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/Final Project Requirements

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

Thesis

The Thesis Option requires that the student plan, execute, and defend an independent and original analytical research project that makes a contribution to current scholarship in the field of women’s and gender studies and related subfields.  The thesis should show accomplishment in methods of research, critical judgment, and, if appropriate, praxis that characterizes feminist research.  Thesis research must be grounded in interdisciplinary scholarship as well as feminist and/or gender theories, and must reflect considerable engagement with relevant literature and methodology in the field. The thesis consists of approximately 50 pages of text with a substantial bibliography.  
 
Students who select the Thesis option will complete, in addition to required Core Courses in the M.A. Program, a five-course elective focus, and two courses of WGS 493 Final Project Independent Research focused on researching and writing the thesis.  You are required to present and defend the thesis to an MA Final Project Committee.  The student is also required to present their final project to a public audience at a WGS Graduate Student Final Project Presentation event.

Practical Project

The Practical Project Option requires that the student plan, develop, and defend a practical project that is grounded in interdisciplinary scholarship, feminist and/or gender theories, and that has a direct and practical application to community service, advocacy, and/or education.  Practical projects take a variety of forms; for instance, it could be a participatory action research project with an organization, or a curriculum to be taught in community-based or educational setting, or a public policy or human rights related educational or advocacy project, or any project created for implementation with a broader community.  In general, the M.A. Practical Project in WGS consists of the project itself (e.g., the curriculum, the participatory action research report) and a Framing Paper (minimum 25 pages) in which you frame the mission, goals, methods, components, and expected outcomes of the project you have undertaken. 

Students who select the Practical Project option will complete, in addition to required Core Courses in the M.A. Program, a five-course elective focus, plus an additional two courses (total of 8 credit hours) of WGS 493 Final Project Independent Research.  They will also be required to present and defend the Practical Project to an MA Final Project Committee.  The student is also required to present their final project to a public audience at a WGS Graduate Student Final Project Presentation event.

Creative Project

The Creative Project Option requires students to create an artistic and/or literary project that gives voice to issues or questions in Women’s and Gender Studies.  It should be informed by feminist theory and scholarship, and it should address a significant theme or question within the field.  A Creative Project may be a play, an art exhibit, a memoir, a novel, a collection of short stories, a collection of non-fiction essays, a mixed-media work, a dance or musical performance, a film, a website—to name just a few of the multiple possibilities open to students choosing this option.  In general, the M.A. Creative Project in WGS consists of the creative project itself and a Creative Project Framing Paper (minimum 25 pages) in which you describe and frame the creative project.

Students who select the Creative Project Option will complete, in addition to required Core Courses in the M.A. Program, a five-course elective focus, plus an additional two courses of independent study and research.  You will also be required to present and defend the creative project to an MA Final Project Committee.  The student is also required to present their final project to a public audience at a WGS Graduate Student Final Project Presentation event.

Portfolio

The Portfolio Final Project Option requires that the student conduct a comprehensive analysis of their learning while a graduate student in WGS.  The student must prepare and submit (1) a collection of at least six seminar papers, practical or creative projects, and/or other research products that are the outcomes of core and elective courses; and (2) a Portfolio Essay (minimum 25 pages) that offers a reflective and critical analysis of how the papers/projects reflect the students intellectual, creative, and analytical development over the course of their graduate studies. 

Students who select the Portfolio Option will complete, in addition to required Core Courses in the M.A. Program, a six-course elective focus, plus an additional course WGS 493 – Final Project Independent Research during which they will write the Portfolio Essay.  They will also be required to present and defend the portfolio project to the Chair of their Final Project and one additional faculty member, who must both be appointed in the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies at DePaul.   The student is also required to present their final project to a public audience at a WGS Graduate Student Final Project Presentation event.