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Loyola University Chicago

Women's Studies and Gender Studies

Graduate Programs

‌Masters in Social Work (M.S.W.)

Masters in Women's Studies and Gender Studies (M.A.)

With its many professional schools, Loyola University Chicago is one of the most comprehensive Jesuit universities in the country and as such is in the unique position to offer a graduate program that cuts across traditional disciplinary boundaries.

The Women's Studies and Gender Studies program offers a Master of Arts (M.A.), a joint Master of Arts(M.A.)/Master of Social Work(M.S.W.), a joint Master of Arts (M.A.)/ Master of Arts (M.A.) - Theology and a certificate program. The M.A. program in Women's Studies and Gender Studies is individually tailored to suit a student's background, academic goals, and professional needs. For example, a student may want to put together a program of study in Case Management and Health Care for Women, which might include courses in Social Work, Sociology, Philosophy, and Business.

Master's Degree

The master's degree consists of 24 hours (or 8 courses), plus a research tool requirement. Both core courses (WSGS 401 and 402) in the graduate program are required. The other six courses are electives from any discipline offering courses crosslisted with the WSGS program. One of the elective courses must be multicultural or have a global emphasis, such as WSGS 450. The research tool requirement entails a course in data analysis or in research methods (qualitative or quantitative), or demonstrated reading knowledge of a foreign language. The master's program has a thesis, internship and practicum option as well. Students work closely with the program director in planning their course sequence.

Applying for the Master's program requires that you send 3 letters of recommendation, transcripts from all universities attended, a personal statement, and a completed application with application fee.

Applications are due by June 1 for Fall entry and November 1 for Spring entry.

Dual-Degree Program

Masters in Social Work (M.S.W.) and Masters in Women's Studies and Gender Studies (M.A.)

Loyola University Chicago is one of a very few institutions offering a dual degree in Social Work and Women's Studies and Gender Studies. Earning both an M.A. in Women's Studies and Gender Studies and an M.S.W. in Social Work, together allows students to complete these degrees more quickly by taking courses that carry credit in both fields. This dual degree program enables women's studies students to utilize their course work in an applied setting and allows social work students to enhance their capacity to work with women in social work settings after graduation.

As with all dual degree programs, students interested in the dual degree in Social Work and Women's Studies and Gender Studies must apply to each school simultaneously and be admitted based on the criteria for admission to that school. The same criteria for admission will be applied to students who are pursuing a dual degree program as for all other students in each of the programs.

At the point students have been admitted to both schools, then the student may apply to the dual degree program via the liaisons for each program. There are no separate admissions criteria for completing a dual degree program; however, there are course substitutions and logistics to be worked out with the liaisons. Students are encouraged to contact the liaisons from both schools at the time of admission. The proposed program presented below is based on a three-year program scenario. The typical length of study is three years, though the program has been finished in 2 1/2 years and can be extended to four or more years, depending on a student's personal situation and course offerings based on special interests.

Below is an example of a three-year program; other options are available.

Master's in Social Work and Women's Studies and Gender Studies Three-Year Program

First Year
Summer Class Hours Fall Class Hours Spring Class Hours
SOWK elective
(3 credit hours)
SOWK 500:
Human Behavior in Soc. Env.
(3 credit hours)
SOWK 501:
Human Behavior in Soc. Env.
(3 credit hours)
SOWK elective
(3 credit hours)
SOWK 506:
Methods of SOWK Research
(3 credit hours)
SOWK 509: Policies/Strategies
(3 credit hours)
  SOWK 507:
Social Welfare and Social Work
(3 credit hours)
SOWK 606:
Practicum in Research
(3 credit hours)
  WSGS 401: History Feminist Thought
(3 credit hours)
WSGS 402: Intell./Instit. Foundations
(3 credit hours)
Total: 6 credit hrs Total: 12 credit hrs Total: 12 credit hrs
Second Year
Summer Class Hours Fall Class Hours Spring Class Hours
SOWK elective
(3 credit hours)
SWFI 530:
Field Instruction I
(1 cr. 2days a week)
SWFI 531:
Field Instruction
(1 cr. 2days a week)
SOWK elective
(3 credit hours)
SOWK 503:
Social Work w/ Indiv./Families
(3 credit hours)
SOWK 504:
Social Work w/ Indiv./Families
(3 credit hours)
  SOWK 502:
Ethnicity, Race and Culture:
(3 credit hours)
SOWK 505:
Social Work w/ Groups
(3 credit hours)
  WSGS elective
(3 credit hours)
WSGS 450: Global Feminism
(3 credit hours)
Total: 6 credit hrs Total: 10 credit hrs Total: 10 credit hrs
Third Year
Summer Class Hours Fall Class Hours Spring Class Hours
  SWFI 630:
Field Instruction
(2 cr. 3 days a week)
SWFI 631:
Field Instruction
(2 cr. 3 days a week)
  SOWK 619:
Issues in the Treatment of Women
(3 credit hours)
SOWK elective
(3 credit hours)
  SOWK 631:
Family Violence
(3 credit hours)
SOWK elective
(3 credit hours)
  WSGS elective
(3 credit hours)
WSGS elective
(3 credit hours)
Total: 0 hrs Total: 11 credit hrs Total: 11 credit hrs

Course Requirements

The required WOST courses include WSGS 401, which surveys the historical development of feminist thought from Mary Wollstonecraft to second-wave feminism and analyzes the impact of feminism on the general culture, and WSGS 402, which begins with a history of women's education in the U.S. and traces the institutional and intellectual development of women's studies as a field, focusing on the evolution of women's studies in the academy (here and in other countries) and on the changes in concepts of knowledge, in methodologies, and in pedagogy that women's studies scholarship has produced in various fields. WSGS 402 also introduces students to archival research using Loyola University's Women and Leadership Archives. In addition, students in the dual degree program are required to take two 3-credit WSGS electives. Electives in the program that might be especially relevant to dual degree students include Principle Healthcare Ethics (Philosophy 471), Vulnerable Populations (Nursing 412), Feminist Theology and Spirituality (Institute/Pastoral St. 404), Sociology of Gender (Sociology 426), and Feminist Jurisprudence (Law 425), among others.

Dual degree students must take all the required foundation social work courses. Students choose from four specialization tracks: health, mental health, schools, or leadership and development.

Second year electives for dual degree students include the following courses: Family Therapy (SOWK 612), Treatment of Women (SOWK 619), and Family Violence (SOWK 631). The two additional electives would enable students in the dual degree program to meet the requirements for the child and family cluster if they want to pursue this area. Students interested in health can meet the requirements for this specialization by taking Health Policy and Systems (SOWK 602) instead of Social Policy and Practice (SOWK 610); in addition, one of their social work electives would need to be Clinical Social Work Practice in Health Care (SOWK 614). Students in the dual degree program also complete a research project in the Research Practicum course (SOWK 606) focused on a practice or policy issue of concern to women.

Students in the dual degree program must complete two social work field placements, one each year, which are focused on women. This means that the placements must provide students with experience in modalities of treatment that are women focused and/or involve students in advocacy activities in areas of concern for women. While there are some agencies that clearly meet these criteria by virtue of their focus and service population (some are listed below), other agencies may be considered if at least 50% of the student's activities in these agencies meet the criteria listed above. All placements must be supervised by social workers with an M.S.W.

Possible Field Placements at Women Focused Agencies

M.A. in Theology and M.A. in Women's Studies & Gender Studies

 Loyola University Chicago offers a unique opportunity for masters students to pursue simultaneous degrees in Theology and Women's Studies and Gender Studies. Working on both M.A. degrees together allows students to complete these degrees more quickly by taking courses that carry credit in both fields.  The program requirements of each existing M.A. are fulfilled in the Dual M.A. program of 36 semester hours. 

This dual degree program enables students to experience the many intersections between advanced study in Theology and Women’s and Gender Studies, drawing from the strengths of faculty in both disciplines in the areas of women, gender, sexuality, religion, and ethics.  The program is ideal for Catholic high school teachers of religion or for students wishing to pursue doctoral work in Theology or Women’s Studies.  Loyola University Chicago is the only Jesuit university that offers a graduate degree in Women’s Studies.

As with all dual degree programs, students interested in the dual degree must apply simultaneously to both Theology and Women's Studies and Gender Studies and be admitted to both M.A. programs based on their separate criteria. The same criteria for admission will be applied to students who are pursuing a dual degree program as for all other students in each of the programs.

When students have been admitted to both Theology and Women’s Studies and Gender Studies, they may then apply for the dual degree program via the liaisons for each program. Students will work with both graduate program directors to arrange to complete the requirements for both programs and to coordinate scheduling.  It is possible to obtain both degrees two years or less, but some students may choose to extend the program as needed, depending on their personal situation, special interests, and course offerings.

Required Courses and Examination:

WSGS 401: History of Feminist Thought: 1790 – 1970 (3 credits)

WSGS 402: Foundations of Women’s Studies (3 credits)

WSGS 450: Global Feminisms or a globally-related course (3 credits)

WSGS 498:  Practicum (3 credits)

THEO: Two courses in Bible: one Old Testament, one New Testament (6 credits)*

THEO: Two courses in Systematic/Historical Theology (6 credits)*

THEO: Two courses in Christian Ethics (6 credits)*

WSGS: Two cross-listed (any department except Theology with WSGS) graduate courses (6 credits)

Joint MA examination (0 credits)

*Three of the six courses in Theology (preferably one each in Bible, Systematic/Historical, Ethics) to be cross-listed with WSGS or to have significant gender content.   

Certificate or Concentration in Women's Studies and Gender Studies

Certificates in Women's Studies and Gender Studies are designed for students who are enrolled in another graduate program at Loyola. The requirements are the same: 9 hours (3 courses). One course must be selected from the two core courses in the Women's Studies and Gender Studies Graduate Program; the other two courses are electives from any discipline.

More Information

For information about graduate programs in Women's Studies and Gender Studies, contact the Graduate Program Director Suzanne Bost at: sbost@luc.edu. To request materials or information online, please fill out this form.

For information on the M.S.W., contact the liaison for the dual degree with Women's Studies and Gender Studies or the Director of Admissions for the School of Social Work at (312) 915-7005, or visit the School of Social Work Website.

Application

To apply to a Women's Studies and Gender Studies graduate program, visit Graduate and Professional Education at Loyola or click here to apply online. Applicants for the dual M.S.W./M.A. degree should apply for admission to the programs using one application, indicating their intent to pursue the dual degree.

Deadlines:

Applications for the Master's Degree in Women's Studies and Gender Studies are due by:

Fall entry:  June 1
Spring entry: November 1

Loyola

Women's Studies & Gender Studies · 6430 N. Kenmore Avenue, Cuneo Hall 310, Chicago, IL 60660
Phone: 773.508.2177 · Fax: 773.508.8492 · E-mail: wsgsprogram@luc.edu

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