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MA Application FAQ

When are the application deadlines?

Both domestic and international students who wish to matriculate in fall should apply by February 15. Occasionally the department admits students for spring matriculation if they have applied by October 15 for domestic students and September 15 for international students.

If I submit my application before the deadline, will it be reviewed early?

Applications are reviewed after the deadline. If you submit your application in advance of the deadline, we will hold it until the deadline has passed. Prospective students are encouraged to get their application materials in as early as possible so that the packet is complete by the deadline.

Do you have any advice regarding letters of recommendation?

The best letters of recommendation will commend your potential for advanced scholarship in the field, including reading, writing, problem-solving, and critical thinking abilities. Such letters may come from current or former professors, employment supervisors, and/or community engagement/volunteer project managers.

When it comes to requesting letters, it is a good idea to request letters of recommendation at least 6 weeks before the application deadline to provide adequate time to prepare the letter. It is also a good practice to provide your letter writers with helpful materials, such as your statement of purpose, to aid them in writing letters that best reflect your abilities as a prospective graduate student.

Additionally, the most credible letters are sent under separate cover directly to the department at 4202 East Fowler Avenue CMC 342, Tampa, Florida 33620.

What are you looking for in the writing sample?

Your writing sample should demonstrate your talents as an academic writer. Generally, the writing sample will be a paper that you have written for an upper-level class, preferably one in women's and gender studies or a related discipline. You should take into consideration any comments or feedback the instructor provided when the assignment was returned to you, and factor those changes before you will submit your writing sample.

Is an interview a necessary part of the application process?

We do not require interviews for admission. If you would like to schedule a campus visit, contact Jennifer Ellerman-Queen. We can also do interviews via Skype or FaceTime!

What types of funding are available for graduate students?

The Department of Women’s and Gender Studies has a small number of graduate assistantships available each year. Graduate Assistants (GAs) and Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) are students funded with stipends and partial tuition waivers. The assistantship program is designed to mentor students who show potential in their ability to balance their scholarship with the opportunity for employment in teaching or research.

Assistantships are awarded each semester on a competitive basis depending on the department’s enrollment status and financial means. Assistantships are a privilege and responsibility, not a right. Graduate Assistants and Graduate Teaching Assistants should approach their responsibilities with the same professionalism demanded in any employment situation.

Graduate Assistants typically assist faculty with teaching and/or research and may be first-semester students. Graduate Teaching Assistants are advanced graduate students who may be eligible to serve as instructors of record.

To apply for an assistantship, submit the Assistantship Application with your packet of admissions materials.

The Graduate School also offers a number of fellowships and scholarships. For additional information, visit

Of course, financial aid may be available to U.S. Residents. You will need to complete the FAFSA as you normally would for Federal financial aid consideration. You may also want to check out the USF Office of Financial Aid.

Do I have to have a Bachelor’s degree in women’s and/or gender students to be admitted to the MA program?

No, a Bachelor’s degree in women’s and/or gender studies is not required for pursuing the USF Women's and Gender Studies MA. We do admit students from other complementary disciplines, such as anthropology, sociology, and psychology; however, we would prefer that you have taken at least some classes in women’s and gender studies. Students who do not have a degree in women’s and/or gender studies may be required to complete one or more undergraduate classes in the discipline as a condition of their admission to the program.

Can I earn my MA in Women's and Gender Studies online at USF?

At this time, we do not offer online classes. Check back with us in the future, though! Our program is always evolving!

Are there any other resources you can recommend?

The National Women's Studies Association (NWSA) has put together an excellent guide to applying to graduate school. You can access it by going to

What if I have additional questions?

Please contact our Graduate Program Coordinator, Jennifer Ellerman-Queen with any other questions you might have. She will be happy to answer them for you!