Graduate Admissions

Admission to the 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. In cases where a student’s academic profile shows promise but the student has not completed an undergraduate program in WGS, the admission committee will require the incoming M.A. student to take 9 - 12 upper-division undergraduate units upon advisement. These undergraduate courses will not count toward the M.A. degree. Once completed, the matriculated student will be granted classified status in the Women and Gender Studies M.A. program.

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.
 The WGS department does not require GRE scores.

To apply, visit the SFSU Graduate Studies website for application requirements and current application deadlines. Official transcripts must be submitted to the Division of Graduate Studies at:

Graduate Admissions
San Francisco State University
1600 Holloway Avenue, ADM 250
San Francisco, CA 94132

In Addition

In addition to the general online application for admission submitted to the University, applicants must directly provide the Women and Gender Studies Graduate Admissions Committee with the following items:

  1.  A 750-word statement describing academic background, intentions, and goals, including experience in women and gender studies; rationale for pursuing the M.A. degree; relation of the M.A. degree in Women and Gender Studies to prior academic work and career objectives.
  2. Two scholarly letters of reference from individuals with direct knowledge of the applicant's scholarly ability.

These items must be mailed directly to:

Graduate Admissions Committee
Department of Women and Gender Studies
San Francisco State University
1600 Holloway Avenue, HUM 315
San Francisco, CA 94132

Profile of a Successful Graduate Candidate

Each year, the Women and Gender Studies Graduate Admissions Committee receives more applications than can be accepted. In reviewing applications, the committee focuses particularly on three things:

  1. A strong academic transcript in women and gender studies or related fields (for Fall 2017 the average overall GPA of accepted applicants was 3.61);

  2. A well-written personal statement that exhibits academic preparation for graduate school and articulates academic goals that can be supported by the methodological and intellectual interests and expertise of the department’s faculty; and

  3. Letters of recommendation that speak to the student’s academic readiness for graduate-level studies.

For questions about the application process, please contact the Women and Gender Studies graduate coordinator, Professor Deborah Cohler (

Fall 2017 Deadline: February 15, 2017

We do not admit students in the spring semesters.