Course Requirements

Elective courses will be chosen by the student in conjunction with a faculty advisor in order to tailor a coherent program of study to the individual student’s particular academic and/or professional objectives while ensuring that the student sustains a strong interdisciplinary focus at the graduate level. Elective courses may be offered by Women’s and Gender Studies or by other departments/programs at DePaul, provided that such courses meet the criteria for inclusion within the Women’s and Gender Studies curriculum (with permission). 

Capstone Requirements

All students must complete an M.A. Capstone, selecting one of the following options:

Thesis

This Capstone Option requires that the student plan, execute, and defend an independent, analytical research project.  This research project must  be grounded in interdisciplinary scholarship and feminist and/or gender theories, as well as reflect considerable engagement with literature and methods from the field.  In addition, the thesis should demonstrate some unique contribution to the field.  Students who select this option will complete, in addition to the core courses, a five-course elective focus, along with an additional two courses of independent study and research.  They will also be required to present and defend the Thesis to a committee of three faculty members, at least one of whom must be appointed to the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies.     

Practical Project

This Capstone Option requires that the student plan, execute, and defend a practical project that is grounded in interdisciplinary scholarship, feminist and/or gender theories, and directed independent study and/or internship that results in a contribution to community service.  This project does not have to be tied to a particular organization, and yet depending on the project, we do encourage such community engagement.  For example, a student may write a curriculum designed to educate high school students on relationship violence prevention, or prepare a proposal or policy study for an NGO or community-based organization.  A portion of the paper should be devoted to an analysis of the theoretical and empirical underpinnings of your project.  In this analysis, it will be important to demonstrate considerable engagement with literature in the field.  The balance of the paper will present the project itself. The written portion of this project should be approximately 20 pages in length.  Students who select this option will complete, in addition to the core courses, a five-course elective focus, along with an additional two courses of independent study and research.  They will make some sort of public presentation of the project to a determined audience.  In addition, they will be required to present and defend the Project to a committee of three faculty, at least one of whom must be appointed to the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies Faculty.

Creative Project

Alternatively a student might prepare an artistic or creative project—for example, a performance piece or art installation that is research-based and reflects some aspect of the interdisciplinary focus of Women’s and Gender Studies.  The written portion of this project should be approximately 20 pages in length.  This written portion of the work should be devoted to an analysis of the scholarly underpinnings of your project.  In this analysis, it will be important to demonstrate considerable engagement with theoretical literature in the field.  Students who select this option will organize some exhibition and/or public performance in a relevant venue and to a relevant audience.  These students will complete, in addition to the core courses, a five-course elective focus, along with an additional two courses of independent study and research.  In addition, they will be required to present and defend the Project to a committee of three faculty, at least one of whom must be appointed to the Department of  Women’s and Gender Studies Faculty. 

Portfolio

This Capstone option requires that the student conduct a comprehensive analysis of their learning in the Women’s and Gender Studies graduate program.  As a point of departure for this analysis, students will prepare and submit a collection of seminar papers, practical or creative projects, and/or other research products that are the outcomes of core and elective focus courses, with one example chosen from at least six of the courses completed by the student.  Then, building on this foundation, students completing the portfolio option will prepare a written critical analysis of the work submitted with the portfolio in which they reflect upon the scope and meaning of their graduate scholarship.  To do this, students will synthesize their educational experience, situating themselves in the field, and in this context, will analyze central issues, themes, problems, and/or contentions that were most important in terms of their own development in the course of the M.A.  Students who select this option will complete, in addition to the core courses, a six-course elective focus, along with an additional one course of independent study and research.  Students will be required to present and defend the Portfolio/Critical Analysis to a committee of two faculty, one of whom must be appointed to the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies Faculty.