What will I learn?

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.

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)
GSWS 812 - Graduate Professional Development Colloquium II (3)

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

GSWS 800 - Methodology in Women's Studies Research (5)
GSWS 822 - Graduate Seminar in Feminist Theory (5)

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.

Which department am I in?

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

Study options

Full Time (Minimum of 30 units)

Tuition fees
CAN $1,946.94 per term
Start date

Expected January, September 2022


Simon Fraser University

Burnaby campus,

8888 University Drive,


British Columbia (BC),

V5A 1S6, Canada

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Other English Language Requirements accepted: A minimum TOEFL score of 580 (paper-based); PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English Academic) with a minimum overall score of 63, and a minimum of 65 in speaking and writing .

For international students

The minimum University requirements for admission to a master’s program are as follows.

a) a bachelor's degree from Simon Fraser University or its equivalent from a recognized institution;

b) a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0/4.33 (B), or a grade point average of at least 3.33/4.33 (B+) based on the last 60 credits of undergraduate courses. All graduate work is also considered. Individual graduate programs may set a higher admission grade point average;

c) submitted evidence, usually references from qualified referees, of the student’s ability to undertake advanced work in the area of interest. In addition, some programs also require completion of entrance examinations such as the GMAT and GRE, and/or the submission of other material.

Applicants normally will be required to achieve a minimum score of 7.0 on the International English Language Test System (IELTS - the academic NOT the general test) with a minimum of 6.5 in each section. The Test of English as a Foreign Language(TOEFL) may be used as an equivalent test provided a score of 93 or better is achieved with a minimum of 20 in each section (TOEFL-internet based exam), or TOEFL 580 and the Test of Written English(TWE) 5.0 (paper-based).

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.