Brandeis University

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MPP/MA in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies


The Joint Degree in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Public Policy is designed to provide a strong grounding in discipline-specific public policy studies, along with an interdisciplinary education in the theories, methods, and scholarship of women's, gender, and sexuality studies.  This intersectional lens will help researchers and practitioners recognize the role that race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, immigrant status, socioeconomic status, ability and nationality play, and students will learn how to develop and evaluate existing policies to improve equality and opportunity and decrease disparities across gender classes.

Requirements Include:

Students must fulfill all core requirements for the MPP as described in the Heller School section found elsewhere in this Bulletin as well as the following:

A. WMGS 205a, the foundational course in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.

B. One course in feminist research methodologies (WMGS 208b or the Feminist Inquiry course offered through the Graduate Consortium in Women's Studies).

C. Two elective graduate courses in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (one inside the Heller School and one outside the Heller School). Normally, only one of these courses may be a Directed Reading course.

D. Completion of a Master's research paper of professional quality and length (normally twenty-five to forty pages) on a topic related to the joint degree. The MPP Capstone policy paper can fulfill this requirement as long as it is on a topic related to the joint degree. The paper will be read by two faculty members, at least one of whom is a member of the Heller School faculty, and at least one of whom is a member of the Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies core or affiliate faculty.

E. Additional courses in both programs can be reviewed to determine which would satisfy the requirements for both programs.

Students follow the following curriculum sequence:

First Year

  • Summer One
  • MPP Summer Internship

    Optional/no credit

Second Year

  • Spring Two
  • MPP Capstone

    4 credits; fulfills requirement for joint MA paper

  • Electives

    12 credits

Students who have completed this degree have gone on to careers in fields such as Strategic Consulting, Legislative Directorship in Congressional Offices, Research and Management at Elder Care and Advanced Illness Centers, Strategic Planning and Research at Women’s Health consulting firms, Title VI Planning Offices, and Field Organizing for Governor's Campaign.