FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

 

 

How do I declare WGS as my major? What classes do I have to take?

Students wishing to declare Women and Gender Studies as their major can now do so online, via Campus Solutions. A follow-up email will be sent from the Department Chair. Students can also make an appointment with one of the undergraduate advisers and fill out an advising form before the appointment. 

Students majoring in Women and Gender Studies may enroll in WGS courses and courses focusing on women, gender and sexuality, in any other department. The choice of electives is flexible, and your advisor will assist you in devising a program appropriate to your own needs and interests. With the consent of your academic adviser, you may also use courses with a focus on women taken at other colleges and universities as part of the Women and Gender Studies major.

The major requires at least 39 units, no more than 9 of them lower division:

Required Courses:

  • WGS 200: Introduction to Women and Gender Studies
  • WGS 300GW: Politics of Gender, Race and Nation
  • WGS 690: Senior Seminar
  • WGS 698: Internship

27 units of electives are required, of which 21 units must be taken within the department and 6 units may be taken outside the department.

WGS electives offer exciting interdisciplinary and innovative approaches to a wide variety of subject areas. These courses include Gender, Health and Environment; Gender, Poverty and Globalization; History of African American Women; Lesbian, Queer and Transgender Identity; Gender, Race and Sexuality in Popular Music; Gender and the Law; Gender, Globalization and Women’s Human Rights; Women Writers and the Politics of Decolonization; Women in the Muslim and Arab Worlds; Queer Literatures and Media; and many others.

General Education

Students may double-count a maximum of 12 units for both General Education and the Women and Gender Studies major.

Credit/No credit

A maximum of 9 units within the major can be taken credit/no credit, but students are strongly urged to take all courses within the major for letter grades.

 

            Complementary Studies

"Bachelor of Arts students must complete at least twelve units of Complementary Studies outside of the primary prefix for the major. Students who complete two majors or a major and a minor automatically complete the Complementary Studies requirement. Details about Complementary Studies can be found in the Bulletin description for each B.A. degree. Students who have earned AA-T or AS-T degrees and are pursuing a similar B.A. degree at SF State are required to fulfill the Complementary Studies requirement as defined by the major department. These students should consult with a major advisor about how transfer units and/or SF State units can best be applied to this requirement in order to ensure degree completion within 60 units." View the bulletin for our B.A.

WGS students in the past have used the complementary studies requirement to acquire a minor as well. Some popular minors with our students have been, but are not limited to, Ethnic Studies, BECA, Communications, and Comparative Literature. View the bulletin programs.

It is important to note that some minor programs allow students to double count WGS courses. Please make sure you check with your minor department. 

 

How do I declare WGS as my minor? What classes do I have to take?

Students wishing to declare Women and Gender Studies as their minor may do so with advisement from WGS faculty. Professor Martha Kenney is the undergraduate advisor and has an online calendar https://mkenney.youcanbook.me where students can select a day and time that works with their schedule.

A minor in Women and Gender Studies can be useful in conjunction with many majors, (e.g. Humanities, Human Sexuality, Counseling, Psychology, Anthropology, Health Education, the Social Sciences).

The minor offers students majoring in other areas a coherent supplementary program in Women and Gender Studies.

The Minor requires a total of 18 units as follows:

  • WGS 200: Introduction to Women and Gender Studies
  • WGS 300GW: Politics of Gender, Race and Nation
  • Six (6) elective units must be taken within the department.
  • Three (3) units may be lower-division
  • Remaining three (3) units may be taken outside the department.

Who’s my advisor? What forms do I need to take to advising? Who are the other professors in WGS?

Professor Martha Kenney is the current undergraduate advisor. She has an online calendar https://mkenney.youcanbook.me where students can choose a day and time that works for them.

          Bring your unofficial transcripts and/or Academic Progress report, both available through your Student Center, to your first meeting. Also bring your advising form: Major Advising form Minor Advising form

How do I contact a professor?

All faculty can be found on our website at wgsdept.sfsu.edu/people. Each professor’s office hours and courses are updated each semester.

 

How do I apply to the MA program?

In order to be admitted to the program, students must meet all general University requirements. They must also complete an academic program (major or minor) in Women and Gender Studies at an accredited institution prior to matriculation. Certificate programs or concentrations may also suffice. Please contact the WGS Graduate coordinator if you have questions. Before beginning the process, please go to the Division of Graduate Studies webpage.

Once you have chosen to apply to the Master of Arts program in Women and Gender Studies, please complete the following:

A Personal Statement. In 750 words or less, the applicant must: describe their academic background, intentions, and goals, including experience in women and gender studies; include a rationale for pursuing an M.A. degree and the relation of the M.A. degree in WGS to prior academic work and career objectives. A well-written statement of purpose exhibits academic preparedness for graduate school and articulates academic goals that can be supported by the methodological and intellectual interests and expertise of the department's faculty.

For admission to the University, potential graduate students are required to possess a cumulative GPA no lower than 3.0 in the final 60 units of their undergraduate career.


Two (2) Letters of Recommendation are required from individuals with direct knowledge of the applicant's scholarly ability. These letters should speak to the applicant's academic readiness for graduate-level studies and are usually from professors who have knowledge of the applicant's academic performance and interest in WGS. All letters are submitted via CalState Apply.

International students must have TOEFLS / IELTS.

The WGS department does not require GRE scores; however, applicants may include them.

A resume or CV is optional.

 

When will I know if I’ve been accepted?

In Spring 2018 all applications were submitted via CalState Apply (https://www2.calstate.edu/apply/). The department began receiving completed applications well before the established deadline, yet those applications were not reviewed until the deadline along with all other completed applications. The department will now have two review blocks and deadlines.

 

Review and Notification Block 1  

 

Application deadline January 15th: committee will make decisions by Feb 15

Review and Notification Block 2

Application deadline March 15th: committee will make decisions by April 30th

           

Women and Gender Studies Undergraduate Scholarships

Apply for all our department scholarships through the Academic Works website. Women and Gender Studies Scholarships are available for all WGS students, regardless of citizenship status. Deadline: Mid-December each fall semester for SPRING awards

Marjorie H. Stern Scholarship - $500

The Marjorie H. Stern Scholarship supports women’s rights and social justice by helping Women and Gender Studies (WGS) students in immediate financial need to remain in school. Two scholarships will be awarded each year to students who demonstrate a commitment to social justice and articulate how the scholarship would help them to continue their education. One applicant will be selected from our juniors and seniors, the other from WGS M.A. students.

Eligibility: Must be a WGS major or minor, be a junior or senior, and have a GPA above 3.0

Submission materials: Students submit an unofficial copy of their transcript, the name and e-mail address of a WGS professor who has agreed to act as a reference, a short statement about their commitment to social justice, and a short statement explaining the financial need. Please see Academic Works for more details.

The Women and Gender Studies Award - $500

The Women and Gender Studies Undergraduate Award recognizes one WGS major or minor who has not only demonstrated excellence in academics but has applied the feminist commitments of the department (engagement with the larger community, critical thinking and analysis, and working toward social justice) beyond the classroom. This can be broadly defined, for instance, as work with an internship, in other kinds of work places, on the campus, with community organizing and/or at home.

Eligibility: Must be a WGS major or minor and have a GPA above 3.0

Submission materials: Students submit an unofficial copy of their transcript, the name and e-mail address of a WGS professor who has agreed to act as a reference, and a 3-5-page (double-spaced) essay describing their academic or research interests and the connection to activities beyond the classroom. Please see Academic Works for more details.

Women and Gender Studies Graduate Scholarships

Marjorie H. Stern Scholarship - $500

The Marjorie H. Stern Scholarship supports women’s rights and social justice by helping Women and Gender Studies (WGS) students in immediate financial need to remain in school. Two scholarships will be awarded each year to students who demonstrate a commitment to social justice and articulate how the scholarship would help them to continue their education. One applicant will be selected from our juniors and seniors, the other from WGS M.A. students.

Eligibility: Must be a WGS M.A. student and have a GPA above 3.0.

Submission materials: Students submit an unofficial copy of their transcript, the name and e-mail address of a WGS professor who has agreed to act as a reference, a short statement about their commitment to social justice, and a short statement explaining financial need. Please see Academic Works for more details.

Other Scholarships

SFSU scholarships

Alumni scholarships - SFSU

SFSU fellowships

          WGS Emergency Fund Scholarship

The purpose of the WGS Student Emergency Fund Scholarship is to support students in need of “emergency” funding. An emergency is broadly defined to include those categories not covered as part of the regular cost of attendance (i.e. NOT “tuition fees, books and supplies, meals, housing, transportation, and personal expenses” per Financial Aid). During the 2016-2017 academic year, 14 scholarships were awarded.

 

The award is open to all graduate and undergraduate students majoring or minoring in WGS. Preference is given to graduate students and undergraduate majors, and there is no GPA requirement. The scholarship is open to all students, regardless of citizenship status. 

Contact the Department Chair for more information. If your application is awarded, a copy of a bill tied to your emergency may be required.

 

                      How much does it cost to get an MA degree at SFSU?

Financing a master’s degree can be challenging. And while SFSU’s in-state tuition is quite low compared to other universities, the cost of living in the San Francisco Bay Area is one of the highest in the United States.

Most WGS graduate students who complete the program in two years work part-time while they are enrolled as full-time students. Other students who maintain a full-time job usually complete their MA degree in three years. Many students take out student loans and apply for a range of scholarships.

WGS does not offer “admissions packages” with funding outlined at the onset of your degree. Each student has unique financial and personal circumstances. Instead, each semester the department offers GA teaching positions as well as various scholarships. We try to make your MA as affordable as possible and support individual paths towards the degree. 

For important information about current fees and tuitions, go to:

 http://bursar.sfsu.edu/content/fall-2018-important-fee-information

 

For the most updated information about financial aid, housing and tuition, you can also contact the SFSU Graduate Division and the Office of Financial Aid:

http://grad.sfsu.edu

http://financialaid.sfsu.edu

 

Are Teaching and Research Assistantships provided for WGS graduate students?

YES. The WGS department has between 5-8 graduate student teaching assistant positions each semester (they are called GA - graduate assistant, not teaching assistant, at SFSU). In August and January, the chair of the WGS department calls for applications for GA positions. WGS graduate students have priority for these positions. The GA positions carry a monthly stipend: $460.60/month for eight hours work per week for five months (total $2,303) (based on spring 2018 rates).

WGS students have also often been GAs for other departments such as Ethnic Studies, Sexuality Studies, Humanities, Journalism, etc. if other departments have needs for GAs with gender studies expertise.

When WGS faculty receive grants for research assistants, they can hire WGS graduate students. These are paid hourly, usually between $15-$20/hour, depending on the grant.

 

What other on-campus jobs are available to me?

WGS students have often worked as cross-campus tutors at both the Learning Assistance Center (LAC) and the Campus Academic Resource Program (CARP).

https://lac.sfsu.edu/lacjobs

https://carp.sfsu.edu/content/job-opportunities

WGS students have also worked in student services, as program coordinators for student groups such as the Queer and Trans Resource Center, and elsewhere on campus.

http://asi.sfsu.edu/hr/

http://careerservices.sfsu.edu/findajoboncampus

 

What scholarships or fellowships am I eligible for as a graduate student in WGS at SFSU?

SFSU Scholarships and Grants

WGS graduate students are also often very successful in applying for other SFSU scholarships and grants: these follow the same calendar and are usually $500-$1,000 awards.

Some SFSU scholarships that WGS students have won in the past include the following:

  • CSU Chancellor’s Doctoral Incentive Program

·Judith Anne Ott Scholarship

  • Evans, Hsu, Kauffman Scholarship
  • Edward B. Kaufmann College of Liberal & Creative Arts Scholarship

 

For more information about SFSU scholarship, please go to: https://sfsu.academicworks.com You can search by scholarship name or by keywords (such as “gender” or other words that relate to your own identity, history, research interests, etc.)

 

Other Scholarships and Grants

WGS MA students have been successful in applying to a range of non-SFSU funds as well. Here are some suggestions

 

  • 110 College and Graduate School Scholarships for Women of Color”

This is a great resource, compiled in 2017 that includes information for graduate and undergraduate scholarships.

http://baucemag.com/women-of-color-scholarships/

 

  • The Markowski-Leach Scholarship for LGBTQ students attending San Francisco State University, Stanford, UC Berkeley, or UC San Francisco

http://mlscholarships.org

 

  • Fullbright Fellowship programs

For students who are not US residents, from specific regions or countries, to study in the United States. A program of the United States Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs

https://www.cies.org/programs

 

  • American Association of University Women

This organization offers a range of scholarships and fellowships

https://www.aauw.org/tag/scholarships-and-awards/

 

Other SFSU graduate student funding

Conference travel

The College of Liberal and Creative Arts offers graduate students $400-$600 to attend a professional conference related to their areas of study. These funds are allotted each Fall on a first come, first served basis for students presenting work at qualifying conferences.

Is there SFSU campus housing for graduate students?

YES. There is on-campus graduate housing. The university also facilitates roommate referrals and housing information for graduate students. For this information, see the Graduate Division’s Housing Information page:

http://grad.sfsu.edu/content/housing

 

What can I do with a BA or minor in WGS?

          Career Options for the Major and Minor

  • Administrator of Nonprofit Women’s Groups
  • Administrator of Women’s Health Clinic
  • Advocate for Women and Gender Issues
  • Affirmative Action Officer, Government, Business and Industry, Educational Institutions
  • Career Counselor for Women
  • Community Organizer/Outreach Consultant
  • Coordinator of Re-entry or Adult Education Programs
  • Coordinator of Women's Programs in Government and Business
  • Counselor, Social Services for Women
  • Criminal Justice Advocate for Women
  • Director of Women's Center
  • Editor/Writer
  • Educator
  • Health-care Provider
  • Lawyer
  • Lobbyist for Women’s Issues
  • Media Analyst
  • Policy Analyst on Women and Gender Issues
  • Researcher on Women's Projects
  • Union Organizer

 

What can I do with an MA in WGS?

          Career Options for the M.A.

The M.A. in Women and Gender Studies provides a base of knowledge for students wishing to pursue doctoral work on women, gender and feminism in the humanities, social sciences, and interdisciplinary fields such as Cultural Studies, American Studies, Global Studies and Ethnic Studies. The program also provides a foundation for future graduate work in professional degree programs such as Education, Social Work, Law, Public Administration and Public Health. The M.A. enhances students’ abilities to participate professionally in a range of organizations and businesses in the public and private sector, particularly those addressing issues concerning gender, race, citizenship, equity and justice.

  • Advocacy
  • Activism
  • Counseling
  • Community Work
  • Consultancy
  • Editing
  • Health Care
  • Nongovernmental Organization Administration
  • Publishing
  • Political Organizing
  • Research
  • Social Work
  • Teaching
  • Writing

 

 

How do I add or drop a class?

What’s the difference between a W and WU?

What’s the deadline to withdraw from a class?

All these questions and more can be answered by going to the SFSU Registrar’s page: http://registrar.sfsu.edu/deadlines

Most petitions can be completed online DURING the CURRENT semester. Talk to your professor(s) when you are even considering withdrawing or have other concerns regarding the course…. Don’t leave it to the last minute.

We want all our students to succeed in all their classes and strive to do our best with everyone, regardless of who they are in any aspect of their lives, beliefs, and expression of self.