Program Requirements

  • 30 credits, including 4 CORE COURSES  and 5 elective courses selected from any related courses taught at the Graduate Center; three of these must be in one of the curricular TRACKS.
  • Completion of either a research-based thesis of 30-50 pages, OR an internship at a New York City-based organization (non-government organization, policy center, United Nations agency, and the like), with a final written report.

Someone attending full-time could complete the degree in 1.5 years. Part-time students will have up to 4 years to complete the degree.


Feminist Texts and Theories

This course provides a broad overview of the issues and critical texts of feminist theory. The instructor will use an interdisciplinary approach to consider some of the major questions, methodologies, and findings of Women’s Studies Scholarship. The course will cover a selection of theoretical texts from multiple disciplines, both classic and contemporary. In addition, students will explore the ways in which the field of women’s studies has raised new questions and brought new perspectives to those areas where the humanities and social and behavioral sciences intersect, with material which is interdisciplinary in nature and frequently poses a challenge to conventional disciplinary boundaries.

Global Feminisms

This course explores the gender dynamics of racial, ethnic, and economic relations of power in domestic, international, and transnational settings. It examine feminist scholarship produced by and about American women of color, Third World women, and other social and political actors whose experiences and thinking have shaped contemporary ideas about gender, power, and international political economies. As many cultures eschew the term “feminist,” the course explores how both self-identified feminists and people who do not consider themselves feminists write about and understand gender, justice, human rights, tolerance, agency, imperialism, and other relevant topics. We will also examine how women and self-identified feminists practice solidarity across and within national boundaries, paying attention to the possibilities and constraints that shape transnational feminist activism.

Topics in Women’s and Gender Studies

This course will vary from semester to semester, depending on the given instructor’s interests. Previous course offerings include “Feminism, Autobiography, Theory: Women Writing Witness,” Professor Nancy K. Miller; “Trans Theories, Practices, Politics,” Professor Paisley Currah; “Poststructuralism, Postmodernism, Posthumanism,” Professor Domna Stanton; “New Feminist Epistemologies and Metaphysics,” Professor Linda Martín Alcoff; and “Motherhood: Body and Citizenship,” Professor Barbara Katz Rothman.

Research Seminar in Methodology

This course will provide an overview of current women’s and gender scholarship, and will introduce students to a range of feminist research methods in the humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences. Examples will be drawn from scholarship in a broad range of geographical and historical sites.


Students will structure their coursework along one of the following curricular tracks:

  • Health, Science and Technology
    This track will prepare students for doctoral study in science and technology studies, women’s studies, medical sociology, medical anthropology, and public health. It will also offer humanities and social sciences training to those with B.A. degrees in the sciences who wish to pursue more interdisciplinary graduate work on health, health care delivery, and science. Further, it will offer exposure to women’s and gender-related health care issues for liberal studies and science graduates interested in working in healthcare-related fields.
  • Politics and Policy
    In addition to preparing graduates for doctoral programs in political science, sociology and women’s and gender studies, the Politics and Policy track will prepare graduates for jobs in public policy organizations and non-profit advocacy organizations that are focused on women’s and gender issues. This track will train graduates in pertinent women’s and gender issues.
  • Transnational Feminisms
    Students in this track will focus on issues of developing collaborative projects across borders of all kinds, both formal borders (i.e. national borders) as well as more informal borders (such as borders between communities, groups, etc.). Graduates will be better prepared for work in NGOs related to women’s development issues, agencies focused on ethnicity and immigration, human resources and diversity-related offices in universities, nonprofits and corporations, and cultural organizations, as well as doctoral programs in the social sciences and humanities that have a focus on gender, nationality, religious identity, ethnicity, and race, including anthropology, sociology, political science and women’s studies.
  • Social, Cultural and Literary Analysis
    Students in this track will explore the ways in which women’s and gender studies scholarship has brought new perspectives to the humanities, literature and the arts, and has helped to inaugurate a new field of work in cultural studies that links the study of forms of cultural expressiveness—including both the verbal, the written and the visual—to other modes of analysis within as well as beyond the humanities. Graduates with an M.A. degree in this track will be better prepared for doctoral work in literature, cultural studies and the arts, and will be more competitive for jobs in arts and cultural organizations focused on women or gender.
  • Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, Transgender, Queer (LGBTQ) Studies (In collaboration with the CLAGS Program at the Graduate Center)
    This track will prepare students for work in policy, education, journalism, public health, urban studies, social work, clinical practice, advocacy, diplomacy and NGO positions that require expertise in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer experiences, as well as for doctoral studies in a broad array of disciplines. Global and U.S. domestic politics, policies and practices, at both the state and the federal level, are increasingly focused on sexuality issues, such as HIV prevention and treatment, access to contraception, assisted reproductive technologies, sexuality education in schools, LGBTQ rights, sexual violence, migration and trafficking.

COSTS: See Prospective-Current Students: Tuition and Fees.


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