Loyola University Chicago

Women's Studies and Gender Studies


In addition to the Social Work Requirements, students in the dual MA/MSW must complete 18 credit hours in WSGS. The required WSGS 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. WSGS 402 begins with a history of women's education in the United States 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. The third core requirement is a course that explores feminism in a global dimension; a number of different courses can satisfy this requirement. In addition, students in the dual degree program are required to take three 3-credit WSGS electives. Electives in the program that may be especially relevant to dual degree students include Queer Theory (WSGS 497), Principle Healthcare Ethics (Philosophy 471), Sociology of Gender (Sociology 426), Christian Sexual Ethics (Theology 480), and Feminist Jurisprudence (Law 425), and several others. 


Dual degree students must take all the required foundation social work courses. Students in this program could specialize in either the health and mental health or the children and families clusters. Students interested in the school of social work concentration could also participate in the dual degree program with some modifications to the plan outlined above related to required social work courses.

Second year electives for dual degree students include (not limited to) 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 wish 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).

Social Work Internship Placement

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 MSW.

Possible Field Placements at Women-Focused Agencies

  • A Friend's Place—DV
  • Constance Morris House—DV and shelter
  • Deborah's Place—homeless women
  • Genesis House—women who have been involved in prostitution
  • Hospice Horizon—lesbian women; death and dying
  • Hull House Uptown DV Counseling Center
  • Rape Victim Advocates
  • Sarah's Inn—DV counseling and shelter
  • Lake County Sexual Assault Program—adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse
  • Arlington Heights Sexual Assault/DV Program—physical and sexual assault on women

Capstone Requirement

The required SOWK internships fulfill the required capstone experience for dual-degree students, but you must take WSGS 599, the zero-credit-hour course that corresponds with the final capstone presentation, during your final semester. Upon completion of the program, all WSGS students do a capstone presentation -- reflecting on the culmination of their work in the program as well as future applications of their WSGS curriculum -- at the biannual WSGS capstone ceremony and celebration.  Along with the capstone presentation, students are required to submit a brief synthesis paper and annotated bibliography of ten sources in Women’s Studies and Gender Studies that have been influential to their work.