Graduate Specialization and Graduate Minor Requirements

Who should apply?

Students admitted to graduate programs in any department are welcome to apply. We especially encourage students to apply who have a strong interest in interdisciplinary research and teaching in areas such as feminist and gender theory, women, race, ethnicity, nationality, sexuality, disability studies, or international women's issues.

WGS Graduate Specialization:

The following departments have been approved for the Specialization: Anthropology, Art and Art History, Communication Studies, English, History, Political Science, and Sociology. However, we welcome qualified applicants from other departments and colleges. Contact the WGS Program Associate, Carolyn Kollmann, to determine whether your department qualifies.

WGS Graduate Minor:
If a student is unable to pursue the Specialization, s/he can apply to do the Minor. This includes students who are enrolled in graduate programs that are not approved for the Specialization. Application requirements for the Specialization and the Minor are the same.
How to Apply
Admission to a department with a graduate program at UNL is required for participation in the Graduate Specialization or Graduate Minor in Women's and Gender Studies. Application to the specialization is normally made when completing the Memorandum of Courses for the
MA or filing the Program of Study for the PhD, but applications must be received at least one semester prior to the semester of graduation.To apply, submit the following materials to the WGS Program Chair, Margaret Jacobs mjacobs3@unl.edu; WGS Program Associate, Carolyn Kollmann, ckollmann2@unl.edu; and student’s home department:
  • a letter of application addressed to the graduate chair of the student's home department and to the director of Women's and Gender Studies. This letter should include a statement describing how the graduate specialization or graduate minor will help the student meet his or her goals and how it fits the individual program of study.
  • the list of courses for the graduate specialization or graduate minor.
  • a copy of the student's Memorandum of Courses for the MA or Program of Study for the PhD.
The Women's and Gender Studies Advisory Board, chaired by the program director, will approve the list of courses for the specialization or minor and course substitutions in consultation with the chair of the student's supervisory committee.

Applications must be submitted between September 1 and April 1.

Masters Degree Program Requirements                                    
  • A masters degree in another UNL department.
  • Nine credit hours of graduate courses on women, gender, and/or sexuality. Of these, six (6) must be outside the student’s major department.# The WGS minor or specialization may be gained through any combination of 800 or 900 level courses. Under Graduate College rules, both Options I and II offer possibilities for completing the graduate specialization or minor without adding additional hours of course work.
  • If option I (thesis) is chosen, the thesis must address some issue(s) relevant to Women’s and Gender Studies. The student must deposit an electronic copy of the thesis with Women’s and Gender Studies.
  • Confirmation to the Women’s and Gender Studies office that all requirements for the specialization or minor have been met by the middle of the final semester.
Successful completion of the specialization will be indicated on the student's official transcript in parentheses following the name of the academic discipline.
Doctoral Degree Program Requirements
  • A doctoral degree in another UNL department.
  • Twelve* credit hours of courses on women, gender, and/or sexuality. Of these, nine (9) hours must be outside the student’s major department.# The WGS minor or specialization may be gained through any combination of 800 or 900 level courses.** Under Graduate College rules, both Options I and II offer possibilities for completing the graduate specialization or minor without adding additional hours of course work.
  • Transfer Courses: Transferred courses accepted by the major department may be used toward this total upon approval of the WGS Director and Advisory Board. Contact the Director for information on the documentation required for this approval. Transferred courses may count for up to three hours of the total twelve.
  • A PhD student who has already done an MA graduate specialization in WGS at UNL is required to take only six credits (two additional classes) outside her/his department in addition to the nine hours already completed in pursuit of the MA.
  • The dissertation should address some issue(s) relevant to Women’s and Gender Studies. The student must deposit an electronic copy of the dissertation with Women’s and Gender Studies.
  • Confirmation to the Women’s and Gender Studies office that all requirements for the specialization or minor have been met by the middle of the final semester.
# This will be effective starting Fall 2016. It cannot be applied retroactively.
* Although most PhD minors require 15 credit hours, the WGS minor, like the specialization, requires only 12.
**In those departments which already have internal specializations, students will pursue the Women’s and Gender Studies minor.  Requirements are the same for both. Successful completion of the specialization will be indicated on the student’s official transcript in parentheses following the name of the academic discipline.Graduate Specialization Requirements PDF