Master’s Program Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What do students plan to do with their master’s in Multicultural Womens and Gender Studies?

A. Approximately two-thirds of our current students plan to pursue doctoral degrees after completing the program. They pursue doctoral degrees in fields like women's and gender studies, English, sociology, political science, public policy, history, religious studies and anthropology. Others plan to pursue advanced degrees and careers in law or public policy. The remaining students plan to teach (or continue teaching) in public schools or seek positions in social service fields. For more information about careers in women’s and gender studies, please visit our Career Resources page.

Q. Is it possible to complete the master’s program in less than two years?

A. It’s possible if a full-time student takes classes during the summer. However, with the requirement of a thesis, it’s rare for a full-time student who selects the thesis option to finish in less than two years.

Q. Can I work full time and take classes full time?

A. We strongly recommend full-time working students pursue their degrees on a part-time basis in order to ensure success in the program.

Q. Do I need to submit an "official program of study" to the university? If so, when should I do that?

A. Yes, you do. The degree plan will be coordinated by your advisor during your third semester and then submitted to the Graduate School for approval. Any changes to the official degree plan must then be resubmitted and approved by the Graduate School.

Q. What happens if I make changes to my degree plan after I have already filed it?

A. You and your advisor must fill out a change in degree plan form. After the appropriate signatures are obtained, you must file the form with the Graduate School.

Q. Is it required or expected that you ask your advisor to either chair or be on your Graduate Committee if you choose the thesis option?

A. No, it is not required. It really depends on what your interests and your advisor’s interests are. If your thesis or professional paper topic is unrelated to your mentor’s area of expertise, then most likely you would want to choose a different professor whose interests more closely match yours to serve on/chair your Graduate Committee.

Q. How should I choose my Graduate Committee?

A. Discuss your thesis and professional paper interests with your academic advisor.

Q . Can I finish my thesis in one semester?

A. Typically not unless your thesis builds on research ideas and papers developed in previous semesters. Ideas take time to develop, and the Graduate School deadlines for completion are usually several weeks prior to the end of the semester.

Q. I’m planning to conduct interviews, send out survey questionnaires, etc. for my thesis. Do I need to get any kind of permission to do this?

A. Absolutely. You must make an application to the Institutional Review Board. You cannot begin this project, even interviewing, without this approval.

Q. Are there particular rules or a specific format that I need to follow when I actually type my thesis?

A. Yes. TWU has a very specific format it requires you to follow. See the section on thesis/professional paper guidelines. Closely follow TWUs Guide to Thesis and Dissertation Preparation.

Q. Id like to present my research at conferences and/or travel to obtain research. Is there any way to get funding for this?

A. Yes. Contact the Offices of Student Life or see the Student Life Travel site for instructions and an application. For consideration, you must submit an application by the published deadlines, often well in advance of your trip.

Q. What does the final defense consist of? Is it comprehensive or are the questions determined by my research interests?

A. It is a defense of the thesis. There will be an open defense where the student will make a brief presentation of the research and then answer questions about their work. See the thesis guidelines for more information. Think of the defense as a dialogue: an opportunity to discuss your thesis/professional paper.

Q. Is there an application form for graduation? If so what is the deadline?

A. There are several forms that must be completed prior to graduation, most of which concern the thesis and final oral examination. Forms for degree completion and graduation must be submitted.

Q. When do classes begin? How much is tuition?

A. The Academic Calendar lists important dates for the semester. View TWUs tuition and fees on the Cost of Attendance page.