The master of arts in the field of women's, gender, and sexuality studies program enables students to develop leadership and expertise in this growing field. The program's interdisciplinary curriculum focus on feminist theory, as well as social scientific and humanistic knowledge about women, gender, and sexuality in the United States and around the world. Students analyze discourses and structures of power, particularly as they are grounded in gender, race, sexuality, ethnicity, and nationality. The program may be tailored to meet a wide array of interests in either applied women's, gender, and sexuality studies or in advanced interdisciplinary or discipline-based scholarship.

Graduates of the program apply their knowledge and skills to careers in government and nonprofit organizations as teachers, researchers, public affairs specialists, and advocacy organization leaders.  Some go on to earn doctoral or other advanced degrees.

Visit the program website for additional information.

Admission deadlines:

Fall -  February 1: Priority consideration for admission and funding;   April 1: Guaranteed review for admission and consideration for funding, if available. (Applications for admission will continue to be accepted after April 1, when space remains available in the program.)

Standardized test scores: 

The GRE general is not required, however, if you feel as though submitting scores will strengthen your application, you are welcome to submit them. (Institution Code: 5246)

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the academic International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or the PTE Academic is required of all applicants except those who hold a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree from a college or university in the United States or from an institution located in a country in which English is the official language, provided English was the language of instruction. 

Minimum scores for the program are:

  • Academic IELTS: an overall band score of 7.0 with no individual score below 6.0; or
  • TOEFL: 600 on paper-based or 100 on Internet-based;  or
  • PTE Academic: 68

Recommendations required:

Two (2) recommendations. Three (3) recommendations are welcome for those applying for fellowships.

Prior academic records:

Transcripts are required from all colleges and universities attended, whether or not credit was earned, the program was completed, or the credit appears as transfer credit on another transcript. Unofficial transcripts from all colleges and universities attended must be uploaded to your online application. Official transcripts are required only of applicants who are offered admission.

If transcripts are in a language other than English, English language translations must be provided. The English translation alone should be uploaded into your application.

Statement of purpose:

In an essay of 250 – 500 words, state your purpose in undertaking graduate study in your chosen field. Include your academic objectives, research interests, and career plans.  Discuss your related qualifications, including collegiate, professional, and community activities, and any other substantial accomplishments not already mentioned on the application. If you are applying for a teaching assistantship or fellowship, also describe any teaching experience you have had.

Writing Sample:

A 10-15 page writing sample is required.

International applicants only: 

Please review International Applicant Information carefully for details on required documents, earlier deadlines for applicants requiring an I-20 or DS-2019 from GW, and English language requirements.

Supporting documents not submitted online should be mailed to:

Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, Office of Graduate Studies
The George Washington University
801 22nd Street NW, Phillips Hall 107
Washington DC 20052

For additional information about the admissions process visit the Columbian College  of Arts and Sciences Frequently Asked Questions page.

202-994-6210 (phone)

Hours: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday

The following requirements must be fulfilled:

The general requirements stated under Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, Graduate Programs.

The following requirements must be fulfilled: 36 credits, including 12 credits in core courses, 3 credits in practicum or thesis research, and 21 credits in elective courses.

WGSS 6220Fundamentals of Feminist Theory
WGSS 6221Research Issues in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
WGSS 6225Contemporary Feminist Theory
or WGSS 6230 Global Feminisms
WGSS 6299Capstone Research Seminar
Practicum or thesis (3 credits)
WGSS 6283Practicum in Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies
or WGSS 6999 Thesis Research
With the advisor’s approval, students develop a four-course (12 credit) concentration. In addition, they take three elective courses (9 credits) that may or may not be related to their chosen concentration.