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Plan of Study, Opportunities and Programming

The WGSS Department and the College of Law offer core courses that are requirements for the joint degree. These are completed in the first two years of study. In their last two years, joint degree students have a wide array of choices of courses in the WGSS Department and the College of Law that focus on issues of gender, sexuality, race and social justice. Students work with faculty to tailor their course choices to their particular plan of study.

WGSS Core Courses:

  • Intro to Graduate Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
  • Foundations of Feminist Theory
  • WGSS: Teaching Practicum
  • Feminist Theory: Race/Class/Nation, Global or Contemporary I & II
  • Feminist Methods or Feminist Theory (sequence)

College of Law First-Year Courses:

  • Constitutional Law I & II
  • Contracts
  • Torts
  • Civil Procedure I & II
  • Criminal Law
  • Property
  • Legal Research and Writing/Advocacy

Selected Elective Course Offerings:

  • Global Sexualities
  • Law, Literature, and Feminism
  • Women, Gender, and Social Movements
  • Gender, Migration, and Citizenship
  • Gender and the Law
  • World Politics and Global Feminisms
  • Critical Race Theory

For more specific information about the joint degree credit requirements click here.


Joint degree students also enhance their educational experiences in the “real world” in a variety of ways:

  • Semester-long externships that allow students to work on issues of gender and law at national public interest organizations
  • Clinics that allow students to represent survivors of domestic violence
  • Study abroad opportunities through the WGSS Department


The J.D./M.A. program sponsors, hosts, and organizes a wide range of panels, lectures, film screenings, and forums in order to promote interdisciplinary engagement with issues surrounding gender and sexuality. In so doing, it seeks to engage students, scholars, and the community at large by promoting debate, research, and scholarship. Past conferences and symposia sponsored or co-sponsored by the J.D./M.A. program include:

  • Reconstructions: Historical Consciousness and Critical Transformation (October 2007)
  • Women Coming Together: Claiming the Law for Social Change (February 2005)
  • Women’s Work is Never Done: Employment, Family and Activism (April 2004)
  • “If You Let Me Play”: Gender and the Politics of Athletics (March 2003)

Credit Requirements

Law students must complete 90 credit hours, with at least 77 credits resulting from classroom work. Joint degree candidates may finish both degrees in four years by applying a number of credits to both programs. Specifically, joint degree students may satisfy 8 law school classroom credit hours through the M.A. program, so only 82 additional credit hours are required; 69 of those must be classroom hours.

In addition to the general credit requirements, law students have an upper level writing requirement and a seminar requirement.