Women's and Gender Studies M.S.

Degree: Master of Science
Program Director: Kate Wilkinson
410-704-5744
kwilkinson@towson.edu

The interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary graduate program in Women’s and Gender Studies provides students with a solid academic foundation to pursue their unique goals. As the only applied master’s program in Women’s and Gender Studies in Maryland and the only Women’s and Gender Studies master’s program in Baltimore, the program emphasizes applied research methods and skills, preparing students for careers in a variety of public and private organizations both national and international, for-profit and nonprofit. It also prepares students to enter doctoral programs in a variety of fields.

The master’s degree in Women’s and Gender Studies is set in the liberal arts tradition and explores feminist paradigms and scholarship. Intended as either a capstone interdisciplinary experience or one which bridges undergraduate learning and a doctoral program, the M.S. in Women’s and Gender Studies captures a multi-faceted intellectual experience, including both theoretical and experiential content. Requiring 36 earned graduate units, the program requires a core component and offers three concentration options: 1) Women, Health and Sexuality, 2) Women in an International Context, and 3) Women, Leadership and Public Policy. The program includes a Culminating Experience with three options: a) a thesis, b) an internship or c) a two-course option with portfolio. The thesis option is recommended for students who intend to pursue a doctoral degree.

Please note that only one degree in Women's and Gender Studies can be awarded; students who complete more than one concentration in Women's and Gender Studies will not receive two different degrees.

Combined Bachelor and Master of Science in Women's and Gender Studies

Students may also earn the M.S. in Women's and Gender Studies through the combined bachelor’s and master’s program in Women’s Studies, which is designed to allow students to complete combined undergraduate and graduate degrees. This program is designed for the three existing tracts in Women’s Studies: Women, Leadership and Social Change; Women in International Context; and Women, Health and Sexuality. This combined degree program allows qualified undergraduate Women’s Studies majors to pursue a combined bachelor’s and master’s in Women’s Studies.

Students enrolled in the combined bachelor’s and master’s program in Women’s Studies may elect to follow one of three Culminating Experiences already in place: Thesis, Internship or Two-Course Option. The degree requirements are the same as those for the M.S. program in Women’s Studies with the following exception: the combined bachelor’s and master’s requires 3 fewer units of planned electives. All M.S. students in this program, regardless of their plan, are expected to demonstrate a proficiency in research and meet the requirements of all learning outcomes listed for both undergraduate and graduate programs.

Advising

During the student’s first term, the graduate program director acts as the student’s adviser. During that time, the student’s academic program is discussed, developed and drafted. At the end of the first term, the student is transferred to a permanent adviser.

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS

  • A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university** (as certified by an official transcript) with a minimum undergraduate grade point average of 3.00, and 2.75 for conditional admission. GPA calculations for admission are based upon the last 60 units of undergraduate and post-baccalaureate study.
  • Nine units earned at the baccalaureate level in Women’s and Gender Studies and/or the Social Sciences (Anthropology, Sociology, Geography, Political Science, Psychology, Economics or a social science-based interdisciplinary course). Three (3) of these nine (9) units must include one course in Women’s and Gender Studies. Students with no prior course work in Women’s and Gender Studies must enroll in either WMST 231, which is an introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies, or WMST 337, a course on feminist theory. Given these two courses (WMST 231 and WMST 337) are undergraduate-level courses, students will not receive graduate credit for completion of this requirement. An applicant who has not taken an undergraduate course in Women’s and Gender Studies but who has relevant applied experience including, but not limited to, work in a women’s center, work for a women’s organization, or work on a project focusing specifically on women’s and gender issues, may be exempted from the requirement.
  • A detailed essay of four to five, double-spaced pages emphasizing the applicant’s specific plans for focused graduate study within the selected concentration, including discussions of 1) projected career goals, 2) prior academic and/or work experiences (volunteer or paid), and 3) how these relate to anticipated success in the intended program of study and projected career goals.
  • Two letters of recommendation, including at least one from a college/university instructor from whom the applicant has learned from in a course setting, accompanied by a completed Graduate Program Recommendation Form.

Apply online through the University Admissions site: http://grad.towson.edu. Send additional material to:

University Admissions
Towson University
8000 York Road
Towson, MD 21252

Non-immigrant international students: See additional admission information in Graduate Admissions.

**See Exceptions to Policy in Graduate Admissions.

DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

The M.S. in Women’s and Gender Studies requires successful completion of 36 units with an average GPA of 3.00 or higher. Core Courses: 9 units; Concentration Course: 3 units; Concentration Elective: 3 units; Electives (WMST or Affiliated): 15 units; Culminating Experience: 6 units.

Required Courses

WMST 603THE DIVERSITY OF WOMEN3
WMST 607ADVANCED FEMINIST THEORY3
WMST 609APPLIED RESEARCH METHODS AND SKILLS I3

Women in an International Context Concentration

Required Course (3 Units)
WMST 605WOMEN IN AN INTERNATIONAL CONTEXT3
Concentration Elective (3 Units)
Select one of the following:3
ANTHROPOLOGY OF GENDER
GLOBALIZATION IN CROSS-CULTURE PERSPECTIVE
WOMEN, ENVIRONMENT AND HEALTH
TOPICS IN WOMEN'S STUDIES
THE EROTIC IMAGINATION IN CHRISTIANITY AND HINDUISM
SPECIAL TOPICS IN WOMENS STUDIES
General Electives for Women in an International Context Concentration (15 Units)
All graduate WMST courses count toward this concentration. In addition to WMST graduate courses, any of the affiliated courses below can be chosen to meet the required 15 units of electives for the Women in an International Context concentration:15
ANTHROPOLOGY OF GENDER
LATINAS IN THE AMERICAS
PEOPLES OF THE MIDDLE EAST
GLOBALIZATION IN CROSS-CULTURE PERSPECTIVE
TRADITION AND REVOLUTION IN LATIN AMERICA
WOMEN IN 20TH-CENTURY U.S. HISTORY
HISTORY OF MODERN SOUTHEAST ASIA
WOMEN IN ANTIQUITY
MAKING OF THE MODERN MIDDLE EAST
LATIN AMERICA & THE UNITED STATES
THEORY OF INTERNATIONAL POLITICS
CONTEMPORARY INTERNATIONAL POLITICS
COMMUNICATION IN THE PROFIT/NONPROFIT SECTORS
Total Units21

 Women, Leadership and Public Policy Concentration

Required Course (3 Units)
WMST 611WOMEN, PUBLIC POLICY AND SOCIAL CHANGE3
Concentration Elective (3 Units)
Select one of the following:3
TOPICS IN WOMEN'S STUDIES
WOMEN AND GENDER IN THE WORKPLACE
Women and NFP Leadership; Governance and Advocacy
SPECIAL TOPICS IN WOMENS STUDIES
SPECIAL TOPICS IN WOMENS STUDIES
General Electives for Women, Leadership and Public Policy Concentration (15 Units)
All graduate WMST courses count toward this concentration. In addition to WMST graduate courses, any of the affiliated courses below can be chosen to meet the required 15 units of electives for the Women, Leadership and Public Policy concentration:15
WOMEN IN 20TH-CENTURY U.S. HISTORY
WORKERS AND WORK IN THE UNITED STATES
HEALTH CARE POLICY
ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR
LEADERSHIP THEORY AND PRACTICE
GROUP DYNAMICS AND TEAM BUILDING
URBAN GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS
INTEREST GROUPS AND PUBLIC POLICY
SEMINAR: AMERICAN GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC POLICY
COMMUNICATION IN THE PROFIT/NONPROFIT SECTORS
COMMUNICATION IN THE PROFIT/NONPROFIT SECTORS
DEVIANCE AND ORGANIZATIONS
DEVIANT BEHAVIOR
SOCIAL WELFARE
Total Units21

Women, Health and Sexuality Concentration

Required Course (3 Units)
WMST 613WOMEN AND HEALTH3
Concentration Elective (3 Units)
Select one of the following:3
WOMEN AND SEXUALITY
WOMEN AND MEDICINE
WOMEN, ENVIRONMENT AND HEALTH
THE EROTIC IMAGINATION IN CHRISTIANITY AND HINDUISM
SPECIAL TOPICS IN WOMENS STUDIES
HEALTH CARE SYSTEMS
HEALTH CARE POLICY
General Electives for the Women, Health and Sexuality Concentration (15 Units)
All graduate WMST courses count toward this concentration. In addition to WMST graduate courses, any of the affiliated courses below can be chosen to meet the required 15 units of electives for the Women, Health and Sexuality concentration:15
LEGAL AND ETHICAL ISSUES IN HEALTH ADMINISTRATION
GAYS AND LESBIANS IN U.S. HISTORY
COMMUNITY HEALTH: QUALITATIVE AND QUANTITATIVE ELEMENTS
HEALTH CARE SYSTEMS
HEALTH CARE POLICY
CULTURE AND HEALTH
BIOMEDICAL ETHICS
COMMUNICATION IN THE PROFIT/NONPROFIT SECTORS
SEX DIFFERENCES: PSYCHOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVES
GENDER IDENTITY IN TRANSITION
ADVANCED PSYCHOLOGY OF AGING
PSYCHOSOCIAL ASPECTS OF DISABILITY
MEDICAL SOCIOLOGY
DEVIANT BEHAVIOR
Total Units21

Elective Course Information

Elective courses, whether carrying a WMST or other department designation, must form a coherent program, meet the student’s learning needs and be selected in consultation with the student’s adviser. An elective course selected but not included on the Elective Course lists for any concentration (either WMST or affiliated designation) shall be approved by the program director.

  • Students should meet with their advisers to select a coherent set of concentration electives.
  • Limit of three (3) 500-level courses may be applied to the master’s degree.
    Under special circumstances and in accordance with the Directed Readings/Independent Study Policies of the WMST Department, the student may select with appropriate approvals WMST 591 or WMST 695 as an elective.
  • Field Experience WMST 620 may be selected as a general elective for any concentration.

Culminating Experience Courses (6)

Additional information regarding the WMST Culminating Experience is detailed in the Women’s and Gender Studies Graduate Student Handbook.

Thesis Option

WMST 897WOMEN'S STUDIES THESIS (one-term)6
WMST 898WOMEN'S STUDIES THESIS (two consecutive terms (3) each enrollment)3
WMST 899THESIS CONTINUUM1

 Internship Option (6)

WMST 796INTERNSHIP ((3) each enrollment)3

Two-Course Portfolio Option (6)

Two courses, both carrying a WMST designation, one of which must be at the 600-level, shall be selected in advance of course enrollment with the adviser’s approval. Requirements include a portfolio and reflective essay.

  1. Students can understand and can evaluate/critique feminist arguments and theories as demonstrated in a term paper that is clearly and knowledgeably written.
  2.  Students can demonstrate ability to execute a research proposal that is clearly and knowledgeably written, incorporating a thesis statement, a literature review, operationalization of key concepts/variables, defense of selected method, and heuristic and potential research implication of the proposed research. Part of (these skills) includes the effective use of online research portals to search through academic journals databases for relevant articles.
  3.  Students can demonstrate ability to identify and evaluate prevailing normative assumptions that underlie social practices and policies that hinder women’s agency.

Courses

WMST 532 WOMEN'S CULTURE AND CREATIVITY (3)

Study of the historical conditions influencing women's creativity, the nature of women's aesthetic achievements, and the emergence of new female cultural and artistic traditions. Prerequisite: WMST 231 or WMST 232 or consent of instructor.

WMST 533 WOMEN AND AGING (3)

American society's view of older women and the impact of stereotypes and images on their self-concepts. Prerequisite: 3 credits in women's studies or social sciences.

WMST 535 WOMEN, WORK AND FAMILY (3)

Women's work examined historically and cross-culturally from an interdisciplinary perspective. Women's work in traditional societies, effects of industrialization on women's work, and women's paid and unpaid work in contemporary societies. Prerequisite: 3 lower division credits in women's studies or consent of instructor.

WMST 536 WOMEN AND MEDICINE (3)

How gender has influenced the structure, content, and practice of medicine in the 19th and 20th centuries, with emphasis on disease theory and treatment, physicians' involvement in social policy, and women's challenges to medical authority. Special focus on the history of nursing, women's entry into medical practice, and women's health movements past and present. Prerequisite: 3 credits in women's studies or social sciences.

WMST 538 WOMEN AND SEXUALITY (3)

Examination of the politics of sexuality: the interaction between cultural definitions and evaluations of women's sexualities and women's social and legal states; and women's attempts to achieve sexual autonomy. Emphasis on how the meaning of sexuality changes over time and how women respond to these changes, and their effect on women. Prerequisite: 3 credits in women's studies or social sciences.

WMST 539 REPRODUCTIVE TECHNOLOGIES AND THE FUTURE OF MOTHERHOOD (3)

Reproductive science and contraceptive technologies affecting contemporary society, focusing on ethical and legal issues and changing definitions of motherhood. Prerequisites: two science courses or one math and one science course. GenEd II.A.2.

WMST 540 WOMAN AS A CITIZEN (3)

Role of gender in defining citizenship; critical analysis of the principles of citizenship promulgated by leading contributors to Western political thought. Prerequisites: none.

WMST 545 WOMEN, ENVIRONMENT AND HEALTH (3)

Relationships between economic development, health and the environment from a global perspective with a focus on women's roles in environmental management; how women's activism effects social and public policy agendas. Prerequisites: none.

WMST 550 B-MORE: BALTIMORE AND URBAN COMMUNITIES (3)

Analyzes significant political, economic, and cultural issues facing Baltimore and other urban communities including poverty, discrimination, economic development, and the criminal justice system; special attention to gender, race, class, and youth activism.

WMST 570 TOPICS IN WOMEN'S STUDIES (3)

An interdisciplinary examination of selected issues, themes, or topics in women's studies. Variation in content in different semesters. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 units when a different topic is covered. Prerequisite: one women's studies course or consent of instructor.

WMST 581 THE EROTIC IMAGINATION IN CHRISTIANITY AND HINDUISM (3)

Explores use of sexual imagery to understand the human-divine relationship in Christianity and Hinduism. Critical analysis of th eways that erotic religious traditions both re-inscribe and destabilize cultural norms of gender and sexuality. Prerequisite: WMST 231 or RLST 105 or by consent of instructor.

WMST 591 DIRECTED READING IN WOMEN'S STUDIES (1-4)

Independent reading in women's studies with emphasis on interdisciplinary relationships. Topics selected by student in consultation with instructor. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credits when a different topic is covered. Prerequisites: 15 hours in interdisciplinary or departmental women's studies courses; minimum 3.00 GPA average in women's studies. Special permit only.

WMST 601 WOMEN AND GENDER IN THE WORKPLACE (3)

Examination of the organization of work and the role of gender in the division of labor, power and authority, income and other rewards, in diverse work settings. Prerequisite: graduate standing.

WMST 603 THE DIVERSITY OF WOMEN (3)

Examination of feminist scholarship on race, class and sexualities, particularly with regard to the distribution of power within a variety of institutions. A required course for the WMST Master's Program. Non-WMST Graduate students are asked to join the wait list and will be accepted into the class as space permits. Prerequisite: graduate standing.

WMST 604 Women and NFP Leadership; Governance and Advocacy (3)

Role of governance and advocacy in the not-for-profit organization with attention to women's roles and issues; topics include strategic planning, board governance and community power-building. Prerequisite: Graduate Standing.

WMST 605 WOMEN IN AN INTERNATIONAL CONTEXT (3)

Examination of the diverse experiences of women in a variety of national and international contexts. Particular attention will be devoted to how global forces impact women's lives today and the diverse ways that women struggle against inequality. Prerequisite: graduate standing.

WMST 607 ADVANCED FEMINIST THEORY (3)

Major feminist theories on women's experience, emphasizing the areas in the graduate concentrations: workplace, health, public policy and international. A required course for the WMST Master's Program. Non-WMST Graduate students are asked to join the wait list and will be accepted into the class as space permits. Prerequisite: graduate standing.

WMST 609 APPLIED RESEARCH METHODS AND SKILLS I (3)

How to interpret, evaluate, and conduct research about women and gender issues in organizations and society, using the computer, the Internet, and statistical software for accessing and producing information. Prerequisites: WMST 231 or equivalent, graduate standing, and adequate computer skills.

WMST 611 WOMEN, PUBLIC POLICY AND SOCIAL CHANGE (3)

How public policy affects the experiences of women and men, and groups to which they belong. Includes study of components of public policy-making, case studies of gender-related public policy, and methods of instituting change. A required course for the WMST Master's Program. Non-WMST Graduate students are asked to join the wait list and will be accepted into the class as space permits. Prerequisite: graduate standing.

WMST 613 WOMEN AND HEALTH (3)

An interdisciplinary study of women's health from a holistic perspective that builds on socioeconomic, political and biological aspects of women's health. Prerequisite: graduate standing.

WMST 620 FIELD EXPERIENCE (3)

Non-culminating field placement for students in organizations or agencies (including governmental) working on projects that serve women. Course includes a proposal, regular meetings with adviser a journal and a final written report of the project. May be repeated once for a maximum of 6 credits by student not electing the WMST 796 Internship option; site of placement may not be repeated. Prerequisites: Completion of a minimum of 9 credits toward a master's in WMST and approval of the student's adviser and graduate program director.

WMST 640 WOMAN AS A CITIZEN (3)

WMST 670 SPECIAL TOPICS IN WOMENS STUDIES (3)

Topics pertaining to WMST graduate concentrations. May be repeated two times for a total of 9 credits maximum.

WMST 673 SPECIAL TOPICS IN WOMENS STUDIES (3)

Topics pertaining to WMST graduate concentrations. May be repeated two times for a total of 9 credits maximum.

WMST 674 SPECIAL TOPICS IN WOMENS STUDIES (3)

Topics pertaining to WMST graduate concentrations. May be repeated two times for a total of 9 credits maximum.

WMST 675 SPECIAL TOPICS IN WOMENS STUDIES (3)

Topics pertaining to WMST graduate concentrations. May be repeated two times for a total of 9 credits maximum.

WMST 695 INDEPENDENT STUDY (3)

Study and research including writing a research paper on a selected topic in women's studies. Prerequisites: 15 undergraduate or 9 graduate credits in women's studies; graduate standing and consent of women's studies prior to registration.

WMST 796 INTERNSHIP (3)

Intensive hands-on experience in approved organization related to student's concentration. Written report required upon completion. Must be taken in two separate semesters for a total of 6 credits. Prerequisite: Minimum of 9 credits completed in graduate program in Women's Studies and consent of student's graduate adviser.

WMST 897 WOMEN'S STUDIES THESIS (6)

Original research on a topic related to the student's concentration using acceptable research methods and design. May be based in extensive library, survey or field research. A thesis prospectus detailing the nature and scope of the investigation and the methods to be employed must be submitted and approved in advance to the student's adviser and the graduate director. Students will be required to do an oral presentation of their thesis in a meeting with their graduate adviser and one other WMST faculty. Must be taken in two separate semesters for a total of 6 credits. Prerequisites: Completion of a minimum of 21 credits toward the M.S. in WMST and completion of WMST 609.

WMST 898 WOMEN'S STUDIES THESIS (3)

The previous course, WMST 897, taken over two consecutive semesters.

WMST 899 THESIS CONTINUUM (1)

Continuation of thesis beyond the 6 units.