University of Northern Iowa

University of Northern Iowa

Women's and Gender Studies


225 Sabin Hall

Cedar Falls, IA 50614

United States


1-319- 273-6386

Program Information

Degrees Offered: Women's and Gender Studies

Format: Campus

Program Description:

The Women's and Gender Studies program at the University of Northern Iowa is committed to serving the diverse members of the program, the University and the community by: 1) developing and coordinating an interdisciplinary curriculum in Women's and Gender Studies at the undergraduate and graduate levels; 2) offering public programming in Women's and Gender Studies; and 3) fostering interdisciplinary collaboration and supporting critical research in Women’s and Gender Studies. The program relies on close collaboration between academic departments, enabling students and faculty to utilize the perspectives and methodologies of Women's and Gender Studies across traditional disciplines. It embraces a pluralism of theoretical approaches, with an emphasis on feminist theories and pedagogy, that foreground the intersections between sex, gender, sexuality, race, class, religion, ethnicity, age, physical and mental ability, and nationality. The program fosters challenging academic inquiry, global awareness, social equality and civic engagement. The graduate program offers a Master of Arts or a Certificate in Women's and Gender Studies. The curriculum is designed to meet the needs of students with an interest in pursuing a rigorous program of gender focused research. The 34 hour program (thesis required) includes a core sequence of five courses that introduces students to feminist theory, representative research on gender, and pertinent research methodologies. All entering students enroll in the Graduate Seminar in Women's & Gender Studies: Comparative Feminist Theories. Students enrolled in the M.A. in Women's & Gender Studies program share a common core sequence of courses. In their choice of electives, students customize their degrees, drawing on the diverse course options available in the UNI curriculum as well as on their individual interests. Each student creates a degree unique to them that is supported by a solid foundation in feminist theory and cutting-edge perspectives on gender analysis. Students have used a variety of methods in their thesis including: quantitative, ethnographic, literary criticism, and creative approaches such as novels and performances. Thesis titles include: • Gender Socialization Through Children's Literature: Body & Beauty Image • Hysteria In My Performing Body, Representations of Motherhood: A Feminist Criticism of Indian Post-Colonial Novels • Sickos, Psychos, and Sluts: Images of Transgendered Women in Media Culture • Voicing Women's Resistance Within Religious Studies: An Interrogation of Rational Choice Theory. Through core courses and selected electives, students enrolled in the Master of Arts in Women's & Gender Studies will accomplish several objectives: 1. Examine theories concerning the social and historical constructions of gender, 2. Explore how gender defines relationships among women, among men, and between men and women; 3. Recognize that women's lives have been under-represented in traditional disciplines and investigate previously neglected materials in order to identify women's as well as men's roles in cultural or social endeavors; 4. Study, compare, and evaluate an array of disciplinary perspectives on gender, including, but not limited to, cross-cultural, economic, sociological, historical, and literary perspectives; 5. Identify intersections of gender with race, class, age, sexual identity, and ethnicity, both locally and globally, both in the present and in the past; and 6. Employ new methodological and critical approaches to materials customarily treated in other ways, revising the content and assumptions of particular disciplines to address gender more effectively. The M.A. in Women's & Gender Studies is a thesis-only program of study. Its curriculum is designed to meet the needs of students who strive for analytic clarity and rigor in gender-focused research. Students may employ the skills in reflective and critical analysis as well as the broad base of knowledge that they obtain in the program to 1) prepare for a Ph.D. program with a disciplinary or interdisciplinary focus on gender or, 2) enhance leadership skills for a career in the public or private sector or, 3) satisfy strong intellectual interests and curiosity while pursuing advanced education in the liberal arts. We also offer a graduate certificate: The Graduate Certificate in Women's and Gender Studies (WGS) provides students the opportunity to be exposed to the rapidly expanding interdisciplinary scholarship on women's and gender studies. This program is designed for students currently enrolled in a graduate program at UNI who are seeking a graduate degree in any discipline. The Certificate requires 12 credit hours and can be paired with many graduate majors.


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) has reaffirmed the University of Northern Iowa's accreditation for a 10-year period that runs through 2020. The commission's action follows a comprehensive self-study by the university and a three-day site visit by a 10-member review team last November. Every 10 years, UNI conducts a self-study in preparation for reaccreditation by the HLC, an arm of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA). The university first received NCA accreditation in 1913 as a teacher training institution and has been continuously accredited as a four-year institution since 1930.

International Student Requirements:

International Application for Admission to Graduate Study is available for students to complete and submit electronically:

Facts & Figures

# of Credits Required: 34

In State Tuition (per year): 7120 USD

Out State Tuition (per year): 15628 USD

Classification: Master's College or University I

Locale: Midsize City

Size & Settings: 10,000-19,999

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