Loyola University Chicago

The Graduate School

Women's Studies

The Women’s Studies and Gender Studies program explores women, gender, and sexuality through a variety of perspectives and a variety of disciplines.

Our mission is to introduce students to feminist scholarship and methods across the disciplines as well as promoting social justice.

Full-time faculty members teach the majority of courses in the program. The graduate program is designed to appeal to a variety of constituencies.

These include:

• Professionals who wish to integrate the insights of feminist scholarship into the workplace
• Public and private school teachers seeking to respond to national and state mandated calls for inclusive curricula and pedagogy
• Individuals interested in feminist scholarship, as well as graduate students from other disciplines looking to integrate Women’s Studies and Gender Studies into their work

The Women’s Studies and Gender Studies program offers the MA degree program, a joint MA degree program with Theology, a joint MA/MSW degree program, and a certificate program. Programs are individually tailored to a student’s background, goals, and scheduling needs.

The MA degree program has a strong interdisciplinary focus. In addition to Women’s Studies and Gender Studies courses, students can choose five electives from any discipline that offer courses cross-listed with the Women’s Studies and Gender Studies program. The master’s degree program includes options for a thesis, internship, or practicum. 

Loyola is one of very few institutions offering a dual degree in Social Work and Women’s Studies and Gender Studies. The dual degree program enables students to earn both degrees simultaneously and in a shorter time than pursuing each independently. It enables Women’s Studies and Gender Studies students to use their course work in an applied setting and allows social work students to enhance their capacity to work with women in social work settings. 

Loyola also offers a dual degree in Theology and Women’s Studies and Gender Studies. Loyola is the only Jesuit university to offer such a dual degree. This program enables students to experience the intersections between Theology and Women’s and Gender Studies, drawing from faculty experience in the areas of women, gender, sexuality, religion, and ethics. The program is ideal for Catholic high school teachers of religion or for students wishing to pursue doctoral work in either subject area. 

The certificate in Women’s Studies and Gender Studies is designed for students not currently enrolled in another graduate program at Loyola University Chicago. The concentration is designed for students who are enrolled in another graduate program. The requirements for both the certificate and the concentration are the same. 

The degree offers part-and full-time enrollment

• MA program average time to completion: 1–1.5 years (full time), varies (part time)

• MA/MA program average time to completion: 2 years (full time), varies (part time)

• MA/MSW program average time to completion: 2 years (full time), 3–4 years (part time)

•Certificate program average time to completion: 1 year (full time), 1.5–2 years (part time)


Online options are not available.

• Internships and research opportunities are offered as part of the program and can be completed for course credit

We have a variety of connections in Chicago, but many students find their own internship sites.

• A capstone experience is included as part of the curriculum

Students have the choice of completing an internship, a thesis, or a creative practicum. The final results of their coursework and capstone experience are presented at a capstone ceremony and dinner.

• Study abroad opportunities are offered within the
WSGS program.

These opportunities come from the departments and schools with which we cross-list classes (including Modern Languages and Social Work).

• Student organizations such as the Women’s Studies and Gender Studies Graduate Student Association as well as service opportunities like working with women, homeless families, and LGBT youth are associated with the program.

Graduates have been successful advancing professionally, obtaining employment in counseling, social justice activism, non-profit organizations, the arts, teaching, law, PhD programs, and medical school.


• To learn more about career services, visit www.luc.edu/career.

Our program is diverse and flexible in order to accommodate the variety of applications for this interdisciplinary field of study. Students come from all over the world with a great variety of backgrounds. Our curriculum draws from departments across the College of Arts and Sciences as well as Social Work and Communication. Our students go on to a variety of careers in social service, non-profit organizations, the arts, and education as well as PhD and professional programs.

Women’s and Gender Studies faculty members are passionate about their teaching and dedicated to their research. Areas of faculty interest include women’s history, queer theory, feminist media, bioethics, sexual ethics, women and migration, sexual violence, feminist and queer theology, Latina/o and Latin American Literature, feminist theater, gender in fine art, and women’s political participation.

Begin the financial aid process by completing your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at fafsa.ed.gov.

The Graduate School has limited funds available for financial assistance. Financial aid from Loyola’s Financial Aid Office will not impact your ability to apply for financial aid through the Graduate School. To learn more about these financial aid opportunities, visit LUC.edu/finaid/graduateschool.

Learn more about faculty, curriculum, and how to apply.