are not typically available to master’s students.


The master’s program in Women and Gender Studies is a community where you can freely express your ideas and have great discussions. Both staff and professors are always there to help you. As an English as Second Language student, I felt scared before enrolling, but once there, everybody was welcoming and the program provided me with key theoretical and research skills.

Karina Tello
Women and Gender Studies MA Student

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Flexible Degree Options

Accelerated program options

This program allows students to obtain both a bachelor's and master's degree in as little as five years.
It is offered as an accelerated bachelor's and master's degree with:

Acceptance to the graduate program requires a separate application. During their junior year, eligible students will be advised by their academic departments to apply.

Global Opportunities

Global Experience

With over 250 programs in more than 65 countries (ranging from one week to one year), study abroad is possible for all ASU students wishing to gain global skills and knowledge in preparation for a 21st-century career. Students earn ASU credit for completed courses, while staying on track for graduation, and may apply financial aid and scholarships toward program costs. https://mystudyabroad.asu.edu

Program Contact Information

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