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Gender & Women's Studies (MA) 
Program Description


The M.A./J.D. in Gender and Women’s Studies prepares students to practice law with an understanding of feminist theories, feminist and related social movements, and critical race and ethnic studies, as well as the interconnections of gender, law, public policy, and transnational economic and political processes. Students' understanding of feminist praxis is enriched through internships and other practice-oriented activities supervised by core GWS faculty and GWS affiliates in the Law School. The program enables students to build on these foundations while pursuing their own areas of interest by requiring them to produce an original Master's paper. The MA/JD is generally a four-year program.

The M.A./J.D. is generally a four-year program, although several students have accumulated enough units to graduate one semester early. A minimum of 21 units of graduate coursework in Gender and Women’s Studies, plus 15 units of approved law coursework are required for the 36-unit M.A. in Gender and Women’s Studies. Students may transfer up to 15 units of GWS courses and seminars toward the J.D.

Students attend either Gender and Women’s Studies or The College of Law their first year. The second year is spent in the alternate program. Students would then complete their requirements for both degrees throughout the third and fourth years. Courses taken in Gender and Women’s Studies prior to admission to The College of Law cannot be applied to the J.D.

Dual degree applicants must meet the application deadlines and testing requirements for each program independently. For more information, see:
The College of Law website:
GWS web site:

Department/Academic Unit(s)

Gender and Women's Studies -

The Gender and Women’s Studies (GWS) Department at the University of Arizona stands at the cutting edge of interdisciplinary feminist research and curriculum. The Department was founded in 1975 and gained full departmental status in 1997. It offers BA, MA/JD, and PhD degree programs, and its renowned faculty - composed of 13 core faculty and over 60 affiliates - work in a wide range of areas including:

  • Transgender Studies; LGBTQ Studies
  • Queer Critical Race and Ethnic Studies
  • Chican@/Latin@ Studies; Migration and Borderlands Studies 
  • Transnational Feminist Cultural Studies
  • Critical Health and Body Studies
  • Feminist Science and Technology Studies
  • Film, Literature & Media Studies; Digital Activism; Feminist Publishing
  • Feminist Theories

Our internationally prestigious Southwest Institute for Research on Women (SIROW) was established in 1979. SIROW develops collaborative research-action projects of importance to women in the southwestern U.S. and the Mexico-U.S. border regions; links researchers, community organizations, and policy makers to encourage informed policies and accessible, responsive services for diverse women's health and well-being; encourages women's contributions in knowledge and cultural production; and supports science and engineering education of, by, and for women and girls through the Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Program. The department also has a member-based community organization, the Women's Studies Advisory Council (WOSAC), that promotes and supports the students and faculty of GWS and its activities. The Women's Plaza of Honor is sponsored by the Women's Studies Advisory Council and is a means to fund an endowment to support GWS students in their academic achievement.

College of Social & Behavioral Sciences  
Campus where offered
Main Campus - Tucson  
Admissions Contact
Darcy L Roman-Felix
Graduate Program Coordinator
Darcy L Roman-Felix
Director of Graduate Studies
Eithne P Luibheid
Graduate College Degree Counselor
Guadalupe Estrella
Tuition and Fees
Please refer to the UA Bursar's Office Tuition and Fees Calculator for up-to-date information about tuition and fees. 
Please refer to the UA Registrar's's Office Special Course Fees for up-to-date information about special course fees. 

Admissions Information

Admissions Requirements
  • 3.0 GPA minimum
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Personal Statement
  • Writing Sample
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • 3 Letters of Recommendation
  • Transcripts from all College-Level Schools you have attended
  • Internatioanl Applicants must submit a minimum TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score of 600 paper based (PB), 100 internet based (iBT), or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) composite score of 7 (no subject area below 6).

Dual degree applicants must meet the application deadlines and testing requirements for each program independently.

Standardized Tests

Minimum TOEFL: 600
Minimum IELTS: 7

Financial Aid

Whenever possible, the department offers research and teaching assistantships.

Other support is sometimes available through the Office of Student Financial Aid with priority given to applications received by March 1.

Admissions Deadlines

Domestic Applicants:

  • Fall: December 15

International Applicants:

  • Fall: December 15
International Conditional Admission
International applicants will not be considered for conditional admission by this program.
Other Information
The GRE Institution Code for The University of Arizona is 4832
ETS Major Field Code(s) for this program: 4832

Completion Requirements

Degree Requirements

GWS Course Requirements for the GWS MA portion of the program:

15 UNITS Core GWS Requirements:

GWS 539A Feminist Theories I

GWS 539B Feminist Theories II

GWS 639 Feminist and Related Social Movements

2 Core Choice:  Select two courses taught by core GWS faculty

6 ADDITIONAL GWS UNITS (these may be cross-listed with GWS) 

Students may repeat GWS539A and GWS539B one time each for credit that is applicable to a GWS PhD major, PhD minor, MA, or Concentration, on the condition that the syllabus for the course is substantially different from the earlier offering. Course eligibility will be determined by the Director of Graduate Studies or, if a conflict of interest, the Department Head.  Repeat enrollment will be treated as a normal GWS elective course.  Repeat enrollment will have no bearing on PhD Qualifying procedures tied to these courses.

15 UNITS Law School Requirements


Satisfactory progress is based on separate evaluations of the GWS GPA (minimum 3.0) and the College of Law GPA (minimum 2.0).

Students will be responsible for paying differential tuition for the College of Law and regular tuition.

Transfer Credit
No more than 20% of the minimum number of units required for a Master’s degree can be transferred from other accredited institutions (e.g., if a Master’s degree requires 30 units, then no more than 6 units can be transferred from another university). Such transfer credit can be applied to an advanced degree only upon satisfactory completion of deficiencies as prescribed by the head of the major department in which the student seeks a degree. Transfer of credit toward an advanced degree will not be made unless the grade earned was A or B, and unless it was awarded graduate credit at the institution where the work was completed. Grades of transfer work will not be used in computing the student's grade point average. Credit for correspondence courses or extension work from other institutions will not be accepted for graduate credit.

M.A./J.D. Continuous Enrollment Policy
A student admitted to a Master’s or Educational Specialist degree program must register each Fall and Spring semester for a minimum of 3 graduate units from original matriculation until all degree requirements are met. If the degree program requirements are to be completed in the Summer, the student must register for a minimum of 1 unit of graduate credit in either Summer I or Summer II. If not graduating in the Summer term, Master’s and Educational Specialist candidates do not have to register for graduate units during Summer sessions unless they plan to make use of faculty time. If they do plan to use faculty time, they must enroll for a minimum of 1 unit of graduate credit in the term(s) in which they are using faculty time. Summer-Only students are required to enroll continuously for a minimum of 3 units during consecutive summers until all degree requirements are met.

Master’s Plan of Study
In conjunction with the student’s major professor, each student is responsible for developing a Plan of Study as early as possible during the first few months in residence, to be submitted to the Graduate College no later than the second semester in residence.

The Plan of Study identifies (1) courses the student intends to transfer from other institutions; (2) courses already completed at The University of Arizona which the student intends to apply toward the graduate degree; and (3) additional course work to be completed to fulfill degree requirements. The Student must complete the Master’s Plan of Study form (in GradPath). . There is a Plan of Study fee.

Master’s Paper
In addition to fulfilling the Course Requirements, all M.A./J.D. students must complete and defend a Master’s Paper. This paper (max. 40pp, exclusive of bibliography) should contain significant scholarly research, demonstrate rigorous theoretical analysis, and display fluency with the chosen methodology. It should be well written and logically organized. In the interest of time, we recommend that students build on an existing piece of writing, rather than start from scratch.

Master’s Paper Committee
The student shall organize a Master’s Paper Committee (and select a Committee Chair), which will oversee and advise in the writing of the Master’s Paper. The committee should be composed of at least one core GWS faculty member. The other two members may be any tenured or tenure-track UA faculty members. Should a student want more than three committee members, those members may be tenured or tenure-track UA faculty or special members approved by the GWS Department and the Graduate College. Students will need to declare their M.A. Paper Committee by filling out the GWS Master’s Paper Committee Membership Form and the Master's/Specialist Committee Appointment Form (in GradPath).

The MA Defense Meeting
Before the defense is scheduled, the M.A. Paper must be complete, carefully proofread, and appropriately formatted. It is customary for the Master’s Paper Committee to receive the M.A. Paper two weeks in advance of the meeting. At the meeting, the student will give a brief initial presentation (5 minutes) and then respond to questions posed by committee members. The committee will then (without the student present) deliberate and determine the student’s eligibility to receive the MA. The meeting (including the committee deliberation) should be no less than one hour, no more than two hours. The Committee Chair will report results to the student, the DGS and Academic Coordinator.

The Final Master’s Paper
The student must submit a copy of the final M.A. Paper to the GWS Graduate Coordinator. The student must also present a version of their M.A. Paper at a GWS Graduate Student Colloquium.

Completion of Master’s Requirements
For dates by which requirements must be met to graduate in a particular semester, refer to the Deadline Sheets, available in departments, in the Graduate Degree Certification Office, and online at the Graduate College website. All outstanding fees must be cleared before the final completion date. Any financial encumbrances will delay mailing of the diploma and transcripts. Contact the Bursar's office, Room 208, Administration Building or 621-3232. All grades must be submitted for Incompletes and current semester coursework must be received before the degree is considered completed. A student must be in good academic standing at the time of completing degree requirements.


Minor Requirements


Student Handbook  
Persistent link:
Last revised 08 Mar 2018