Simmons University's Master of Arts in Gender and Cultural Studies (GCS) program examines intersecting systems of power and privilege and the ways in which race, ethnicity, nationality, class, ability, gender, sexuality, and sexual orientation are constructed within the United States and in international contexts. Simmons fosters a supportive, stimulating environment with small class sizes, diverse student cohorts, faculty mentors, and a flexible curriculum. The master’s degree consists of 32 credit hours. Most students complete the degree in four semesters of study over two years. Part-time students may take up to five years to complete the degree
Why study Gender and Cultural Studies?
At Simmons, the Gender and Cultural Studies program strives to prepare and inspire the next generation of scholars, educators, activists, entrepreneurs, and professional leaders. We place special emphasis on research-based, action-oriented inquiry. Our students locate themselves in key debates within the fields of feminist studies and critical race studies, take a stand on issues and problems, and publicly offer solutions.
At Simmons, you will learn how to:
Engage with research in feminism, critical race studies, queer theory, and cultural studies.
Situate current realities of gender, sexuality, race, ability, class, and culture within broader, intersectional, historical and geopolitical contexts
Translate those insights into public settings, and make broadly significant, culturally impactful interventions
What courses will you take?
Gender and Cultural Studies degree candidates take two required courses:
Introduction to Gender and Cultural Studies: Theory into Practice
Race, Gender, and Empire.
In addition to these courses, most students take five core elective courses and at least 4 credit hours of capstone work. View a sample list of Gender and Cultural Studies elective courses in the Program Requirements section below.
In addition to their coursework, all Gender and Cultural Studies students complete a final capstone project—consisting of at least 4 credit hours —that furthers their individual academic and professional interests. Capstone projects may take the form of an internship, a research project, or a thesis.
Recent Capstone Projects
"Self-Care": The Continued Production and Protection of White Femininity
Racial Politics, Data Collection, and the Massachusetts Sex Offender Registry
Who's Got Rights: The Failures of Homonationalism in the Trump Era
"You Can't Be What You Can't See": Queering the Canon and Reconstructing Representation in the Secondary Classroom
Incriminating Women of Circumstance: The Gendered and Material Implications of the War on Drugs
White Noise: How the Media Amplified and Drowned Out Black Political Protest "Post Ferguson"
Constructing the Queer Muslim: The Necropolitics of Racialization and Western Exceptionalism in the Lives of LGBTQ Muslims
What a Perfect Monster: Gone Girl's Destabilization of Feminine Archetypes in Popular Media
Sites of Resistance: Black Femme Sexuality and Alternative Spaces in Sex Work
Subversive Masculinity: Cultivating Men's Engagement in Gender Equality
Making Time for Social Change: Toward an LGBTQ-Inclusive Care Model for Rape and Domestic Violence Crisis Centers
Theorizing Breastfeeding, Conceiving a Coalitional Project of Queer Politics
Students may further tailor their studies by completing a dual degree with our Master in Public Policy, MS in Education, or Master of Arts in Teaching, which leads to initial teaching licensure for elementary education.
What can you do with a Master's Degree in Gender and Cultural Studies?
96% of graduates surveyed in early 2019 reported that they were employed.
Drawing from coursework in the humanities and social sciences, the Gender and Cultural Studies program offers flexible paths of study to prepare graduates to pursue career interests across a variety of sectors. The majority of recent survey respondents work in higher education teaching, higher education administration, social services, and non-profit roles, while others work in secondary education, technology, consulting, and as business owners.
Following graduation, 32% of our alumni/ae enrolled in PhD programs. GCS provides rigorous intellectual preparation and training for students who wish to pursue doctoral studies across a range of disciplines, including Africana Studies, American Studies, Anthropology, Cultural Studies, English, Gender Studies, Race Studies, Sexuality Studies, Sociology, and Women's and Gender Studies.
Learn more about our Master's in Gender and Cultural Studies!
Are you looking for more than just a gender studies degree? The Gender and Cultural Studies program at Simmons University takes a culture-centric approach to women and gender studies. We'll guide you through the requirements and deadlines — and get you on your way. Learn more about our program in our Gender and Cultural Studies program booklet, request more information or apply now!