Master of Arts in Women and Gender Studies


The expertise of the department lies in interdisciplinary, multicultural and transnational studies of inequality. Students are taught to draw from a range of theoretical and methodological approaches such as women of color feminism, post-structuralism, transgender studies, dialectical materialism and intersectional feminisms to examine, research and discuss the ways how, why, and who we study as “women.” Courses consider global structures of power and histories of racism in relation to local, regional, national and transnational feminist practices. The department provides analysis and debate of activist scholarship by feminists who confront and transform various institutions and arenas, including academia, politics, law, sexuality, nonprofit groups, global nongovernmental organizations, communities, labor struggles and cultural productions.

The goals of the department include the development of conceptual, analytic and critical thinking skills in relation to gender and feminism in a transnational framework; the ability to integrate academic studies in women and gender studies into personal and professional goals; the development of skills to formulate and implement theoretically informed political, cultural and community action; the ability to analyze gender from an interdisciplinary perspective, using a range of methodological tools; an historical understanding of gender in relation to structural inequality, social movements and labor struggles; and the ability to critically examine representation and cultural production through a feminist lens.

The program is interdisciplinary, enabling students to combine core and elective courses in Women and Gender Studies with electives in other departments and programs across the campus. Students complete their Master’s degree with a culminating project of their own design working closely an adviser.


Core Requirements = 15 units

WGS 700: Introduction to Graduate Studies (3)
WGS 710: Feminist Social Movements (3)
WGS 712: Queer Theories (3)
WGS 713: Intellectual Genealogies (3)
WGS 820: Feminist Research Methods (3)

Total units for core = 15

3 units selected from the following on advisement

WGS 894: Creative Work Project
WGS 895: Field Study Project
WGS 898: Master’s Thesis

12 Related Field Units (upon approval of adviser) = 12

Minimum Total units = 30

Written English Proficiency

First Level: Satisfactory performance in the final research paper for WGS 700

Second Level: Successful completion of WGS 894, 895 or 898
Courses and course descriptions in Women and Gender Studies are listed in the San Francisco State University Bulletin and online.

A current schedule of classes is available online on the SFSU Class Schedule page.