center for women and gender studies
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About Our Programs

Fall 2021

Dear Potential Applicant,

We would like to take this opportunity to tell you more about The Center for Women’s and Gender Studies at The University of Texas at Austin!  We are excited to offer a distinctive graduate school experience through our Master’s Programs.

Who We Are:

The Center for Women’s and Gender Studies offers a unique, interdisciplinary program that focuses on understanding women’s experiences from a variety of perspectives and on the role gender plays in shaping society. The program's large and diverse faculty draws on the scholarship of over 100 distinguished faculty from 29 departments and 14 colleges and schools. The wide array of graduate courses we offer provides access to cutting edge scholarship from multiple perspectives and allows our students an unusual opportunity for cross-disciplinary inquiry at the graduate level.

We are pleased to have several award-winning professors and nationally recognized scholars affiliated with our center. Our faculty teach many bright and gifted students, who go on to become political leaders, legal advocates, socially oriented writers, teachers, and artists, as well as scientists and engineers dedicated to addressing the problems faced by our communities.

At CWGS our leadership and support staff is comprised of Dr. Christen Smith (Director of CWGS and Interim Graduate Advisor), Dr. Sarah Nicholus (Associate Director), Patricia Heisler (Office Manager), Nancy Ewert (Events Program Coordinator), and Alma Jackie Salcedo (Graduate Program Coordinator). 

Interdisciplinary Learning:

At the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies, we actively encourage our students to pursue their varied academic interests, and our interdisciplinary program allows them the flexibility to study their passions – provided it is through the lens of Women’s and Gender Studies.  A complete listing of all Thesis projects created in our MA program is available online. Follow the links to read through the abstracts and even view entire papers online.

Alumni News:

Since establishing our Master’s Program in 2001, the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies has granted degrees to over seventy students; and we remain interested and invested in their post-graduate endeavors.  This is just a small sample of what some of our alumni are doing.


Suzanne Freyjadis Chuberka (MA 2005) is the Founder of Soft Landing Technology, Chair of the IGDA GameEd SIG. She also served as a Director at Game Path LLC and the Conference Director of the Game Education Summit (

Kyle Brillante (MA 2007) after the Teach For America program, Kyle went on to become a founding principal of The Highbridge Green School, NYC Department of Education.

Stephanie Volkoff Green (MA 2007) is a Chief Strategist for Partnerships at The Women's Foundation of California.

Prudence Komujinya (MA 2008) is working at the Project Manager at Amref Health Africa in Uganda.

Lea Susan Engle (MA/MSIS 2009) worked as a Learning and Outreach Librarian at Texas A&M University, and is now a National Account Success Manager at SurePrep LLC.

Kristin Krenz (MA 2012) is a Grant Writer, for the YMCA of Greater San Antonio.

Nicole Artega (MA 2013) is the Regional & Network Membership Manager at National Network of Abortion Funds.

Kaitlyn Newman (MA 2015) is the Donor Relations and Partnerships Manager at She Should Run.

Lauren Kramer (MA 2016) is the External and Donor Relations Officer at Native Governance Center in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Hayley Morgenstern (MA/MSIS 2017) is a Librarian for the City Of New Orleans.

Kate Orazem (MA/MSIS 2019) is Project Archivist at Archives of the Episcopal Church in Austin Texas.


Kritika Agarwal (MA 2008) attended the State University of New York at Buffalo, earned a PhD in American Studies, and is the Managing editor of Perspectives on History, monthly news magazine of the American Historical Association.

Gretchen Heaton (MA 2010) obtained PhD in History at Rutgers University.  Dr. Heaton is now Senior Director of Career and Leadership Development at The American Women's College.

Rawan Arar (MA 2010) obtained a PhD in Sociology at the University of California-San Diego.  Dr. Arar is now an Assistant Professor at the University of Washington in the Law, Societies, and Justice department.

Ganiva Reyes (MA 2010) received a PhD in Curriculum & Instruction at UT Austin. Dr. Reyes is now an Assistant Professor, Miami University Oxford Ohio.

Rhiannon Goad (MA/MPAff 2013) earned her PhD in English at the University of Texas at Austin, and is now an Assistant Professor at University of New Orleans.

Briana Barner (MA 2016) earned her PhD in Radio-Television-Film at the University of Texas at Austin.  Dr. Barner is not a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Maryland.

Candice Lyons (MA 2017) is earning her African and African Diaspora Studies PhD at the University of Texas at Austin.

Vivian Rodriguez (MA 2018) is attending Penn State and working on her PhD in Geography & Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies.

Mac Irvine (MA 2019) will be attending Tufts University, pursuing a PhD in Theatre & Performance Studies.

Aems Emswiler (MA/MSIS 2020) will be attending the University of Arizona PhD program in Information Studies.

For more news on what our students, faculty, and staff doing, please browse our latest issues of the CWGS Newsletter and the Annual Reports.

What We Look For:

An institution of world-class caliber, The University of Texas at Austin is distinguished by more than a century of intellectual accomplishments.  The university places a premium on outstanding instruction. Its academic programs and professional schools rank largely among the top 20 programs and schools in the country. The faculty includes members of the National Academy of Sciences, and the National Academy of Engineering, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, as well as winners of Pulitzer and Nobel prizes.

Established in 2001, the Women’s and Gender Studies Masters Program is still one of the university’s youngest programs.  Every January we sort through dozens of applications to find the right students for next fall’s cohort. We see this as an opportunity to admit a dynamic group of students who will make a difference in the community, both in and out of academia.  Each year CWGS accepts about 4-10 students.  The intimate size of the incoming cohort allows us to provide each student with personal attention, opportunities for professional development and funding, and fosters a sense of community amongst our students and faculty.

The Admissions Committee looks for complete applications from a diverse range of students who are committed to Women’s and Gender Studies.  They look for a clear sense of academic goals or drive in the Statement of Purpose, a Scholarly Writing Sample that shows strong verbal and analytical skills, an exciting resume that communicates the student's background, letters of recommendation that can speak to academic performance, and a good GPA. The University of Texas requires a 3.0 GPA in upper-division (junior- and senior-level) coursework and in any graduate work already completed.  The average GPA of students admitted to the WGS program is 3.5.  They also look for competitive GRE scores.  Last year, our top 15% students' Verbal scores were 170 to 160.  Our admissions committee puts an emphasis on the Verbal section and the Analytical Writing section of the GRE. 

Admission application materials should illustrate the following:
* An understanding of the field of Women's & Gender Studies;
* An understanding of and commitment to resisting interlocking oppressions;
* A commitment to antiracist feminist practice;
* Scholarly connection with the work of one or more CWGS Core faculty members;
* A description of the research to be undertaken during the two-year program for thesis or report

CWGS depends on our students to be activists and leaders in our community.  The Admissions Committee looks for students who will do more than just attend class.  They look for students who will attend workshops, conferences, form organizations, volunteer, and participate in extra-curricular activities.  More importantly, the Admissions Committee is seeking students who possess an understanding of the field of Women's & Gender Studies, understanding of and commitment to resisting interlocking oppressions, are committed to antiracist feminist practice,  and can create a scholarly connection with the work of one or more CWGS affiliate faculty members with ideas for a thesis research project in mind.
Due to the size and cohort nature of the program, we only offer fall admission.  The application deadline for the next fall admission is December 1st of the previous year.  This timeline allows us to review applications during the winter break and contact applicants for admission in mid-March, for registration and enrollment in August.

DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE DEADLINE!  The online application's requests for letters of recommendation do not go out until you submit the online application.  If you wait until the deadline, your letters of recommendation will be submitted after the deadline - and therefore LATE.  Our recommendation is to submit your application 2-3 weeks before the deadline, so that your references will have plenty of time to write.  Late applications will not be considered.

Detailed application instructions are on the WGS MA Admissions page and the Help page.


Please visit this page to see the WGS MA Degree or Dual Degree Course Requirements.

The MA Program

Our WGS MA program is a two year program.  UT Austin has Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters.  Students are not expected to attend during the Summer semesters.  During the Fall and Spring semesters, 9 hours (or three 3-hour courses) is considered full time for a graduate student.  The WGS MA program requires 36 hours of course work total.  Students may choose between the MA Thesis and the MA Report as the capstone project during their second year of the program.

In addition to these course requirements, students are also required to present at the Annual WGS Student Conference at least once during their course of study.


Dual Degree Programs

MA/MSIS: The Center for Women's and Gender Studies (WGS) and the School of Information (INF) offer a dual degree program combining training in information studies with study of the role that gender plays in shaping society.  Graduates of the program are awarded a Master of Arts in Women's and Gender Studies and a Master of Science in Information Studies.  Students in the program will be able to complete both degrees in three academic years (summers included) with a total of 60 credit hours.

MA/MPAff: This Center for Women’s and Gender Studies (WGS) and the LBJ School (P A) offer a dual degree program that responds to an increased need in the public, nonprofit and private sectors for specialists who have advanced training in policy analysis and leadership and management skills, as well a comprehensive understanding of women’s and gender issues.  Students in the program will be able to complete both degrees in three academic years (summers included) with a total of 66 credit hours.

Students seeking admission to the dual degree program must apply through the Graduate and International Admissions Center. Students apply to each individual program's graduate offices in order to be admitted to the dual program.  Potential students may apply to the Dual Degree program using the dual degree code* on the online (Apply) Texas Common Application website.  

*(WGS MA only: Degree Code 93300) (WGS/INF, MA/MSIS: Dual Degree Code 93310) (WGS/PA, MA/MPAff: Dual Degree Code 93320)

Applicants must be accepted by both admissions committees in order to attempt the dual degree. (Students could potentially apply to the School of Information or the School of Public Policy for Spring admission - and then later change their major to the dual degree with WGS.  If accepted - students could begin MSIS or MPAff coursework in January, but would have to wait until the next fall to begin WGS MA coursework with the new cohort.)

There is not a special application for the dual degree program (besides marking the appropriate program/major code on the Apply Texas website). Like all other graduate applicants, the student is responsible for submitting any additional information required by the Graduate Studies Committee for each program.

Each program (MSIS, MPAff, and WGS) has its own separate requirements in addition to the (Apply) Texas Online Application.  Each program needs to be individually sent all the information for its own program.  Since the MSIS, MPAff and WGS programs all have separate admissions committees, they cannot accept only one application with all the materials. Please keep them separate.

We apologize if this requires additional attention to detail and effort, but the School of Information, the LBJ School of Public Policy, and the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies are housed in separate offices across campus, and our timelines are different as well.

Destination: Austin, Texas!

Austin is a vibrant, varied city, with numerous educational, business and leisure resources.  Austin is frequently numbered amongst the top ten U.S. cities for business vitality, including being ranked as one of the hottest job markets for young adults and one of the best cities for relocating singles. Austin is also considered one of the cleanest and healthiest cities in the U.S.  Prevention magazine named Austin as the second best city in the country for fitness, citing the city’s good air quality, mild weather, beautiful parks and safe streets; and with Austin Energy’s GreenChoice program, Austin leads the nation in renewable energy usage.  In addition to being the Capital of Texas, Austin has a justified reputation as the “Live Music Capital of the World.”  So what’s not to love about Austin?

More information:

To learn more about UT’s Graduate School: Graduate School Brochure, Graduate Student Organizations, and About the Grad School.

If I can be of further assistance, please feel free to contact me.  I wish you the best of luck in your academic endeavors.

Alma Jackie Salcedo, M.Ed. (pronouns: she/her/hers)
Graduate Coordinator
University of Texas at Austin

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    The University of Texas at Austin
    Burdine Hall 536
    2505 University Avenue, A4900
    Austin, Texas 78712