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Master of Arts in European Women's and Gender History (MATILDA)
Program Description

Are you interested in Women’s and Gender HISTORY? The MATILDA European Master in Women's and Gender History, established in 2008 as part of the EU Erasmus+ Programme, offers a unique two-year program if you wish to develop expertise in women's and gender history and are interested in international experiences and intercultural exchange.

MATILDA is for those students interested in intersectional gender history of the medieval, early modern, and modern eras. It approaches “Europe” not as an isolated entity but as connected to the rest of the world, especially through Europe’s colonial history.

The program of study is spread over two years, includes 120 ECTS points, and links leading European universities in an exciting and innovative venture. Students study at least at two different universities (a 'home' and a 'host'/exchange institution), choosing from among the following prestigious institutions:

  • Central European University (CEU), Vienna, Austria
  • University of Vienna, Austria
  • The Université Lumière Lyon 2 (coordinating institution), France
  • The Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski, Bulgaria
  • Universià degli Studi di Padova, Italy
  • Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany

Program Definition

The MATILDA curriculum includes courses in core subjects in Women's and Gender History (theory, methodology, and practice) and specialist options covering medieval to modern historical epochs, such as: Inclusion and Exclusion Perspectives on Humanity and Race in Modern European History of Ideas and Science; Emotions and Affect in History; Feminism and Masculinity; Oral History; Qualitative Research Methods: Ethnographic Approaches; History in the Visual Mode: Methods and Practices of Documentary Storytelling; Labor History in Global Perspective 19th to 21st Centuries; Gender and Coloniality: Intersectional Debates and Perspectives; Men of Empire: Comparative Masculinities in the Worlds of the Ottomans and their Rivals; Multiple Inequalities, Multiple Struggles: Gender, Race, and Ethnicity in State-Socialist Europe; Gender and/in War; and Feminist Biopolitics and Cultural Practices.

MATILDA supports integrative perspectives which go beyond local, regional, and national histories in order to situate these histories, as well as European history as a whole, in broader contexts and as part of world history. With its focus on comparative, entangled, and transnational history, MATILDA aims to:

  • explore the history of gender differences and similarities in European cultures and societies, understood as part of broader colonial and imperial histories;
  • investigate the role of gender—intersecting with class, ethnicity and other axes of difference—in shaping European history; and
  • challenge gendered inequalities.

Transparency and comparability are assured through the European Credit Transfer System and Diploma Supplement/Transcript.

For further information please visit the central MATILDA website (The Université Lumière Lyon 2 -- coordinating institution); or read the Handbook included below.

Student Mobility

Student mobility is a core characteristic of the MATILDA Program. Students choose a home university and spend one or more semesters at a MATILDA partner university other than their home institution. They are strongly advised to facilitate their exchange semester(s) through the Erasmus+ Mobility scheme; the scheme provides partial funding for the exchange period. Additional funding may be available.

At the CEU and at Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski the courses are offered in English; at the other universities the courses are in the language of the country (at Vienna and Bochum in German, at Padua in Italian), but there are also courses in English.

As a first step in the application for the Erasmus+ Mobility scheme, students contact the responsible office at their MATILDA home university.

MATILDA Program Definition at CEU

At CEU (Vienna Campus), the Department of Gender Studies and the Department of History cooperate in offering the MATILDA MA. Transnational and comparative approaches are foregrounded, with location, class, "race", religion, and other categories informing the study of women and gender in history. Thematic foci include histories of "state-socialism," women's activism and gender politics, as well as East/West-North/South relations, nation/nationalisms, and body politics. MATILDA brings together faculty from many countries and research traditions with expertise in Gender and Historical Studies (including medieval studies).

Examples of MATILDA Students’ MA thesis topics at CEU:

  • “Shahr-E Now, Tehran’s Red-Light District (1909–1979): The State, “the Prostitute,” the Soldier, and the Feminist”
  • “Sakít o Salà?: The (Post)Colonial Medicalization of the Filipino Homosexual (1916-1976)”
  • “Islamophobic Narratives of Medieval and Early Modern Iberian History? Analyzing the Historiography of the Iberian Reconquista (718/722 – 1492/1614) from Feminist and Postcolonial Perspectives”
  • “Women on Women: A Study of the Communist Press and Women Tobacco Workers in Interwar Bulgaria”
  • “Sex Education and Sexual Knowledge in State-Socialist Hungary, 1960s–1980s”

A notable number of MATILDA graduates have successfully continued in PhD programs at universities in Europe and the United States.

Application, Entry Requirements, and Financial Aid at CEU

When to apply?

See application deadlines and details HERE

Tuition fees and financial aid

CEU accepts applications from MATILDA candidates for CEU financial aid, including fellowship packages and tuition waivers on the basis of academic merit. In addition, CEU accepts fee-paying students for the MATILDA Program. CEU will interrupt financial aid for MATILDA students' during their study abroad period (yet see the information under "Student mobility" above).

Entry requirements

For general information on CEU entry requirements and application procedures click here.

It is not necessary for applicants to the program to already have a BA in History. MATILDA applicants should possess a BA in a humanities/social science subject. Applicants must meet the general CEU admissions requirements (outlined on the main CEU website).

Because MATILDA welcomes applicants from a variety of backgrounds, we are interested in hearing what attracts you to a women’s and gender HISTORY program. This is why we ask MATILDA applicants to submit a 500-word typewritten motivation letter, which should explain their interest in women's and gender history. If you have taken courses in any area of women's/gender history or gender studies, mention it in the letter. But primarily use the letter to elaborate why you are interested in applying for this particular degree program and what academic motivations you have that make you a desirable candidate. In case you already have a research direction or topic in mind for your future MA thesis, you can describe this in your motivation letter (yet this is not a necessary component).

How to apply?

Applicants facilitate their application through CEU's online application system: MATILDA European Master in Women's and Gender History

The Motivation letter must be uploaded under the category "Academic Writing submissions". Other application components include a recent CV, and the indication of two academic referees (who will, once their names are entered, be requested automatically by CEU's online application system to submit their letters of recommendation).

Responsible for MATILDA at CEU:

Visiting Assistant Professor Hannah Loney, email:


File attachments
Program flyer (349.88 KB)
Program handbook (809.11 KB)
Program level
Degree awarded
Program accreditation/registration
Program approved and registered by the New York State Education Department
Program accredited by the Agency for Quality Assurance and Accreditation Austria (AQ-Austria)
Country of accreditation
United States
Type of degree
Standard Program duration
2 years
US degree credits
Austrian degree ECTS credits