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Department of Gender,Sexuality,and Women's Studies Simon Fraser University Calendar | Spring 2018

Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies

Master of Arts

This master of arts (MA) program offers interdisciplinary study and research leading to a master’s degree. The program provides a strong academic approach, with core courses on feminist theory and methodology and a blend of advanced studies in specific fields, as well as directed readings for more individualized study. Students develop and demonstrate intellectual and analytical skills, in accordance with the particular criteria of the level of study, and in consultation with their senior supervisor and supervisory committee.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must satisfy the gender, sexuality, and women’s studies graduate program committee that they are prepared academically to undertake graduate work. In addition to University requirements, (see graduate general regulations), the program requires

  • a substantial essay which is scholarly in format and approach. The submitted paper may be an undergraduate essay previously prepared, or one specially written for this purpose.
  • a statement of gender, sexuality, and women’s studies interests and goals; normally students will be expected to present a definite proposal for their research.
  • a short description of previous relevant course work and/or employment. Previous work should include both specialized disciplinary training and broader interdisciplinary work concerned with women.

The specific requirements for application are provided at www.sfu.ca/gsws/.

A student will be admitted into a specific option (thesis or course intensive) and so should apply to the options preferred.

Qualified students will be accepted into the MA thesis option only if a suitable senior supervisor is willing to supervise the student. Senior supervisors will be selected from joint gender, sexuality, and women’s studies appointees and continuing faculty on the co-ordinating committee of the department including associate members.

A student can change from one option to another only with the approval of the graduate program committee. A student can transfer to the thesis option only if there is a suitable supervisor available.

A student with incomplete academic preparation for the MA program may be required to complete up to 12 units of additional work in either the Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies or another relevant program.

The graduate program committee administers admissions and all matters pertaining to individual students, and consists of all continuing faculty members and/or associate faculty members.

Upon admission, the student will be assigned a two member advisory committee which has the responsibility for ensuring that the student fulfils all degree requirements. For further information concerning requirements, consult the department’s graduate secretary or graduate chair.

Program Requirements

The program can be completed in one of two ways, as outlined below.

Thesis Option

Except in special circumstances as determined by the Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies Departmental Committee, a candidate for the MA in Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies must:

a) complete a minimum of 20 units of graduate seminar courses, including

GSWS 811 - Graduate Professional Development Colloquium I (3)

Workshop designed to support professional development, networking and foster mutuality of research interests. Includes topics on research skill development, academic and public dissemination of work,practical tips for career advancement and presentations of works in progress.

GSWS 812 - Graduate Professional Development Colloquium II (3)

Workshop designed to support professional development, networking and foster mutuality of research interests. Includes topics on research skill development, academic and public dissemination of work, practical tips for career advancement and presentations of works in progress.

Section Instructor Day/Time Location
G100 Helen Leung
We 2:30 PM – 4:20 PM
AQ 2122, Burnaby

and at least one of the following while maintaining at least a 3.0 CGPA

GSWS 800 - Methodology in Women's Studies Research (5)

An interdisciplinary seminar in methods of research in women's studies. Students will examine theoretical issues in women's studies methodology and study examples of research and criticism from women's studies in history, art/literary criticism, philosophy, psychology and social and natural sciences. Emphasis will be placed on developing a rigorous and creative interdisciplinary approach to problems. Students will apply methods studied in the course to their own areas of concentration.

Section Instructor Day/Time Location
G100 Tiffany Muller Myrdahl
Fr 10:30 AM – 2:20 PM
SWH 10075, Burnaby
GSWS 822 - Graduate Seminar in Feminist Theory (5)

This course will analyze and compare major feminist social and political theories, including those that have emerged from liberal, socialist and radical feminist traditions. The relationship among theories of sexism and political goals and practices will be discussed.

b) Submit a thesis showing independent research and critical abilities. An MA thesis is expected to be an in-depth empirical or theoretical study. The normal thesis length is 60-120 pages. The student will be required to complete an oral examination on the thesis at the end of the MA program. See '1.9 Preparation for Examinations', and; Thesis proposal: Graduate students will write a thesis proposal to be presented to their supervisory committee. The committee will hold a thesis proposal defence for consultation with the student about the proposal. The Chair of the Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies Graduate Committee will also attend this meeting. The purpose of both the proposal and the consultation is to ensure that the student and the committee are in agreement about the nature of the work to be done for completion and the schedule for fishing the degree requirements. Students are expected to complete their proposal by the end of their fourth semester in the program.

Thesis defence: Students will be required to take an oral examination on their thesis at the end of the MA program. For further information, see the General Regulations (Graduate Programs) section of the University Calendar. Senior Supervisor: The Senior Supervisor shall have the primary responsibility for determining, in consultation with the student and the rest of the committee, the projected program of study, selecting appropriate research topics, and ensuring that the candidate fulfills all degree requirements. Senior Supervisors will be selected only from among Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies faculty members, Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies joint faculty appointments, and Gender, Sexuality, and Women's

Studies Associate faculty members. Supervisory Committee: The Supervisory Committee will consist of a senior supervisor and one or two other committee members who may be selected from faculty outside the department. The Committee will be formed by the end of the student's third semester in the program. Students may make changes to their Supervisory Committee in cases where, for instance, the development of their topic indicates a different faculty member would be more appropriate for the Committee. Changes made for any reason must be formally approved by the Graduate Program Chair and the Dean of Graduate Studies.

Course Intensive Option

a) Students who choose this option normally will complete a minimum of 30 units of graduate seminar courses, including the following while maintaining at least a 3.0 CGPA.

GSWS 811 - Graduate Professional Development Colloquium I (3)

Workshop designed to support professional development, networking and foster mutuality of research interests. Includes topics on research skill development, academic and public dissemination of work,practical tips for career advancement and presentations of works in progress.

GSWS 812 - Graduate Professional Development Colloquium II (3)

Workshop designed to support professional development, networking and foster mutuality of research interests. Includes topics on research skill development, academic and public dissemination of work, practical tips for career advancement and presentations of works in progress.

Section Instructor Day/Time Location
G100 Helen Leung
We 2:30 PM – 4:20 PM
AQ 2122, Burnaby
GSWS 822 - Graduate Seminar in Feminist Theory (5)

This course will analyze and compare major feminist social and political theories, including those that have emerged from liberal, socialist and radical feminist traditions. The relationship among theories of sexism and political goals and practices will be discussed.

b) Write two examinations based upon the subject areas of two of the completed gender, sexuality, and women's studies courses. Field Examinations: The Chair of the Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies Graduate Program will serve as the senior supervisor for students admitted into the course intensive option. Upon completion of all courses, the student, in consultation with the Chair of the GSWS Graduate Program, or designate, will decide on which courses the examinations will be based. The examinations will be set by the course instructors and graded by her/him and a second reader who will be chosen by the course instructor and the advisory committee. If a student fails one examination, s/he will be allowed to retake it. However, a failure of both examinations would constitute a failure of the degree. A second failure  of a repeated examination constitutes a failure of the degree.

Supervisory Committee

Following the student’s enrolment, a supervisory committee will be formed which has responsibility for determining, in consultation with the student, the projected program of study, selecting appropriate research topics, and ensuring that the candidate fulfils all degree requirements. The senior supervisor will be selected from joint appointees in the Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies faculty and associate faculty members.

Other faculty outside the department who are considered necessary by the student and her/his supervisors may also be added to the committee.

Academic Requirements within the Graduate General Regulations

All graduate students must satisfy the academic requirements that are specified in the Graduate General Regulations, as well as the specific requirements for the program in which they are enrolled.