Applying for a Ph.D. in Feminist Studies

Application Deadline: December 1 (annually)

Thank you for your interest in the Department of Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies Ph.D. in Feminist Studies. Our program admits graduate students to our Ph.D. program for Autumn quarter only. To be considered for enrollment in the upcoming academic year, please ensure that your application is submitted by December 1st of the preceding year. We strongly recommend early submission, particularly for international applicants, to avoid unexpected delays.

Admission Overview

Our department seeks to admit students whose career aspirations and scholarly interests align with the strengths of our faculty and academic environment. Your application materials should clearly demonstrate why you believe our department can provide a robust foundation for your intended area of study, showcasing how your interests intersect with those of our core faculty. Applicants should also identify any unique talents or experiences that they will bring to enrich our community of scholars.

 A strong applicant will:

✔ Have prior exposure to the academic field of Feminist Studies at the undergraduate level
✔ Possess basic training in either qualitative and/or quantitative research methodology
✔ Demonstrate intermediate to fluent knowledge in a foreign language

Applicants lacking methodology or foreign language experience should plan to meet these criteria early in their graduate student career.

Please note that we do not accept non-matriculated graduate students into the Ph.D. program or graduate-level courses, nor do we offer a standalone Master's degree program. An M.A. degree can only be earned by applicants enrolled in the Ph.D. program.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must meet the Graduate School’s minimum admissions requirements, including:

  1. A 3.0 undergraduate GPA or higher over the most recent two years of study
  2. A baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution
  3. Proof of English language proficiency (non-native English speakers only)

Please keep in mind:

  • Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission.
  • While beneficial, an M.A. is not required for Ph.D. program admission.
  • We no longer require GRE scores as part of our application process.
  • International applicants can find specific enrollment information on the UW Graduate School's International Applicant Information page.

How to Apply

1. Start an Application
Submit your application electronically via the Graduate School. You can start a new application or continue an existing one in progress. Applications open annually on September 1.

2. Submit the Following:

aStatement of Purpose (2-3 double-spaced pages)
Describe your academic background and motivation for pursuing a Ph.D. in Feminist Studies. Explain your      research interests, questions, and long-term goals at University of Washington in particular. 

b. Writing Sample (up to 25 double-spaced pages, including bibliography)
Provide an original and individual (i.e. not co-authored) writing sample that demonstrates your capacity to write, develop a line of inquiry, analyze research materials, and communicate ideas. Acceptable samples include seminar/course papers or excerpts from theses (no take-home exam essays). If you submit a thesis excerpt, please attach a cover sheet with an abstract of the longer work and a brief explanation of why you have selected this particular section

c. Letters of recommendation
Three letters are required, with at least two from academic references. Referees will receive an electronic        recommendation form to fill out once you submit their contact information via the online application. If            referees prefer to submit a hard copy, they may send a letter directly to the department. The content of the letter is at your referee’s discretion.

d. Transcripts
Upload PDF or Word versions of transcripts from all relevant institutions. Unofficial transcripts are acceptable for the application; official transcripts are required upon admission.

e. Intended Research Focus (40 words or less)
Summarize your research focus as elaborated in your statement of purpose.

f. Resume or Curriculum Vitae

g. Diversity Statement (Optional, 1-2 double-spaced pages)
Share how your personal history and experiences have shaped your scholarly interests and future goals.

h. English Language Proficiency (International Students)
Refer to the Graduate School’s English Language Proficiency Requirements for details, including information    on how to submit official test scores such as TOEFL and IELTS.

3. Pay the Fee
Submit an $85 application fee to complete your application for graduate study. While GWSS does not have the    funds to provide application fee waivers, under certain circumstances, the Graduate School does provide fee waivers. 


Incoming students are typically offered a twelve-quarter funding package consisting of a combination of department-based research and teaching assistantships and University-wide fellowship funding secured through the department. Funding is subject to satisfactory performance, reviewed annually. Students with disabilities, as confirmed by Disabilities Resource Services, may qualify for additional funding.

To be considered for a Teaching Assistantship, international applicants must meet the conditions outlined by the Graduate School in Policy 5.2: Conditions of Appointment for TAs who are not Native Speakers of English.

In addition to department-offered funding, applicants should explore additional funding resources, such as Peterson’s, Unigo, and those listed on our Funding Opportunities page.

Questions about the program?

Please consult the Graduate Manual for additional information and answers to common questions.