Admission & Program Requirements

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Joint Master of Arts in Women and Gender Studies


Program Coordinator – Marnina Gonick  BA (Manitoba), MA (McGill), PhD (Ontario Institute For Studies in Education), Professor

The Master of Arts in Women and Gender Studies is awarded jointly by Mount Saint Vincent University and Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. This dynamic program emphasizes the interdisciplinary basis of Women and Gender Studies, its community linkage, and its grounding in feminist theories and methodology.

The Master of Arts in Women and Gender Studies will appeal to those individuals with interests in areas that combine a feminist perspective with global issues; gender in relation to war and peace studies, cultural studies; literary studies; history; theory; research methods; health; sexuality; gender; education; social change; religion/spirituality; human rights and social justice; race and ethnicity; body image; paid and unpaid caregiving labour; family relations; media studies; creative arts; and community activism.

This program is enriched by its access to multiple library collections at universities in the metro area, by the presence of the Nancy’s Chair in Women’s Studies located at Mount Saint Vincent University, and by an active local women’s community.

Note: This degree will be granted jointly. Students must, therefore, satisfy the regulations of both participating universities regarding pass standards for coursework and time limits for completion. The student will receive the degree at the convocation of the University of registration.

Students will be admitted by the joint Graduate Admissions and Program Committee (GAPC) for the Master of Arts in Women and Gender Studies.

To be admitted into the 5.0 unit program, applicants will normally be expected to have a four-year Bachelor of Arts degree with a minimum B average (GPA 3.0) or equivalent. Students who do not meet these criteria might be admitted with the requirement to complete a qualifying year or additional courses.

Applications, including all letters of reference, transcripts and other required information, will normally be accepted up to February 1.

Enrolment is limited and is based on the availability of Women and Gender Studies faculty to supervise a student’s proposed area of research.

Application packages are available online at

Time Frame

Students may choose between full- or part-time status. Graduate students have five years to complete all degree requirements. Students must register in a minimum of 1.0 unit per year.

The Joint Masters of Arts in Women and Gender Studies requires the completion of 3.0 units of coursework plus a 2.0 unit thesis.

Program Requirements

Required Courses

❏ 0.5 unit GWGS 6601/SMU WGST 6601

❏ 0.5 unit GWGS 6602/SMU WGST 6602

❏ 0.5 unit GWGS 6603/SMU WGST 6603

❏ 0.5 unit GWGS 6620/SMU WGST 6604

❏ 2.0 units GWGS 6699*

❏ 1.0 unit of free electives**

*Thesis (2.0 units)

The thesis requires a proposal, will demonstrate research and communications skills, and will be defended to fulfill the requirements. The thesis must meet the specifications set by the student’s home university.

**Free Elective (1.0 unit)

Chosen in consultation with the student’s advisor, this could include an independent study, or an appropriate graduate course in another department.

In consultation with the Graduate Women and Gender Studies Program Coordinator, electives and independent study courses are chosen to support a student’s special area of interest and may be selected from courses and faculty available at Mount Saint Vincent University, Saint Mary’s University, and other universities such as Dalhousie University and Nova Scotia College of Art and Design.

Registering for GWGS Courses Offered at Saint Mary’s University

Mount Saint Vincent University Graduate Women and Gender Studies students can register for all courses cross-listed with Saint Mary’s University (WGST) at the Mount even if the course is scheduled to be taught at Saint Mary’s University in a given year unless otherwise noted.

Academic Note: This web-based calendar information is applicable for the 2024-2025 academic year which runs from September 01, 2024 to August 31, 2025.

For information on previous years, please consult the University Academic Calendars web page.

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