- What is the MA/JD in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies?
- Our MA/JD Students
- Application Information
- Special Features
- MA/JD Sample Schedule
- Contact Information
What is the MA/JD in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies?
The University of Cincinnati was the first university (and still is one of the very few) to offer an MA/JD joint degree program in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Law, which enables students to complete both degrees in four years rather than five. Jointly administered by the Department of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and the College of Law, the program is highly successful, attracting some of the best students in the law school and in our program. Students typically spend their first year in the MA program, then spend their second year as 1L students, complete a combination of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Law courses and the MA requirements in their third year, and finish the law degree in the fourth year, during which they may also opt for a joint degree externship or domestic violence clinic work. Like all other MA students, joint degree students must complete the required core and elective courses and a culminating research project and oral exam, but in a different time frame. A sample schedule is provided to help students visualize the joint degree process.
Our MA/JD Students
Students come to the program with such backgrounds as:
- Political Science and Government
- African Studies
They must possess a strong enough GPA, GRE score, and LSAT score to be accepted into both the Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies MA program and the College of Law. A few joint degree students start law school first before their MA coursework, but we recommend starting with the MA because it potentially comes with more financial assistance (see Graduate Assistantships and Financial Aid.) Non-joint degree law students also have the option of pursuing a Graduate Certificate in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies with their law degree.
Joint degree applicants must apply to each program separately. Both the GRE and the LSAT are required. To apply to the MA program, please review the MA Program Application Instructions. Law school applications are available from Admissions@Law.uc.edu.
Cross-listed courses like Feminist Jurisprudence, Gender and the Law, and Law, Literature and Feminism, and law-focused Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies courses such as Women's Human Rights provide opportunities to synthesize students' work in the two fields, whether they are joint degree, MA or graduate certificate students. A number of law school faculty are members of the Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies affiliate faculty and serve on research paper committees.
The fourth year of the program provides College of Law-funded opportunities, for joint degree students only, to do externships (e.g., work at such agencies as the National Women's Law Center in Washington, D.C.) in order to supplement academic work with practical legal experience. In addition, joint degree students have the option to work with the Center for Race, Gender and Social Justice in the College of Law, which is primarily comprised of the Freedom Center Journal, the Domestic Violence and Civil Protection Order Clinic, and the MA/JD program.
An additional option is the Urban Morgan Institute for Human Rights, which provides special experience and publishing opportunities through the renowned Human Rights Quarterly. Joint degree students also have the same access as MA students to the opportunities and resources provided by WGSS and the Friends of Women's Studies.
As our placement record shows, the joint degree program has proven to be especially valuable to students interested in public interest law and legal advocacy for women, women's international human rights, and critical legal studies. It has also provided a highly successful entrÃ©e into PhD programs in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and other fields.
MA/JD Sample Schedule
- Proseminar: Intro to Graduate Studies in WS - 1 credit
- Introduction to Graduate Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies - 4 credits (May be waived for students demonstrating strong WS background)
- Feminist Theory: Foundations - 4 credits
- Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Teaching Practicum 4 credits (Required for students planning to teach)
- *Proseminar: Feminist Issues - 4 credits
- *Feminist Theory: Race/Class/Nation - 4 credits
- *Feminist Theory: Global - 4 credits
- One elective course - 4 credits
Among the graduate electives taken while pursuing the MA/JD, two courses must fulfill the Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies interdisciplinary requirement.
- Proseminar: Intro to Research Project in WS - 1 credit
- *Feminist Theory: Contemporary Issues - 4 credits
- Two elective courses - 8 credits
*Students may select any two of these three theory courses
- 1L Courses at College of Law (semesters)
- 2L Courses at College of Law (semesters)
- Feminist Research I 1-4 credits
- Individual Directed Research (with committee) 1-4 credits
- Individual Directed Research (with committee) 1-4 credits (Oral exam preparation)
- Comprehensive Analysis 1-4 credits
- 3L Courses at College of Law (semesters) and externship or D.V. clinic
For more Information, contact
Amy Lind, Graduate Director, WGSS
Olga Sanmiguel-Valderrama, WGSS/College of Law Liaison