Gender and Cultural Studies + Public Policy

The joint Master’s in Gender and Cultural Studies and Public Policy is designed for students who would like to combine the pragmatic approach of public policy with the broader, creative insights of gender and cultural theory.

Students sitting in class

Blend theory with practice with our Master's in Gender and Cultural Studies and Public Policy degree

Simmons University's Master’s in Gender and Cultural Studies and Public Policy is ideal preparation for those with a particular interest in issues of diversity, race, gender, class, ethnicity, ability, and sexual orientation in public policy.

This program affords students the core skills and most essential content knowledge of public policy, at the same time that it offers students broad exposure to field of gender and cultural theory. Students in the program will be taught to apply this integration to real world issues. As a result, this program prepares graduates equally well to work in a policy setting or a nonprofit organization, where policy knowledge and analysis skills can heighten marketability.

This degree is designed for students who have a background and interest in interdisciplinary work. Students will ideally have an undergraduate degree in one or more of the following:

  • Communications
  • Critical Race Studies
  • English
  • Economics
  • History
  • International Relations
  • Modern Languages
  • Political Science
  • Public Policy
  • Media Studies
  • Philosophy
  • Women’s and Gender Studies.

While there is no one path to a successful degree application, prospective students must demonstrate an interest in applying their knowledge to real-world policy issues.

Ready to take the next step? We'll guide you through the requirements and deadlines — and get you started on your way.

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Suzanne Leonard and Zinnia Mukharjee

Program Directors

Suzanne Leonard serves as Director of the Graduate Program in Gender and Cultural Studies and Zinnia Mukherjee as Program Director for the Master of Public Policy.

Rayna Danis, student in the gender and cultural studies and public policy masters program

Student Story

By being in both programs, I feel like I get the opportunity to actively put the theory into practice and affect policy change in areas that will really impact queer communities. I get to work with brilliant professors who challenge me to think critically about what I’m learning but have also been so supportive in these uncertain times.

Our Faculty

Ben Cole

Benjamin Cole

  • Associate Professor and Chair of Political Science & International Relations and Associate Dean, Curriculum and Academic Programs
Dawna Thomas speaking at podium

Dawna Thomas

  • Professor and Chair of Critical Race, Gender and Cultural Studies
Photo of Tatiana M.F. Cruz

Tatiana M.F. Cruz

  • Assistant Professor and Interdisciplinary Program Director of Africana Studies
Marda Messay photo

Marda Messay

  • Associate Professor and PLAN Language Requirement Coordinator
Photo of Kristina Pechulis

Kristina Pechulis

  • Associate Professor of Practice and Director of the Lee Family Foundation Fellowship Program