Women and Gender Studies, MA

The Women and Gender Studies Master of Arts program employs an intersectional, transdisciplinary approach and focuses on training students to find practical solutions for real-world problems in a wide range of non-academic careers. Graduate students in this program gain a deeper understanding of gender issues as well as advanced training in gender-related research.

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

Housed in the School of Social Transformation at Arizona State University, the program places students in the center of a transdisciplinary learning environment. The school’s collaborative approach provides students with access to a wealth of resources to support diverse career goals. Our location in ASU's School of Social Transformation, combined with our large affiliated faculty, gives students access to a broad network of scholars working to address current issues.

Graduates of this program pursue positions in private, public, and corporate fields.

2 years to degree
30 credits required
16 faculty members

Degree Overview

This flexible 30­-credit MA program provides advanced training in feminist research, theory and methodologies with a focus on real-world problems and solutions. Each student creates an individualized program of study. Coursework can be complemented for many students by an internship, which helps students gain the skills, experience, and knowledge needed to identify and to excel in their future careers.

How to apply

The School of Social Transformation application process is completed online through ASU Graduate Admissions.

Application instructions 

A complete  application for the Women and Gender Studies MA must include the following required materials:

1. ASU Graduate Admission Services application

2. Non-refundable application fee as specified by ASU Graduate Admission Services

3. Official copies of transcripts from all college and universities where you have earned a bachelor’s and/or master’s degree

4. Resume or curriculum vitae

5. Statement of purpose. Approximately 1,000 words describing any relevant experience and training, your professional goals and research interests, and the fit between your interests and our program's emphases. Upload the statement.

6. Writing Sample: 7-10 pages. This can be a research report, white paper, policy paper, program assessment, or paper from a recent academic course. Your writing sample should reflect your writing ability and critical thinking skills. Ideally, your paper will also illustrate your understanding of and interest in gender issues.

7. Letters of Recommendation: Two to three letters from recommenders who can describe your fit for this program and for graduate study in general. Letter writers should discuss your strengths and weaknesses in writing, speaking, public presentation, critical thinking, intellectual ability, leadership potential, and interpersonal skills.

8. Relevant experience: If possible, list at least two courses you have taken (undergraduate or graduate) that focused on gender and/or women. In addition, list any courses you have taken on research methods or on some aspect of social justice. Finally, describe any volunteer or paid work you have done related to gender issues.

9. Students whose native language is not English must meet ASU’s English proficiency requirements. English proficiency requirements can be found here: https://international.asu.edu/graduate/proficiency

ASU Graduate Admissions requires that all successful applicants hold at least a 3.00/4.00 GPA in the last 60 semester hours (or 90 quarter hours) of undergraduate coursework.

GRE or other official test scores are not required for this program.

Applicants can now upload unofficial transcripts to the application in the Graduate Application portal. This is the only method by which applicants will be allowed to submit unofficial transcripts. An applicant may wish to submit unofficial transcripts in order to help the application move to “committee review” status quicker and doing so can help ensure that an application is completed by the priority deadline. However, if admitted, students are required to provide official transcripts to the university.

Except for official transcripts, all of the application components above can be uploaded directly through the ASU Graduate Admission Services online application process. Transcripts need to be physically mailed to ASU Graduate Admission Services at the address below:

To expedite the processing of your application, please write your application reference number on all documents and envelopes submitted to ASU. Materials submitted without your application reference number will delay the processing of your application.

If sending by stamped mail:

Arizona State University 
Graduate Admission Services 
PO Box 871004 
Tempe, AZ 85287-1004

If sending by FedEx, DHL or UPS:

Arizona State University 
Graduate Admission Services 
1150 East University Drive Building C, Room 226
Tempe, AZ 85281



The School of Social Transformation accepts applications for the Women and Gender studies MA for fall semester starts only.

Deadline to submit an application for fall is the prior December 15. .

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis after the priority deadline until the cohort is full.

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


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. 

Requirements and electives


Core courses


Methods course


WST Electives 


Interdisciplinary Electives 


Applied Elective 


Applied Project


Total hours 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


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. 

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.

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

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.

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

WST 593 Applied Project (6)