Academic Catalog 2021–2022

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Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Gender Studies


Graduates of the M.A. Program in Interdisciplinary Gender Studies acquire expertise in gender, race, sexuality, and class relations, which are areas in demand in a number of fields and professions. The courses offered focus on gender, the socially-constructed understandings of what it means to be female or male, and how understandings of gender affects people across all social categories. The program is built on a foundation of equality, human rights, and social justice. As such, it is inclusive in nature and combines both academic rigor and social activism. By scrutinizing the power differential between females and males, students learn about the intersection of other inequalities. Students are also prepared to pursue several career options, including but not limited to leadership positions in national, regional, and international agencies operating in the field of human rights, education, migration, diplomacy, and conflict resolution; consultancies with international development agencies, UN agencies, human rights organizations, local non-governmental organizations, as well as governmental organizations, and ministries. 


This unique program focuses on the socially-constructed understandings and variations of what it means to be female or male, and how these affect people across all social categories. As such, it is inclusive in nature, intersectional in its approach, and it combines both academic rigor and participative learning. By scrutinizing the power differential between females and males, students begin to understand the intersection of other inequalities.

This MSc program is interdisciplinary. It engages with a range of theories and case studies from Social Sciences to Clinical Sciences as well as Economics and the Humanities in order to present a complex and multifaceted picture of the cultural, political, financial and governance-related pressures that dictate the particular roles that individuals are “allowed” to occupy. One of the unique features of this degree program is that it guarantees a high level of academic freedom and integrates gender, along with several themes and concepts that are crucial to understanding gender variability in the Arab world, such as education, sexuality, health, political representation, economic participation, and so on. The content has been carefully designed to enable depth of understanding of gender in the context of the Arab region while equally providing opportunities for acquiring global perspectives through a comparative study of gender issues in other parts of the world. 

Another unique feature allows students to follow either a Research Track which culminates in a Thesis, or a Practicum Track whereby they opt for pursuing a Professional Placement.

The program addresses both the academic and the practical applications of gender theories and its content is designed with a particular focus on filling an identified gap in the job market. Graduates of this program can pursue careers in governmental organizations and ministries as well as national, regional, and international agencies focusing on gender across a broad range of sectors. Graduates will be well positioned to pursue further study at doctoral level, and in such fields as Political Sciences, Social Sciences, Gender Studies, Literary Studies and Development Studies.

Program Objectives

Through the M.A. in Interdisciplinary Gender Studies program students would have fulfilled the following academic objectives: 

  1. To convey the key principle that gender theory underpins and belies policy, practice and activism
  2. To ensure that all our students understand and adopt an intersectional, interdisciplinary and transnational approach when engaging in any academic and professional endeavor
  3. To provide students with depth of understanding of the ways in which culture, religion, politics, language and the environment have shaped and determined the opportunities that are made available to the categories of Man and Woman in Arabic-speaking countries 
  4. To enable students to question and critically evaluate the binary structures that inform and determine societal beliefs and norms, legal systems and practices, and professional structures in Arabic-speaking countries
  5. To offer students breadth of understanding of the global patterns that shape our understanding of the categories of “masculine”, “feminine” and “queer” categories
  6. To engage students in advanced research and critical assessment of the ways in which the interrelated categories of Race, Gender and Class intersect, clash and converge in gender discourse

Learning Outcomes

At the completion of this program, students will have acquired the following concepts and skills: 

  1. A thorough understanding of the key theories that relate to gender
  2. A thorough and critical understanding of regional factors that determine gender identity as well as related policy and discourse
  3. A detailed and critical understanding of contemporary global trends that are shaping gender policy and discourse
  4. An advanced ability to conduct research as evidenced by their ability to design, execute and disseminate research by deploying the most appropriate research method
  5. An advanced ability to engage with the complex factors that shape gender by adopting an intersectional approach in their critical reflection and analysis
  6. Advanced analytical skills demonstrated by their ability to deconstruct and critique the process of social identity formation which is mediated by factors such as race, gender, class, sexuality, age and by various media (journalism, art, policy-makers, political activists) 


A total of 30 credits are required to graduate, distributed as follows: 

  • Core Requirements (12 credits) 
  • Elective Courses (18 credits)

In addition to the successful completion of the course of study, students are required to apply their knowledge either by submitting a thesis or completing a professional placement. 

Core Requirements (12 credits)

  • IGS734 Theorizing Gender (3 cr.)
  • IGS761 Research Methods (3 cr.)
  • IGS799 Thesis (6 cr.)
    Practicum(6 cr.):
    IGS795 Internship (3 cr.)
    IGS798 Project (3 cr.)

Elective Courses (18 credits)

  • IGS717 Politics of Gender and Sexuality (3 cr.)
  • IGS718 Gender in Discourse (3 cr.) (Graduate course in Gender Studies cross-listed with English)
  • IGS719 Gender and the Law (3 cr.)
  • IGS720 Psychology of Gender (3 cr.)
  • IGS721 Economics of Gender (3 cr.)
  • IGS722 Gender and the Media (3 cr.) (Graduate course in Gender Studies cross-listed with Communication Arts)
  • IGS725 Gender and Public Policy (3 cr.)
  • IGS732 Arab and Islamic Feminisms (History & Theory) (3cr.) 
  • IGS744 Topics in Women & Gender Studies (3 cr.)
  • IGS745 Gender and Development (3 cr.) 
  • MIG715 Gender and Migration (3 cr.)