GWSS Graduate Manual

Editions of the Department of Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies Graduate Manual are available below as a PDF download.

Ph.D. PROGRAM TIMELINE

PhD Timeline for Full-time Students

Year 1 / Autumn Quarter

  • Core Course - GWSS 501 History of Feminism (5 credits).
  • 10 credits full-time enrollment.
  • Annual Academic & Professional Plan – form is due by the end of the 2nd week of autumn quarter to the Program Coordinator at  gwss@uw.edu or in the main office B110.
  • Attend department Colloquia.
    • Please note that students are required to give at least one independent research presentation before your general exams and one after your general exams.

Year 1 / Winter Quarter

  • Core Course - GWSS 502 Cross Disciplinary Feminist Theory (5 credits).
  • 10 credits full-time enrollment.
  • Attend department Colloquia.
    • Please note that students are required to give at least one independent research presentation before your general exams and one after your general exams.

Year 1 / Spring Quarter

  • Core Course - GWSS 503 Feminist Research and Methods of Inquiry (5 credits).
  • 10 credits full-time enrollment.
  • Annual Self-Evaluation form - due at end of the first week in April to the Program Coordinator at gwss@uw.edu or in the main office B110.
  • Initial conversations with your advisor about:
  • Attend department Colloquia.
    • Please note that students are required to give at least one independent research presentation before your general exams and one after your general exams.

Year 2 / Autumn Quarter

  • Core course GWSS 504 Philosophies and Techniques of Teaching (5 credits) (GWSS 504 can also be taken during Year 1).
  • 10 credits full-time enrollment.
  • Annual Academic & Professional Plan – form is due by the end of the 2nd week of autumn quarter to the Program Coordinator at  gwss@uw.edu or in the main office B110.
  • Attend department Colloquia.
    • Please note that students are required to give at least one independent research presentation before your general exams and one after your general exams.

Year 2 / Winter Quarter

  • Supervisory (Exams) Committee should be set by the end of year 2 (Meet with Supervisory Committee to set parameters).
  • 10 credits full-time enrollment.
  • Attend department Colloquia.
    • Please note that students are required to give at least one independent research presentation before your general exams and one after your general exams.

Year 2 / Spring Quarter

  • 10 credits full-time enrollment.
  • Annual Self-Evaluation form - due at end of the first week in April to the Program Coordinator at  gwss@uw.edu or in the main office B110.
  • Determine whether your research requires an IRB (Research involving human subjects must be reviewed and approved by an Institutional Review Board (IRB). The Human Subjects Division (HSD) provides administrative support, makes regulatory determinations and facilitates IRB review; assisting researchers throughout the process. HSD staff have the authority to make specific determinations:
    • that activity IS or IS NOT research and/or involving human subjects, or that research qualifies for exemption.
  • Attend department Colloquia.
    • Please note that students are required to give at least one independent research presentation before your general exams and one after your general exams.

Year 3 / Autumn Quarter

  • 10 credits full-time enrollment.
  • Annual Academic & Professional Plan – form is due by the end of the 2nd week of autumn quarter to the Program Coordinator at  gwss@uw.edu or in the main office B110.
  • Language requirement must be met before general exams.
  • Attend department Colloquia.
    • Please note that students are required to give at least one independent research presentation before your general exams and one after your general exams.

Year 3 / Winter Quarter

  • 10 credits full-time enrollment.
  • Attend department Colloquia.
    • Please note that students are required to give at least one independent research presentation before your general exams and one after your general exams.

Year 3 / Spring Quarter

  • 10 credits full-time enrollment.
  • Annual Self-Evaluation form - due at end of the first week in April to the Program Coordinator at  gwss@uw.edu or in the main office B110.
  • General Exams & Candidacy by the end of year 3.
  • Attend department Colloquia.
    • Please note that students are required to give at least one independent research presentation before your general exams and one after your general exams.

Year 4 / Autumn Quarter

  • Thesis Proposal no later than one quarter after candidacy.
  • 10 credits full-time enrollment.
  • Annual Academic & Professional Plan – form is due by the end of the 2nd week of autumn quarter to the Program Coordinator at  gwss@uw.edu or in the main office B110.
  • Attend department Colloquia.
    • Please note that students are required to give at least one independent research presentation before your general exams and one after your general exams.

Year 4 / Winter Quarter

  • 10 credits full-time enrollment.
  • Attend department Colloquia.
    • Please note that students are required to give at least one independent research presentation before your general exams and one after your general exams.

Year 4 / Spring Quarter

  • 10 credits full-time enrollment.
  • Annual Self-Evaluation form - due at end of the first week in April to the Program Coordinator at  gwss@uw.edu or in the main office B110.
  • Completion of Dissertation Credits - 30 credit hours.
  • Attend department Colloquia.
    • Please note that students are required to give at least one independent research presentation before your general exams and one after your general exams.
  • End of guaranteed funding.

Year 5 / Autumn Quarter

  • 10 credits full-time enrollment.
  • Job Preparation – Consult with your Supervisory Committee.
  • Annual Academic & Professional Plan – form is due by the end of the 2nd week of autumn quarter to the Program Coordinator at  gwss@uw.edu or in the main office B110.
  • Attend department Colloquia.
    • Please note that students are required to give at least one independent research presentation before your general exams and one after your general exams.

Year 5 / Winter Quarter

  • 10 credits full-time enrollment.
  • Attend department Colloquia.
    • Please note that students are required to give at least one independent research presentation before your general exams and one after your general exams.

Year 5 / Spring Quarter

  • 10 credits full-time enrollment.
  • Annual Self-Evaluation form - due at end of the first week in April to the Program Coordinator at  gwss@uw.edu or in the main office B110.
  • Dissertation Defense.
  • Dissertation Submission.
  • Graduation.

All work for the doctoral degree must be completed within ten years.

Ten Year Policy for Completion of the Ph.D.

Students are expected to complete their Ph.D. degrees within 10 years.  (Ten years is measured as time elapsed since the first quarter of registration in the graduate program).) As stated in the UW Graduate School Policy, “Periods spent On-Leave or out of status are included in these limits” In the unusual situation in which a student requires more than 10 years to complete their degree the GWSS department requires that the student work with their advisor(s) and their supervisory committee to develop a detailed timeline for completion of the degree.

This plan must be approved, in writing, by the student’s Supervisory Committee and the GWSS faculty as a whole. Development and approval of the extended timeline for completion of the degree must be completed by the end of the second quarter of the student’s 9th year of study so that the department’s Graduate Program Advisor can submit a petition for extension of the 10-year limit for a time period consistent with the approved extended-completion timeline before the end of the student’s 9th year.

Student progress during the extension period will be monitored closely by the department faculty and failure to meet deadlines established in the approved degree-completion timeline will result in the following:

1. Missing a timeline deadline will result in a departmental Warning, at which time the student must meet with their committee chair(s) to update the timeline for completion of the degree.

2.  Continued failure to meet deadlines, will result in a final restructuring of the timeline by the student’s committee and in the department recommending that the Graduate School place the student on academic Probation.

3. Continued failure to meet deadlines while on academic Probation will result in the department recommending that the Graduate School place the student on Final Probation.   A student placed on final probation will have one quarter to bring their work to completion (or back into alignment with the approved timeline).  Failure to do so will result in the student’s dismissal from the Ph.D. program.

GWSS GRADUATE MANUAL 2018-2019

This manual will help guide you through your graduate program. It is designed to be a source of information about the procedures and policies of the UW Graduate School and the Department of Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies. Please consult the UW General Catalog for additional procedures and rules concerning overall University graduate requirements. Please read the manual to get a clear picture of the procedures involved in completing the doctoral program.

If you have questions not answered in the manual, please contact GWSS Program Coordinator (B110 Padelford Hall,  gwss@uw.edu, 206-543-6900), your advisor, another graduate student, or Director of Graduate Training, Cricket Keating, Ph.D. (ckeating@uw.edu).

Overview of the Ph.D. Program in Feminist Studies

Mission

Our scholarship draws upon rich and varied histories of feminist thought to push the analytic edge of scholarship foregrounding gender, race and sexuality as integral components of local and global social structures, particularly within the contexts of capitalism, globalization, nationalism and neoliberalism. We orient around social justice concerns by employing a relational analytics of power, representation and transnational circulation. We see ourselves as pushing against various disciplinary, institutional and governmentality practices. The sites of our analysis include race/racism, ethnicity and immigration, cultural production and circulation, economic circulation and knowledge constructions, among many others. We draw on interdisciplinary methodologies to facilitate these inquires which are strongly influenced by social sciences but reshaped through the humanities, genealogy, cultural studies and post- structuralism.

The scholarship in our department can be displayed across several overlapping clusters:

  • Gender, sexuality, violence and social justice
  • Transnational perspectives on gender, racism, ethnicity and U.S. ethnic formations
  • Political economy, popular culture and commodity circulation
  • Theorizing power and representation
  • Methodology: cultural studies, feminist science studies and inquiry
  • Feminist cultural production and public humanities

BASIC INFORMATION FOR FIRST YEAR GRADUATE STUDENTS

Welcome to the Department of Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies. Graduate education occurs in many venues, formal and informal. It is critical that first year students immediately begin to integrate themselves into the department. Special effort should be made to introduce yourself to as many faculty members and students in the Department of Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies (GWSS) as possible. This can be done through classes, meetings with faculty during their office hours, informal meetings in the Teaching Assistant (TA) offices and hallways or through departmental social and/or scholarly events such as receptions and colloquia. Faculty members, graduate students and staff members are committed to helping new graduate students transition to graduate school.

Many of the sections of this manual are pertinent to the concerns of students throughout their years of graduate study. However, there are several activities of importance that relate only to first year graduate students:

Faculty Advisors

You will have been assigned a primary Faculty Advisor at the time of admission, and once you arrive on campus, you should begin to familiarize yourself with departmental faculty in order to identify a Secondary Faculty Advisor. These individuals will assist you with planning your program of courses for the first year. Although many students continue with their primary advisor past their first year, this is not required. You should feel free to pursue work with another faculty member in the department if that better fits your educational needs. The selection and role of advisors is discussed further below.

Orientation Week

First year graduate students are required to attend the TA (Teaching Assistant) Conference sponsored by the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) prior to the start of Fall Quarter classes. This is a University requirement for students admitted with TA funding. Since we hope that, all of our graduate students will gain experience as a TA at some point during their graduate education, GWSS requires all students to attend this training at some point. In the case of students admitted with Research Assistant (RA) funding or Fellowship funding, attendance may be delayed until September of the second year of graduate training. Many of the sessions offered as part of the TA Conference become more useful as your education and teaching opportunities progress. Graduate students beyond the first or second year may find attendance at some conference sessions useful.

Annual Academic & Professional Plans

During the first 3 weeks of the first quarter you are enrolled, new students are to schedule a planning meeting with their advisor(s). After the meeting, you will be asked to submit a written version of your goals, coursework, research, etc., to the GWSS Program Coordinator at  gwss@uw.edu or in the main office B110. These reports are prepared in consultation with your primary advisor(s). They lay out your plans for coursework, teaching, and research during the current academic year. During subsequent academic years, you will be asked to submit a plan annually at the start of Autumn Quarter (due date: the end of the 3rd week of Autumn Quarter). These plans can be changed with the written approval of your advisors at any time during the academic year.

It is wise to review your current plan at the start of each academic quarter to assure that you are making adequate progress.

Annual Self-Evaluations

In order to ensure that each student is progressing satisfactorily, the faculty of GWSS conducts an annual review of each graduate student, which is due on the first Wednesday in April during Spring Quarter to the GWSS Program Coordinator at  gwss@uw.edu or in the main office B110. This review will assess performance in courses, research, and teaching where appropriate. The Graduate Faculty Committee will meet to discuss your progress on the second Wednesday in April of Spring Quarter. For both the self- assessment and the faculty assessment, your progress will be measured in relationship to your academic plan for that year. You will receive a letter providing feedback on your performance and any appropriate recommendations prior to the start of Fall Quarter.

First Year Course Requirements

During your first year, you are required to complete three core courses: GWSS 501 (History of Feminism) in fall, GWSS 502 (Problems in Feminist Theory) in winter, and GWSS 503 (Feminist Research and Methods of Inquiry) in spring. During your second year, you are required to complete one core course: GWSS 504 (Philosophies and Techniques of Teaching) (GWSS 504 can also be taken during the first year).

Typically, full-time students enroll in two five-credit courses each quarter during their first two years in the program. In the first year, students typically take one course pertinent to their area of interest or a research methodology course in addition to a core course each quarter.

All students funded by TAs, RAs, or GSAs must be registered for a minimum of 10 credits during fall, winter and spring quarters. Students receiving funding during summer quarter MUST be registered for a minimum of 2 credits during that quarter.

Registration Eligibility

After you have been offered admission, the Registration Office sends a request for $250.00 Enrollment Confirmation Deposit (ECD) to indicate the intent to register. This nonrefundable deposit will apply toward the first quarter's tuition. Once this fee has been paid and your immunization records approved, the Office of the Registrar will send you a "registration appointment" with information on how and when to register.

Dropping and Adding Courses

If you need to drop or add a course, be certain to do this within the first five days of the quarter to avoid a $20 change of registration fee or possible tuition forfeiture. Once the change of registration fee is in effect, and you need to change your schedule, make all changes in ONE day, so you get charged once. If you drop classes after the 8th day of the quarter, you will be charged a $20 (change of registration fee) and tuition forfeiture.

Tuition Forfeiture

Tuition forfeitures are fees that are charged when you make changes to your schedule from the 8th through the 30th calendar day of the quarter that result in you dropping from one tuition rate to another, or withdrawing completely from your classes.

You should note, that you are permitted only ONE drop after the second week of the quarter, per academic year – choose wisely!

Number of Credits Required

  • TAs and RAs must register for a minimum of 10 credit hours for each quarter of their appointment (2 credits for Summer Quarter).
  • Full-time Status: 10-18 credit hours (a minimum of 10).
  • Summer Quarter Status: a minimum of 2 credits (If you were registered during the previous academic year).
  • If a student has an ASE (Academic Student Employee) appointment, the student will need to file a Petition for Reduced Enrollment, i.e. if you have an ASE appointment with the IWP Program (Interdisciplinary Writing Program).
  • The tuition charge is the same for 7-18 credit hours. You will be charged additional tuition for credits in excess of 18.
  • Minimum Credits to maintain Financial Aid: 10 variable+.
  • For Full time Financial Aid you likely need anywhere between 5-10 credits every quarter (including summer). Please check with  Student Fiscal Services, sfshelp@uw.edu, 206-543-4694, for your particular situation.

Office Space

  • PDL B110 H is the designated Graduate Student lounge. Students are responsible for space assignments and upkeep of the office.
  • PDL B111 is the designated TA (Teaching Assistant) and PTL (Part-time Lecturer) office.
  • PDL B110 C is the Copy and Mail room.
  • PDL B110 G is the GWSS Conference room.
  • PDL B110 is the GWSS Main Office

E-Mail

In order to sign up for a UW e-mail account, go to Get your UW NetID. Then follow the online instructions. Send questions to UW Technology Service Center (IT CONNECT) via email help@uw.edu or call 206-221-5000.

UW Graduate & Professional Student Senate (GPSS)

GPSS is the official student government for graduate and professional students at the University of Washington. GPSS is comprised of two senators from each degree-granting department, four officers, and several staff members. GPSS represents students to the university and the legislature, funds graduate programming, and hosts regular social events. 

General Office Hours: Tuesday: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm, Wednesday: 10:00 am - 5:30 pm, Thursday: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm / Office: HUB 314 / Phone: (206) 543-8576 / Email: gpss@uw.edu,  Facebook

MyGrad Program - Student

Graduate students can use MyGrad to…

GWSS General Office Information

Location: B110 Padelford Hall (Building hours M-F 7:00 am - 9:00 pm, Sat/Sun 8:00 am - 5:00 pm) Mailing address: UW/GWSS, Box 354345, Seattle, WA 98195-4345

Street address: 4110 East Stevens Way NW

Phone: (206) 543-6900, Fax: (206) 685-9555, Email: gwss@uw.edu, Website: https://gwss.washington.edu/

First Year Checklist

1)  Please refer to New Students-Office of the University Registrar for information about your UW NetID, Private Access Code (PAC), Registration Date and Immunization.

2)  Get a Student Husky Card from the Husky Card Account & ID Center on the ground floor of Odegaard Undergraduate Library.

3)  Attend the GWSS New Student Orientation and the Center for Teaching and Learning’s  TA  Conference, which occur the week before school starts.

4)  Acquire building keys (building, copy room, conference room, B111 TA office) from GWSS Administrator, Young Kim in PDL B110.

5)  Complete your first Year Annual Academic & Professional Plan with your advisor. Turn in the final version to your advisor by the end of the first week of classes. Turn in a copy of your plan, signed by your advisor, to the GWSS Program Coordinator by the end of the second week of classes. The document will be placed in your student file.

6)  Keep a file for yourself of all the courses you take, including seminars and independent studies. In this file enclose reading lists, syllabi, instructor name(s), and the quarter and year each course was taken. This file will be invaluable to you later.

7)  Plan for summer funding.

Progressing through the Program - Information for all GWSS Ph.D. Program Students

All graduate students and their advisors are expected to participate in an annual planning and evaluation process.

Annual Plan

At the start of each fall quarter of your graduate training, you will prepare an annual plan in consultation with your advisor(s) and/or Supervisory Committee Chair (Due at the end of the 3rd week of Autumn Quarter to the GWSS Program Coordinator.). These reports lay out your plans for coursework, teaching, and research during the current academic year. Annual plans can be changed with the written approval (signature) of your advisors or committee chair at any time during the academic year. It is advisable to review your current plan at the start of each academic quarter to assure that you are making adequate progress.

Self-Evaluation Plan

Graduate Self -Evaluations are due on the first Wednesday in April of each year. The student and advisor should meet in March, and the final version of the plan should be in the advisor’s hands by the second Wednesday in April. The student’s co-advisor and/or committee should be involved as appropriate.

Evaluation and Feedback Letters

The Graduate Faculty Committee will meet on the 2nd Wednesday in April to review the plans. Faculty will return feedback letters before the end of Spring Quarter. A copy of the letter must be placed in the student’s file.

Departmental Research Colloquia

Graduate students and faculty will develop and participate in a scholarly community meeting to share feminist perspectives on research addressing social problems and related theory and/or methodology.

Culture
  • We aim to establish a context in which both “early ideas” and polished presentations can be shared by visitors, faculty, and students. This is an opportunity to interact with your peers and with research presented by visiting scholars and faculty.
Student Goals
  • Develop oral skills in articulating one’s own scholarly interests and projects and engaging constructively with others around their work.
  • Practice speaking to a range of publics—disciplinary, interdisciplinary and non- academic.
  • Develop skills in responding to constructive criticism.
Requirements/Process
  • Give at least one independent research presentation before your general exams and one after your general exams.
  • Attend Colloquia.
  • Please do not schedule classes, etc. on Wednesdays, 3:30-5:00 pm; colloquium will be held on Wednesdays at 3:30 pm.

MASTER’S PROGRAM

Students interested in a terminal Master's degree in Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies are not admitted to the graduate program in GWSS. Some students admitted to work toward the Ph.D. find that acquiring a Master's degree on way to the Ph.D. provides an excellent format for their scholarly training. Other students, having realized that the Ph.D. is not the correct career path for them, choose to receive a Master's degree before leaving the department.

Master Tracks

Memo 28: Master’s Degree Programs: Thesis/Non-Thesis Options and Final Examinations – The Graduate School

Thesis Based MA

This track involves the completion of an original research project under the supervision of a Supervisory Committee. The Master's thesis must be written according to the guidelines of the Graduate School and approved by at least two members of the Graduate Faculty at least one of which is a member of the core Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies Faculty. Graduate Faculty members are those faculty members approved by their department and the Graduate School serve as Chairs or members of Supervisory Committees.

A list of the Graduate Faculty can be found at  Graduate Faculty Locator.

Practicum Based MA

This track involves completion of an extended practicum placement at a community organization relevant to the student's research interests and/or career goals. A Master's Practicum will have a written component with a practice-related orientation appropriate to the work done e.g. a handbook or manual. The specific written component proposed by the student will need to be approved by the student's advisor or supervisory chair as well as a representative from the organization where the student will be working. The final practicum write-up must be approved by at least two members of the Graduate Faculty at least one of which is a member of the core Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies Faculty and by a representative from the placement organization. Graduate Faculty members are those faculty members approved by their department and the Graduate School serve as Chairs or members of Supervisory Committees.

Thesis Student Specific Course/Credit Requirements
  • Thesis students must complete at least 45 credits of coursework and at least 9 Thesis (GWSS 700) credits.
  • Coursework credits must include 20 credits of Core Seminars in Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies (GWSS 501, 502, 503, 504).
  • An additional 25 credits will be earned in 400 or 500 level courses in your area of concentration and should include at least 10 credits in GWSS courses. These courses should provide a comprehensive and cohesive coverage of the area of concentration and are to be selected in consultation with your Faculty Advisor or Supervisory Committee. A written coursework plan should be included in the student's Annual Plan, which is filed with the GWSS Program Coordinator and the Director of Graduate Training at the start of each fall quarter. Coursework plans can be modified and resubmitted at any time with the approval of your Faculty Advisor or Supervisory Committee.
  • At least 18 of the credits must be at the 500 level or above.
  • At least 18 credits of coursework must be in courses taken at UW for numerical grades. A minimum course grade of 2.7 is required for credits to be applicable to your degree. A minimum grade point average of 3.0 is required to receive the degree.
  • A Master's thesis must be approved by at least two members of the Graduate Faculty one of who should be a tenure-line member of the Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies faculty. Except in unusual cases, these individuals are the members of your Supervisory Committee. The department, Faculty Advisor, or your Supervisory Committee may set additional requirements as they see fit.
  • You must complete all work for the Master's Degree within six years. This includes work transferred from other institutions.
  • You must be registered at the University either full- or part-time in the quarter in which you complete the requirements for the degree.
  • Your signed warrant and completed thesis must be accepted by the Graduate School by the last day of the quarter in order for you to receive your degree that quarter.
  • Your Supervisory Committee may request a (formal or informal) presentation to the GWSS faculty and graduate students on your Master's experience prior to, or just after, the Graduate School approves your Master’s Application.
Practicum Students Specific Course/Credit Requirements
  • Practicum students must complete at least 45 credits of coursework and at least 9 Practicum (GWSS 701) credits.
  • Coursework credits must include 20 credits of Core Seminars in Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies (GWSS 501, 502, 503, and 504).
  • An additional 25 credits will be earned in 400 or 500 level courses in your area of concentration and should include at least 10 credits in GWSS courses. These courses should provide a comprehensive and cohesive coverage of the area of concentration and are to be selected in consultation with your Faculty Advisor or Supervisory Committee. A written coursework plan should be included in the student's Annual Plan, which is filed with the GWSS Program Coordinator and the Director of Graduate Training at the start of each fall quarter.
  • Coursework plans can be modified and resubmitted at any time with the approval of your Faculty Advisor or Supervisory Committee.
  • At least 18 of the credits must be at the 500 level or above.
  • At least 18 credits of coursework must be in courses taken at U.W. for numerical grades. A minimum course grade of 2.7 is required for credits to be applicable to your degree. A minimum grade point average of 3.0 is required to receive the degree.
  • A Master's Practicum will have a written component with a practice-related orientation appropriate to the work done e.g. a handbook or manual. The specific written component proposed by the student will need to be approved either by the student's advisor or supervisory chair as well as a representative from the organization where the student will be working.
  • The department, Faculty Advisor, or your Supervisory Committee may set additional requirements as they see fit.
  • You must complete all work for the Master's Degree within six years. This includes work transferred from other institutions.
  • You must be registered at the University either full- or part-time in the quarter in which you complete the requirements for the degree.
  • Your signed warrant must be accepted by the Graduate School by the last day of the quarter in order for you to receive your degree that quarter.
  • Your Supervisory Committee may request a presentation (formal or informal) on your Practicum experience prior to approval of your Masters Application.

A complete list of the Graduate School rules and requirements for a Master's Degree.

Supervisory Committee for Master’s Degree

As soon as is appropriate, the student should select a supervisory committee, consisting of two to four members, and the majority, including the chair, must be members of the graduate faculty and at least one member must be a GWSS core faculty member. Typically, the Chair of your committee will be a core faculty member of the GWSS department. Practicum students should have a site representative on the committee as well.

  • At least two graduate faculty members of the committee, including the chair, must sign the Master's Application (warrant).
  • If the student has not met minimum Graduate School requirements, she/he is notified by email and a contingency is placed on the warrant. The contingency must be completed before the degree will be conferred.
  • The Master's Degree Request must be authorized by the department and will only be authorized if the student has met all departmental requirements for the degree except the thesis or practicum paper.
  • Once the thesis or practicum paper is approved by supervising faculty, the Master's Degree Request (warrant) is signed and returned to the GWSS Program Coordinator who electronically conveys this information to the Graduate School. This communication must occur no later than the last day of the quarter (defined as the last day of exams) in which the student expects to receive the degree. If this deadline is not met, registration for the following quarter is required and the student must complete another Master's Degree Request as well.
  • Once the department submits their decision, the student will receive verification via email. After the end of the quarter, the students will receive an email indicating whether or not their degree was conferred.

PH.D. PROGRAM IN FEMINIST STUDIES

Faculty Advisor

A primary and secondary faculty advisor will be assigned before the start of the first quarter of study.

Students may select alternative advisors if such change is academically appropriate and the new advisors agree to the change. The Faculty Advisors will oversee the selection of courses for at least the first year of study. Once a Supervisory Committee has been established, the committee will guide course selection and oversee the research for and writing of the Doctoral Dissertation.

Minimal Course/Credit Requirements for the Ph.D.

  • Ph.D. students must complete at least 60 credits of coursework and at least 30 credits of Dissertation (GWSS 800).
  • Coursework credits must include 20 credits of Core Seminars in Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies (GWSS 501, 502, 503, and 504).
  • An additional 40 credits will be earned in 400 or 500 level courses in your area of concentration and should include at least 10 credits in GWSS Seminars. (Under unusual circumstances an additional 5 credits in courses outside the department made be used to meet this requirement. The procedures to petition such a substitution are noted below.) These courses should provide a comprehensive and cohesive coverage of the area of concentration and are to be selected in consultation with your Faculty Advisor or Supervisory Committee. A written coursework plan should be included in the student's Annual Plan, which is filed with the GWSS Program Coordinator and the Director of Graduate Training at the start of each fall quarter. Coursework plans can be modified and resubmitted at any time with the approval of your Faculty Advisor or Supervisory Committee.
  • At least half of your coursework must be in courses 500 or above.
  • You must have at least 18 graded credits of course work (400 or 500 level courses only) at the U.W., which averaged to at least 3.0.
  • Major area courses must individually have a grade of 2.7 or above.
  • Minimum of 30 dissertation credits (800), taken over a period of at least three quarters, at least one of which follows the General Examination.

How to Request to Replace Departmental Requirement of 10 Credits of GWSS Courses with Credits from another Department

It may be possible under exceptional circumstances to substitute up to 5 credits from another department for one of the required 5 credits of GWSS graduate courses if no equivalent course is available in the Department of Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies department. Permission will be granted only in cases where the substituted course of study is directly relevant to the student's course of study and has substantial feminist content.

The petitioner must provide the following materials to the Graduate Committee:

  • A written statement explaining the rationale behind the request and the course's relevance to the student's research.
  • A copy of the syllabus for the course the student is seeking to substitute.
  • A GWSS faculty member who teaches related courses must assess the syllabus and agree that the course offers material not in any similar GWSS course.

Language Requirement

Demonstrated proficiency in two (2) languages is required to earn a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in Feminist Studies (your native language and a foreign language). Consider a language that is relevant to your area of specialization and/or demonstrates your philosophical commitment to language study as a component of Feminist Studies. Consult with your Faculty Advisor or Supervisory Committee to determine which languages are best suited to your program of study.

If you have not established foreign-language competency before entering the graduate program, you are urged to do so as soon as possible during your graduate career. The Language Requirement must be completed prior to General Exams, so begin the language discussion with your faculty advisor as soon as you enter the program.

Please note that courses taken to fulfill the language requirement do not count toward the Ph.D. degree. Proficiency appropriate to a student's area of specialization (oral, written, and/or reading ability) may be demonstrated in ONE of the following ways:

  • Be considered a native speaker of a language other than English
  • Educational Assessment Center test (scores vary depending on language)
  • Language Course taken at third college quarter level (minimum acceptable grade is 2.7)
  • Test administered by a professor of UW department with documentation of language requirement.

Research Methods Requirement

Ph.D. students are expected to demonstrate strength in at least two research methodologies, in addition to taking GWSS 503. Before completing the Final Examination, the student must provide a statement, signed by the committee Chair, that s/he has achieved this proficiency.

Ph.D. Supervisory Committee

Your Supervisory Committee works with you to plan your graduate training, and it conducts the General Examination and the Final Examination (Dissertation Defense). Much of the structure and function of this committee is determined by the Graduate School and not by the Department. Graduate School Appointment of Doctoral Supervisory Committee

Composition of the Supervisory Committee

The Supervisory Committee will consist of at least two core GWSS faculty members. The committee can consist of a maximum of five voting members and a GSR.

Chair of the Supervisory Committee

The Chair of the Supervisory Committee must be a GWSS Core Faculty member who is a member of the Graduate Faculty and approved to Chair Supervisory committees.

Under exceptional circumstances, a student may petition the department Graduate Committee to have an adjunct faculty member (who is a member of the Graduate Faculty and approved to Chair Supervisory committees) chair her/his committee. This petition should take the form of a letter to the committee indicating why the Adjunct Faculty member is the best choice to chair the student's supervisory committee. A letter of agreement from the prospective chair should also be submitted.

Not all faculty members are appointed to the Graduate Faculty and not all members of the Graduate Faculty are approved to Chair a supervisory committee. You can check whether a faculty member's Graduate Faculty status at Graduate Faculty Locator.

You need at least two committee members in addition to the chair and GSR, but it is better to have three or four to assure a quorum at all formal committee meetings. A quorum is comprised of at least four members of the committee, including the chair, the GSR, and at least two other voting members. Typically, committee members must be individuals who have been appointed to the Graduate Faculty. One exception to this rule is allowed, i.e., one, but not more than one, committee member may be someone who is not on the Graduate Faculty.

In every case, committee members should be individuals capable of guiding your studies to best prepare you for your career goals.

The Graduate School Representative (GSR)

You will also select a faculty member from outside the department to serve as the GSR on your committee. This person has a series of roles including:

Representing the broad concerns of the University with respect to high standards of scholarly performance; providing for The Graduate School, a non- specialist's view of the quality of the student's work; ensuring that the student's mastery of the subject matter is broad and comprehensive; assuring that all procedures are carried out fairly and according to the guidelines of The Graduate School. The Graduate Schools' rules on selecting the GSR can be found at http://grad.uw.edu/policies-procedures/doctoral-degree-policies/graduate-school-representative-gsr- eligibility/.

Given the fact that many GWSS faculty have adjunct appointments in other departments and many feminist scholars in other departments have adjunct appointments in Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies, selection of a GSR can be difficult. Keep an eye out for a good GSR as you take classes or attend seminars in other departments. Work with your committee chair, other GWSS faculty and the Director of Graduate Training to locate the right person for your committee. A person who can contribute to the quality of your dissertation work is the ideal.

When to Establish your Supervisory Committee

Your supervisory committee should be formed as soon as academically reasonable. The Department of Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies expects its graduate students to form their supervisory committees no later than fall quarter of their third year of study.

The Graduate School requires that the committee be formed at least four months prior to the time the warrant for the General Exam is presented to the Graduate School.

Prior to the final establishment of your supervisory committee, you and your committee chair must sign the Use of Human and Animal Subjects for UW Graduate Student Theses form.

How to Establish your Supervisory Committee

Talk to your advisor(s) to discuss potential committee members. Schedule an appointment with each potential committee member to determine their suitability and willingness to serve on your Supervisory Committee.

Get a "Ph.D. Supervisory Committee" form from the GWSS Program Coordinator.

Each committee member must sign the form indicating their willingness to serve on the committee. The Supervisory Committee Chair should sign the form twice – once, agreeing to serve on the committee and the second time signifying approval of the entire committee.

Return the completed form to the GWSS Program Coordinator who will enter the committee request for the Graduate School. Keep a copy for yourself. You, and each of your committee members, will be notified by e-mail from the Graduate School when the committee appointments are officially established.

Changing (Reconstituting) your Committee

Within reason, it is possible to change the members of your committee. For example, if your dissertation focus changes, a different committee member may be more appropriate. Or a new person may join the faculty who could be an excellent addition to your committee.

If a change is needed, follow the steps outlined below:

  • Meet with your Supervisory Chair, the Director of Graduate Training, or the Department Chair to discuss your decision to make a change with your committee.
  • Prepare a written proposal that states the change(s) to be made and the reasons behind them.
  • Get the signatures of any members who are being added to, or removed from, the committee.
  • Get the signature of the Director of Graduate Training signifying final approval of the changes to be made.
  • Return the form to the GWSS Program Coordinator who will enter the changes electronically and submit the request to the Graduate School. You and all committee members (new and old) will be notified by e-mail from the Graduate School once the changes are official.

Meetings with your Supervisory Committee

Soon after forming your Supervisory Committee, you should meet with your Committee members to plan any additional course work, readings, and other activities you will do in preparation for your General Examination.

  • The committee will evaluate the written portions of your General Exam and conduct the oral portion of the exam.
  • The Supervisory Committee guides the preparation of and approves your dissertation proposal.
  • The committee will meet for your Final Examination, during which you will defend your dissertation.

Other meetings may be scheduled as you and the chair of your committee deems necessary.

GENERAL EXAMINATION

The general examination is composed of both written and oral sections. The written portion precedes the oral examination in time and is entirely designed and assessed according to departmental guidelines. The oral portion of the general examination is the required by the Graduate School and is formally referred to as the General Examination.

The following are required by the Graduate School Prior to the General Examination:

  • At least 18 credits of course work at the 500 level and above must be completed prior to scheduling the General Examination.
  • Numerical grades must be received in at least 18 quarter credits of course work taken at the University of Washington prior to scheduling the General Examination. The Graduate School accepts numerical grades in approved 400-level courses accepted as part of the major, and in all 500-level courses.
  • Completion of 60 credits prior to scheduling the General Examination (a master's degree from the UW or another institution may be used as a substitute for 30 of these credits).
  • You must have formed your Supervisory Committee at least four months prior to taking your exam.
  • A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 is required for a graduate degree at the University.
  • Registration and completion of a minimum of 2 credits is required for the quarter the oral portion of the General Exam is taken and candidacy is conferred.

In addition, the Department Requires

  • All departmental course requirements for the Ph.D. are met.
  • The departmental language requirement must be completed.
  • The General Examination and Final Examination (Dissertation Defense) may not be taken in the same quarter. However, you may take the General Examination one quarter and take the Final Exam the next.

Goals of General Exams in the Department of GWSS

The written part of the exam should:

  • Assess the student's understanding of basic concepts in Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies such that the committee is assured that the student is capable of preparing and presenting (a) basic undergraduate course(s) in GWSS and/or that the student has a basic understanding of feminist theories and their implications for practice in the student's field of interest.
  • Assess the student's in-depth understanding of research, theory and/or methods of study pertinent to their area of specialization.
  • The exam should not only review materials covered during past years of training but should encourage the student to synthesize information in new ways that will aid in the development of a solid question for her dissertation research.

Structure of Exam

  • The final structure and content of the General Exam is determined by the student's Supervisory Committee. Typically, the student and the committee are expected to work collaboratively to develop the reading list and the exam format and content. Students should be encouraged to meet with committee members individually and as a group to plan questions and reading lists. When necessary, students should be encouraged to engage in Independent Readings (GWSS 598 or the equivalent) with individual committee members in preparation for the exam.
  • The typical exam may involve the development of 1 to 3 scholarly papers indicating the student's understanding of major issues related to Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies and/or Feminist Theory as well as the student's understanding of past research and current developments in a specific area of research specialization. Exams should be shaped by the student's career goals. For example, students planning academic careers may be asked to generate a syllabus for an introductory course in Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies or Feminist Theory/Methodology while those aiming for careers outside academia may be asked to apply general principles of Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies/Feminist Theory to the functioning of a public or private agency meeting the needs of women.
  • Ideally, the format of the written exams should be specified to the satisfaction of the student and the committee during the quarter prior the one during which the exam will occur. The exam plan and any stipulated reading list should be submitted to the Graduate Committee at that time.
  • The timeframe of the proposed exam will vary with the test format and needs of the individual student and committee. Typically, all written components and the formal oral General Examination would occur within a time span no greater than 10 weeks (1 quarter).

Oral or Formal General Examination Scheduling

To schedule the oral portion of the general exam, a Request for General Examination form, signed by all the Supervisory Committee members must be submitted to the Dean of the Graduate School at least three weeks prior to proposed date of the oral exam. The committee members' signatures on the request to schedule the exam are verification that the committee members judge the student's academic background and preparation sufficient to justify the undertaking of the general examination. The Dean of the Graduate School approves the warrant only after all Graduate School requirements and the departmental language requirement have been completed.

Requests to schedule the General Exam must be made through the GWSS Program Coordinator who will advise graduate students on the filing of the appropriate paperwork. It is the graduate student's responsibility to identify a time for the oral exam that is acceptable to the committee members.

The Oral Exam

  • Oral exams are typically 2 hours in length.
  • The supervisory committee chairperson, the Graduate School Representative (GSR), and at least two additional committee members must be present for the general exam.
  • The student must be registered for at least 2 credits during the quarter the oral exam is taken and candidacy is conferred.

Oral Exam Structure

The specific structure of the oral exam is to be determined by the student and the supervisory committee. Most often, this exam will provide an opportunity to follow-up issues arising from the student's performance on the written exams. In many cases, a portion of the oral exam period may be spent discussing plans for dissertation research and the relationship between issues raised in the written exams and the student's intended research.

Typically, issues not addressed in the written exams are not introduced at the time of the oral exam. If the committee determines a gap in coverage of the previous exams and desires to include the topic in the oral, the student should be informed of the change prior to the oral exam if at all possible.

Faculty examiners rate the student's performance on the exam as Pass, Fail or they may recommend re-examination after a period of further study. The Graduate School permits up to two re- examinations.

Upon satisfactory completion of the General Examination, the warrant will be signed by the Supervisory Committee and returned to the GWSS Program Coordinator. It will then be filed with the Graduate School through MyGrad and the hard copy will be placed in the student’s folder. The designation of doctoral candidate (Ph.C.) becomes effective the quarter following the one during which the warrant is filed.

The General Examination and Adequate Progress

Most full-time students are expected to take the general examination by the end of fall quarter of their 4th year of study. All full-time students are expected to complete the general exam prior to the end of spring quarter of their 4th year of study.

Any full-time student who has not passed the General Examination prior to the first day of classes of her or his 5th year of study may be recommended for Probation until such time as the exam has been successfully completed. Any such student who has not passed the General Examination by the beginning of the third quarter (usually Spring Quarter) of her 5th year of study may be recommended for Final Probation. Petition to extend these deadlines may be made to the Graduate Committee. However, such a petition will be very closely scrutinized and not routinely approved.

On the day of the oral General Examination, you or the Chair of your Supervisory Committee should get the warrant from the GWSS Program Coordinator to take to the meeting, if the warrant has not already been placed in your Supervisory Chair's mailbox. After your Supervisory Committee has signed it, return the warrant to the GWSS Program Coordinator.

Prospectus Policy

After general exams and before the initiation of work on a dissertation a meeting of the student and their advisory committee will be held at which time the student will present their dissertation proposal.

  • The written proposal should be submitted to committee members at least two weeks in advance of this meeting.
  • After the meeting, a copy of the proposal, with approved amendments, will be submitted by the student to the GWSS Program Coordinator. The proposal should be submitted in an electronic format.
  • This meeting should be held within 4 weeks of the Oral General Exams.

When you have applied for your general exams using the MyGrad system the Graduate School will perform an automatic audit of your transcript. If the automatic audit is successful, the request will be forwarded to the GWSS Program Coordinator for approval. If the automatic audit is not successful, the Graduate School will perform a manual audit of your transcript within five days. If the manual audit is successful the request will be forwarded to the GWSS Program Coordinator, if it is not successful you will be notified.

As soon as the GWSS Program Coordinator has email confirmation from all members of your supervisory committee, and your request for general exams shows up in their MyGrad workflow, they will approve your request and your warrant for general examination will be created.

DISSERTATION AND FINAL EXAMINATION

The dissertation and defense of it, in the Final Examination, are the final requirements for the Doctoral Degree. These requirements are undertaken after you have achieved Candidate status, i.e., passed your oral General Examination at least one quarter previously. The dissertation should demonstrate "original and independent investigation and achievement [and]... should reflect not only mastery of research techniques, but also ability to select an important problem for investigation."

  • You must register and receive credit for a minimum of 30 credits of dissertation research (800) distributed over a minimum of three quarters. At least one of these quarters should be after you have passed your General Examination.
  • As you near completion of your dissertation, you should determine which members of your committee will serve as the Reading Committee. The committee members agree to read the entire dissertation prior to the scheduling of the dissertation defense. These members will be the ones to sign the final version of the dissertation. Doctoral  Dissertation Reading Committee Approval Form.
  • The Chair of the committee should receive the complete dissertation 6 weeks in advance of the Final Examination; all Reading Committee members should receive a full copy 4 weeks in advance of the Final Examination.
  • To schedule your Final Examination, arrange a day and time agreeable with your committee members. A minimum of 4 members, including the Chair and the Graduate School Representative (GSR), must be present at the examination.
  • Each member of your committee must send an email to the GWSS Program Coordinator confirming they will attend your defense at the date and time the committee has agreed on. Electronic approval of the scheduling must include the date, time and location of the defense. These emails must be received a minimum of 4 weeks before the date of your defense.
  • Once all committee members have emailed their affirmation of attendance you can schedule your Final Examination through the Graduate School's MyGrad program. When you submit your request for Final Examination, the system will automatically audit your transcripts to ascertain your eligibility for Final Examination. If the audit fails do not exit the program, continue to submit your request for Final Examination. The request will be referred to the Grad School for a manual audit. Contact the GWSS Program Coordinator, who can follow up with the Grad School and submit a petition if necessary.

When the Graduate School Student Services Division's review of the student's record indicates that the Graduate School's minimum requirements have been met, a Final Examination Warrant will be available to the GWSS Program Coordinator.

Either you or your Supervisory Committee Chair will arrange to obtain the warrant on or before the final exam day. The final warrant is signed by all committee members present (minimum of four required) at the exam and returned to the GWSS Graduate Program Office. 

The signed Final Examination Warrant indicating satisfactory performance on your exam and two final copies of your approved dissertation must be returned to the GWSS Program Coordinator following the Final Examination. If the dissertation is turned in after the quarter ends, you must register for the following quarter. The dissertation, in any case, must be submitted to the Graduate School by the last day of instruction for the quarter following the quarter in which you defend.

Dissertations must be formatted in strict adherence to the Graduate School's  Dissertation Policies. Please also read:  Access Options for Electronic Theses and Dissertations.

Requirements for Doctoral Degree which must be met before a Final Examination is Scheduled.

  • Completion of all required coursework.
  • At least half of your program must be in courses 500 or above.
  • You must have at least 18 graded credits of course work (400 or 500 level courses only) at the UW which averaged to at least 3.0
  • Creditable passage of the General Examination at least one quarter before the Final Examination.
  • Minimum of 30 dissertation credits (800), taken over a period of at least three quarters, at least one of which follows the General Examination.
  • Completion of all work for the doctoral degree within ten years. This includes work transferred from other institutions, as well as all time spent on-leave, e.g., on internship.
  • You must be registered at the University either full- or part-time (minimum 2-credit hours) during the quarter in which you take your Final Examination and submit your dissertation.

Appointment of a Doctoral Reading Committee

After the General Examination, the GWSS Program Coordinator uses the MyGrad Program to inform the Dean of The Graduate School of at least three members of the supervisory committee who will serve on the reading committee. At least one of the members of the reading committee must hold an endorsement to chair doctoral committees. The reading committee is appointed to read and approve the dissertation. It is the responsibility of a reading committee to (a) ensure that the dissertation is a significant contribution to knowledge and is an acceptable piece of scholarly writing; (b) determine the appropriateness of a candidate's dissertation as a basis for issuing a warrant for a Final Examination and; (c) approve a candidate's dissertation.

Planning Your Dissertation Presentation and Final Examination

There are 3 parts to the presentation of the dissertation and final exam:

  • Public presentation - usually around 45 minutes with a 15 minute Q&A (it is optional to allow for public Q&A, this decision is left to the student and their advisor)
  • The advisory committee including Chair, GSR, and all reading committee members meet for about 15 minutes
  • The student rejoins the committee for feedback and a discussion of plans for future research and publication

Submission of Dissertation to the Graduate School after Defense

In most cases, the student will submit their dissertation to the Graduate School and receive their Ph.D. in the same quarter as their defense. If that is not possible, the student must submit their dissertation to the Graduate School no later than the last day of the quarter following the quarter in which they defend.

Examples:

  • Student’s final examination is during Winter Quarter, the dissertation would be submitted to the Graduate School by the last day of Winter Quarter but no later than last day of Spring Quarter of the same academic year.
  • Student’s final examination is during Spring Quarter, the dissertation would be submitted to the Graduate School by the last day of Spring Quarter but no later than last day of Autumn Quarter of the same academic year. Whether the submission will be in summer or autumn quarter will be determined in consultation with the Supervisory Committee.
  • Please Note: a student must be registered for the quarter in which they defend AND for the quarter in which they submit their dissertation to the Graduate School. The only exception is when the student opts to pay a late fee and submits their dissertation to the Graduate School within 14 days of the end of the quarter in which they successfully defended the dissertation.
  • The date of degree award will be the quarter the dissertation is submitted to the graduate school, not the quarter of the defense.

For information on Dissertation Submission requirements and links to Graduate School policies visit  Final Submission of Your Thesis/Dissertation.

Steps to Final Exams

  • Contact your Doctoral Supervisory Committee to arrange a date and time for your doctoral exam.
  • Contact the GWSS Program Coordinator as soon as possible with the date and time so they can request a room for your exam.
  • Login into MyGrad – Student View. Click on Schedule a Doctoral General or Final Exam and fill out the required information.
  • Obtain original signatures on your Doctoral Dissertation Reading Committee Approval Form to be submitted to Graduate Enrollment Management Services (GEMS). See Dates  and Deadlines.
  • Complete the Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED). Print the SED Certificate of Completion and submit to GEMS with your signed Doctoral Dissertation Reading Committee Approval Form.
  • Submit your document in the UW ETD Administrator Site by 11:59:59 p.m. PST on the last day of the quarter. If you submit your document after the deadline, you will graduate the following quarter and must register or pay the $250 Graduate Registration Waiver Fee. Please see Dates and Deadlines for specific dates.

Funding Your Graduate Studies

Incoming students are typically offered a twelve-quarter funding package comprised of a combination of department-based research and teaching assistantships and University-wide fellowship funding secured through the department, subject to satisfactory performance which is reviewed annually. Because of our desire to work intensively with each of our doctoral students and to fund our students through the majority of their graduate training, admission to the graduate program is highly competitive. We typically admit no more than three new students each year.

GWSS Department Procedures and Policies for Assignment of TAs and RAs

All graduate student appointments in the Department of Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies are made in concurrence with Executive Order 28 – Graduate Student Service Appointments and Executive Order 30 – Graduate Student Fellowship and Traineeship Awards, which cover most matters related to Graduate Student Service Employees and in concurrence with the requirements of the UW/UAW Academic Student Employee Union Contract.

All graduate student employee positions carry a tuition waiver, which covers most tuition and fees. Small portions of the fees remain the student's responsibility each quarter. To be eligible for the tuition waiver, graduate student service appointees are required to carry 10 credit hours during each quarter in which she/he has an appointment. (During summer quarter, the minimum requirement is 2 credits.) Exceptions to this minimum credit load must be requested through a Petition for Reduced Enrollment to the Dean of the Graduate School.

Teaching Assistantship Assignments

In late January/early February, all graduate students will receive an email from GWSS Administrator, Young Kim with an Annual TA Application Form attachment. All students working toward a Ph.D. in Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies who are interested in being funded by the department for the following year must complete and submit this form (including students who have guaranteed funding). Equitable distribution of available funding is high priority for the department, recognizing that it is always necessary to balance individual and departmental needs.

After the assignments have been made and the level of each student's appointment determined according to Graduate School and Union Contract rules, employment forms are prepared by Young Kim, Admin – PDL B110. The payroll form (Personnel Action Form, PAF) must be completed for all employees. Students for whom this is a new appointment must complete and sign the Employee Personnel Data / Campus Contact Data Form, a W-4 form, an Affirmative Action Data form, a Conviction / Criminal History form, and INS form I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification).

Most funding provided by the department is in the form of Teaching Assistantships. The following will be considered when making decisions about providing Teaching Assistant funding to continuing students:

  • Academic progress: In most cases, priority for funding will be related to academic performance. Students doing better academically will be more likely to receive extended funding. Students on External Warn, Probation or Final Probation status with the graduate school typically will not be eligible for TA or RA funding from the department. A student offered funding, but later placed on warn status or probation may have their funding revoked. Students on Internal Warn Status as noted in the annual evaluation will have low status for funding.
  • Teaching Evaluations by Course Instructors: Because the assignment of TAs is primarily intended to provide undergraduate teaching services, formal evaluation of graduate students in terms of their competence as TAs will be considered in making future assignments. For this reason and in keeping with the ASE Union Contract, instructors evaluate the TAs working with them on a quarterly basis.
  • Educational Assessment Center Student Evaluations of Teaching: Undergraduate student evaluations are an important factor in continued support of TAs. TAs are expected to have such course evaluations completed each quarter.
  • Students are expected to initiate searches for alternate funding sources such as grants and fellowships. Students who have been actively involved in applying for alternate funding sources will have higher priority for funding than those who have not sought alternate funding.
  • Since the Department of Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies requires that students get teaching experience if they wish recommendations for teaching jobs, students requesting TA positions who have not previously held such a position will have some priority over students who have been TAing regularly. This, of course, will be weighed with other factors, including the needs of the course in question.
  • Advanced graduate students may be offered the opportunity to teach a course independently. Such opportunities are often more available during summer quarter than during the academic year.
  • Curricular needs of the department will always affect the choice of students for funding.
  • Students whose area of concentration matches the needs of a course will have higher priority for funding.

Graduate Student TA Selection Process beyond 12 quarters of department funding (guaranteed at the time of admission into the GWSS doctoral program subject to satisfactory performance).

Departmental funding of graduate students beyond 12 quarters is not guaranteed. However, from time to time, we have temporary funds available for instructional purposes.
The GWSS is committed to providing undergraduate students with excellent instruction and training graduate students to be excellent instructors.
Graduate Students for TA positions or for independent teaching courses for which they have primary instruction responsibilities beyond 12 quarters are selected by the GWSS department based on the following criteria:
  • Graduate students must have been evaluated by GWSS faculty based on their current Annual Plan and Annual Self-Evaluation. This includes a review of their teaching. They must be assessed as making suitable progress towards completion of their graduate program.
  • The department endeavors to give graduate students who have received less, that is, a fewer number of quarters of department funding, priority over students who have received more funding.
  • The department endeavors to give all graduate students who qualify the opportunity to independently teach courses based on their specific areas of expertise.

Teaching your own course as a Graduate Student

Students interested in pursuing an academic teaching career are encouraged to gain as much training and experience in the classroom as possible. If the budget allows, advanced graduate students can be assigned to teach independently. Independent teaching is most often available for summer quarter, but budget and curriculum needs sometimes provide opportunities for such teaching in other quarters.

Preparation to teach one's own course typically includes all of the following steps:

  • Participation in the Graduate School's TA Conference. This typically occurs prior to the start of the first year the student serves as a teaching assistant although more senior students are invited to participate in the conference if they so choose.
  • Serving as a teaching assistant for a variety of courses, particularly courses in which the TA is responsible for the content and conduct of quiz (discussion) sections.
  • Serving as a teaching assistant for the specific course you desire to teach independently – assuming that course is part of the regular GWSS curriculum and the course has TAs assigned.
  • Successful completion of a course on pedagogy such as GWSS 504, Philosophies and Techniques of Teaching. Any number of courses on pedagogy can be substituted for GWSS 504. Extensive teaching experience can be substituted for this requirement in some cases.
  • Successful completion of the General Examination and advancement to candidacy for the Ph.D. is preferred.
  • Selection of a faculty mentor to serve as a consultant as you develop and teach the course. The mentor is typically someone who teaches the course regularly or who has expertise in the topic of the course.

Research Assistantships

Research Assistants are typically selected by an individual faculty member who controls the position through a grant, contract or other arrangement. If a student is requested by a faculty researcher and wishes to accept the appointment, that student will be awarded the RA position. This is done because such faculty are acting as Principal Investigators and are responsible for the conduct of the research. If the faculty member does not have a particular request, she can ask students to interview for the position.

After a RA has been selected, GWSS Administrator Young Kim, (PDL B110) will contact you to start the on-boarding process. Students for whom this is a new appointment must complete an INS form I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification). Shared Services will work with the new hire to finish the on-boarding process.

The RAs responsibilities are to the Principal Investigator and the respective research project providing the salary (which may or may not coincide with the student's own personal research interests). These appointments should never be confused with fellowships which allow the student research freedom.

RA and TA Salary Levels

All ASE positions (TAs, RAs and GSAs) are paid at the levels determined by the Graduate School and UAW 4121. Students entering without a Master's degree are paid at the TA, RA or GSA level. Those entering with a Master's degree or who earn an MA or complete equivalent coursework at the UW are paid at the TAI, RAI, or GSAI level. Following successful completion of the General Examination and advancement to Ph.C. status, pay levels increase to the TAII, RAII and GSAII level. Salary changes take place the quarter following the change in status.

Fellowships and Traineeships

After a traineeship or fellowship has been awarded and a University budget title and number assigned, Young Kim prepares the appointment form. See him to be sure your appointment is in order. Positions which require no specific work duties may not be included in the Union contract. Positions which require that the student perform some service or duties are included in the Union coverage.

In many instances, all or part of the student's tuition and fees are paid by the fellowship or training grant. A section of the fellowship appointment form asks which quarters are to be charged to the grant number listed. NOTE: Tuition and fees are not always covered by the award. Questions concerning payment of tuition should be clarified before the onset of the appointment. The granting agency, the grant PI and/or the Graduate School are likely sources of this information.

Appointments in Excess of 50%

All graduate student service appointments are normally limited to 20 hours per week (50% time). This includes hourly supplementation and other forms of University employment when performed in addition to a regular graduate student service appointment. Fellowships and traineeships are also considered as half-time appointments. Students working a single graduate student appointment should not work more than 220 hours during a quarter (typically 20 hours per week for 11 weeks but may be up to 30 hours per week during some weeks for an 11 week total of no more than 220 hours). Under some circumstances, students may be offered more than one appointment at a time requiring work in excess of 50% FTE. In such cases, a petition must be submitted to the Graduate School. Petitions for appointments in excess of 50% will be approved only in special circumstances. The petition should include a description of work to be performed and the reason for a work assignment (either hourly or monthly) in excess of 50%.

All petitions must be signed by the Department Chair. No petitions are required for fellowship supplements to TA, RA or GSA appointments. Contact the GWSS Program Coordinator (B110) for the appropriate forms.

Payroll Procedures and Deductions

Paydays and Paychecks

Paychecks for salaried, monthly, and hourly appointees (TAs, RAs, Fellows, Trainees) are issued on the 10th and 25th of each month. Hours submitted via Workday for hourly employees are to be submitted on the 15th day of the month, with payday following on the 25th; and on the last day of the month, with payday following on the 10th of the next month. Please sign up for direct deposit through Workday.

Standard Appointment Periods

Teaching Assistantships, as stated earlier, are made on a quarterly basis only, and have payroll periods that do not coincide with the actual instructional period of the quarter. These payroll periods are as follows:

  • Autumn Quarter: Sept. 16 - Dec. 15 (3 months)
  • Winter Quarter: Dec. 16 - Mar. 15 (3 months)
  • Spring Quarter: Mar. 16 - June 15 (3 months)Summer Quarter: June 16 - Aug. 15 (2 months only)
  • Although these pay periods do not perfectly coincide with the academic quarters, the TA's responsibility is to the course and its instructor for the academic quarter. The TA should check with the instructor to determine when the TA's assistance is needed before the course starts and after classes end. There is no paid vacation. In other words, there is no pay for the period from August 15 - September 15.
  • Research Assistantships can be for any period, but usually follow the quarterly dates as in the TA appointments. The standard practice is to make RA appointments for full or half months, although there is no regulation prohibiting the appointment for irregular periods, in which cases payment is computed on a daily basis from the monthly rate. However, the RA, unlike the TA, is expected to be on duty during the actual period of the appointment. For RAs, as for TAs, there is no paid vacation period.

Qualifying for a tuition waiver

During Autumn, Winter, and Spring Quarters (the academic year) both RAs and TAs must be employed at least 50% (20 hours per week) and be on the active payroll for at least five of the six pay periods in order to qualify for a tuition waiver. They must also be registered for a minimum of 10 credits per quarter to qualify.

Payment of tuition and fees

One of the eligibility requirements for holding TA/RA positions is full-time registration of a minimum of 10 graduate credits per quarter. Exception: For Summer Quarter only, the minimum is 2 graduate credits. If you have a student loan, you may be required to register for the full 10 credits during the Summer Quarter as well.

Most of your tuition and fees will be automatically paid for any RA or TA who is appointed to a 50% or greater position (i.e., 20 hours or more per week). However, you will receive a bill for certain fees that must be paid by Friday of the third week of the quarter. Failure to pay these fees by the deadline will result in an additional "late payment fee" being assessed to your account.

See the UW Time Schedule or Student Fiscal Services for deadlines and rates.

Even if your tuition bill is incorrect, be sure to pay the student fee prior to the due date.

Standard Deductions from TA/RA Paychecks

a) Federal Withholding Tax on salary

b) "Medical Aid" (state accident/health insurance termed "Workingman's Compensation" to provide for on-the-job injuries). This deduction is quite small. In cases of injury during the period of your service appointment, contact Young Kim (B110) for the appropriate claim forms.

Income Tax Information

You will receive a W-2 form (statement of income and taxes withheld) in January following the calendar year worked. If you were on the payroll during the months of November or December, your W-2 will be distributed to your mailbox. If you are off the payroll during the last couple of months of the calendar year through the time that the W-2's are issued, then your W-2 will be sent to your permanent address. Please be sure to inform Young Kim of any address changes.

Summer Employment

Summer stipends or paying positions are very rare. Most students seek outside employment. It is important for graduate students to plan ahead for alternative funding. Students can seek funding in the form of RA, fellowship, or traineeship appointments. They may even, in conjunction with faculty advisors, prepare small research grant applications to such on-campus facilities as the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute, the Royalty Research Fund, etc. These have fixed deadlines throughout the year and require long-term planning.

Summer Teaching: Graduate Student Selection Process

Summer courses are offered by the department depending on the instructional needs of our undergraduate students. The number of summer courses scheduled is contingent on the funds the department receives for this purpose. Therefore, the number of summer courses scheduled each summer is not predictable. Once a course is scheduled, our ability to offer the course is contingent on sufficient enrollments.

The GWSS is committed to providing undergraduate students with excellent instruction and training graduate students to be excellent instructors.  In this spirit, the department endeavors to give all graduate students who qualify the opportunity to teach undergraduate GWSS courses during the Summer Quarter.

The Department selects Graduate Student Teaching Assistants to teach summer courses based on the following criteria:

  1. Graduate students must have completed their MA degrees or be PhCs to teach independently in the summer.  Students must have either previously TA’d for the course they wish to teach or have attended the course. In the latter case, students must meet with the course instructor to make arrangements to sit in on the course for the entire quarter.
  2. Graduate students must have been evaluated by GWSS faculty based on their Annual Plan and Annual Self-Evaluation. This includes as assessment of their teaching. They must be assessed as making suitable progress towards completion of their graduate program.
  3. The department endeavors to give priority to students who have received fewer quarters of funding in summer than those who have received more funding.

POLICIES - DEPARTMENT OF GENDER, WOMEN, AND SEXUAL STUDIES

Changing Primary Academic Advisors – GWSS Department Policy

The goal of the Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies Department is to provide each student with the best training possible in light of the student's career goals. We understand that your goals or areas of interest may shift during your graduate training. In some cases, the shift is such that your primary advisor is no longer the best person to guide your training. Feel free to discuss issues related to changing your faculty advisor with the Director of Graduate Training or the Department Chair at any time.

It is critical that you secure a new academic advisor prior to removing the original advisor from that role. This agreement (between you and the new advisor) should be in writing, signed by both parties, and a copy of the agreement should be forwarded to the Director of Graduate Training and the Chair of the department. This is necessary so that each student has a primary advisor at all times. Under most circumstances, the current advisor should be aware of your interest in changing advisors from the start.

In any case, once the new advisor has agreed t the role, the Chair will inform the original advisor of the change.

Disability Policy

The GWSS department is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodations to students with disabilities. We work with the  Disability Resources for Students Office.

The University of Washington provides reasonable accommodation to the known physical or mental limitations of qualified disabled students so long as doing so does not impose an undue hardship on the University or fundamentally alter the educational program. Reasonable accommodations may include providing appropriate core services necessary to ensure equal access, such as early registration or providing materials in alternative formats.

When academic accommodations are needed they are determined for each student on an individual basis by DRS staff and designed through the interactive process with a student. The interactive process includes; documentation of a disability, student DRS application, DRS Access Planning Meeting, and any follow up needed to ensure reasonable accommodations have been considered.”

“First, a student must complete the DRS new student application and submit documentation from a qualified healthcare professional. Then, DRS engages the student in the interactive process to determine reasonable accommodations.

The University of Washington (UW) requires students seeking services to provide documentation from a qualified healthcare professional that describes the disability/health condition as well as shares the functional impact on the student’s academic experiences. DRS has specific documentation guidelines to provide an outline of the information necessary to establish that a student has a disability and/or temporary health condition.”

Grading and Evaluation Procedures

Grading Procedures

  • All courses fulfilling departmental degree requirements (400 and 500 level courses only) must be taken for a numerical grade unless the course as a whole is offered on a Credit/No Credit basis. A grade of 2.7 is the minimal satisfactory grade for individual courses. You will need at least 18 graded credits at these levels and a minimum grade point average of 3.0 for graduation. (See sections on the Master's and Ph.D. Degree Requirements.)
  • Some courses will be offered as Credit/No Credit and designated as such in the University Time Schedule. You cannot receive a numerical grade for these classes, and the credits will not be counted in the 18 graded credits required for graduation.
  • You may opt to take courses other than those fulfilling departmental requirements on a Satisfactory/Not Satisfactory basis. You must make this designation through the Registrar's Office and can change between S/NS and numerical grading through the end of the seventh week of the quarter. The instructor is not aware of your choice. If the Instructor submits a grade of 2.7 or above, your transcript with reflect a grade of S (satisfactory). If the grade submitted is below a 2.7, an NS will appear on your transcript. Credits earned using S/NS grading will not be counted in the 18 graded credits required for graduation.
  • An "N" grade is given in independent study/research courses when a project continues over several quarters and will not be graded until its completion. You must maintain continuous registration in that course until a grade is given, and you must be consistent in registering for either the graded or the Credit/No Credit section.

GWSS GRADING SCALE

Evaluation Procedures

If your quarterly or cumulative grade point average drops below 3.0, your name will appear on the "Low Scholarship List" sent to the Graduate Program Coordinator, Cricket Keating, by the Dean of the Graduate School. The progress of students on the "Low Scholarship List" will be reviewed by the Graduate Committee and one of the five possible actions listed in Section 3 below may be taken.

At the end of each academic year, you will be asked to complete a self-assessment of your progress over the past academic year. This self-assessment and your annual plan will be used by the department faculty in their annual review of your progress through the program. The annual review will assess performance in courses, research, and teaching where appropriate. You will receive a letter providing feedback on your performance and any appropriate recommendations by the end of Spring Quarter. Details of the evaluation should be discussed with your advisor and/or the Graduate Program Coordinator/Advisor, Cricket Keating, and the recommendations of the faculty should be reflected in your annual plan for the upcoming academic year. This evaluation and feedback is intended for your guidance and for constructive use in maintaining satisfactory status.

If your progress in the program is less than satisfactory, you may receive feedback from your academic advisor, the Department Chair, the Graduate Program Coordinator and, in some cases, from the Dean of the Graduate School. There are five ways in which unsatisfactory progress can be communicated to a student. They are, in increasing order of seriousness:

  1. a verbal warning from the student's advisor, from the Graduate Program Coordinator or from the Department Chair,
  2. a written warning from the Graduate Program Coordinator ("Internal Warn"),
  3. a change in the student's status to "Warn,"
  4. a change in the student's status to "Probation," or
  5. a change in the student's status to "Final Probation."

Procedures 1 and 2 are essentially "internal" warnings within the department, whereas procedures 3, 4, and 5 are actions taken by the Dean of the Graduate School.

"Probation" or "Final Probation" status results in a notation on your transcript and in a letter being sent to you by the Dean. Students in each of the three "external" categories (3, 4, and 5) will be informed of the steps required to return to good standing in a letter from the Graduate Program Coordinator. A student is not usually dropped from the University unless she has spent at least one quarter in the status of "Final Probation." Students on Warn, Probation and Final Probation are less likely to offered TA or RA funding. Those placed on Probation or Final Probation after funding has been awarded may have the funding offer rescinded.

At the request of any faculty member, Supervisory Committee, or individual student, the Graduate Committee will review the academic status of any graduate student and will make any appropriate recommendations.

Should you have questions about your evaluation, see your advisor, Supervisory Committee Chair, the Graduate Program Coordinator or the Department Chair. For additional grading information, please see the Graduate School grading policy at Memo 19: Grading System for Graduate Students.

Grievance Procedures

In issues concerning evaluations or interactions with faculty members, every effort should be made to resolve the situation informally with the person or persons involved. At this level, the subject remains confidential. Once the subject is raised (with specifics and names) with another faculty member or with the department chair, the situation becomes part of the record and information must be available to anyone with an interest in the subject, including those involved in the situation.

Advice and help resolving grievances can be obtained from the  Office of the Ombud.

Leave Policy – Graduate School

Each quarter (except summer), you must either register for classes or petition for on-leave status or you will be automatically dropped from the Graduate School.

Graduate On-Leave Status

Memo 9: On Leave Policy to Maintain Graduate Student Status

Leave Policy – GWSS Department

A graduate student in the GWSS department may be approved for 6 academic quarters of leave (approved quarterly or up to one academic year at a time) with approval of their primary faculty advisor; any additional quarters of leave must be approved by the Graduate Program Committee. The Graduate Program Committee will review requests for leave of one to three quarters in length; the requests must first be approved by the primary faculty advisor.

Leave Quarters 1-6
  • Approved by primary faculty advisor or co-advisors.
  • Can request up to three quarters of leave at a time, but all must be in one academic year.
  • Leave request form filled out and signed by advisor/co-advisors and submitted to Graduate Advisor and Graduate Program Director.
Leave Quarters Beyond 6
  • Must be approved by Graduate Program Committee.
  • Can request up to three quarters of leave at a time, but all must be in one academic year.
  • Leave request form filled out and signed by advisor/co-advisors and submitted to Graduate Program Committee at least 30 days before the end of the quarter prior to the beginning quarter of leave.

The leave process is handled on a quarterly basis at the University. Each quarter a student is on leave they will be required to submit a leave request through MyGrad (which will require departmental approval), and pay a $25.00 fee to the Office of the Registrar.

Request graduate leave status

Requesting Departmental Permission to Undertake an Informal Concurrent Degree

Students in these programs pursue two degrees from different departments simultaneously. These programs have not been approved as formal concurrent programs, but students complete the same requirements as in the formal concurrent programs.

To earn two master's degrees, a student must complete two separate sets of minimum Graduate School degree requirements of 36 credits each for 72 credits. If a program requires more than 36 credits for the master's degree, a graduate student, with prior approval of both graduate programs, may apply a maximum of 12 credits beyond 36 earned in one program toward the master's degree in the second program. Thus, the minimum number of additional credits for the second degree, with these 12 approved credits, is 24. Up to 12 credits earned toward a Ph.D. degree may be counted toward a master's degree in another program with the approval of both degree-granting units.

For more information please see the Graduate School’s Memo 35: Concurrent Degree Programs.

How to petition the GWSS department for permission:

  • The petitioner must provide the following materials to the Graduate Committee:
    • A written proposal that includes the following:
      • a description of the concurrent degree being sought and how it will benefit the Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies degree
      • a detailed plan of study
      • current academic standing
      • a schedule of deadlines for turning in paperwork
      • A current copy of the student's informal transcript
      • A written letter/email of approval from the student's advisor or Committee Chair
      • A detailed plan of study that outlines the student's proposed coursework to the completion of both degrees. Color-coding this plan is strongly encouraged.

Scholarly Integrity – University Policy

Because of the importance of issues of scholarly or scientific misconduct to the operations of the University and because significant expertise is required to address such issues, the University has established Office of Research Misconduct Proceedings, (206-543-3643). This Office assumes primary responsibility for investigating and resolving allegations of scientific and scholarly misconduct by its faculty, staff, and students.

Please refer to  Executive Order #61- Research Misconduct Policy , University Handbook, Vol. 4, Part IX, Chapter 1, Policy for Addressing Allegations of Scientific and Scholarly Misconduct and your UAW  Union Contract for further information.

Inappropriate activities include:

  • Intentional misrepresentation of credentials
  • Falsification of data
  • Plagiarism
  • Abuse of confidentiality
  • Deliberate violation of regulations applicable to research
  • Other practices that seriously deviate from those commonly accepted by the scientific community in proposing, carrying out, or reporting results.

Ten Year Policy for Completion of the Ph.D.

Students are expected to complete their Ph.D. degrees within 10 years.  (Ten years is measured as time elapsed since the first quarter of registration in the graduate program).) As stated in the UW Graduate School Policy, “Periods spent On-Leave or out of status are included in these limits” In the unusual situation in which a student requires more than 10 years to complete their degree the GWSS department requires that the student work with their advisor(s) and their supervisory committee to develop a detailed timeline for completion of the degree.  This plan must be approved, in writing, by the student’s Supervisory Committee and the GWSS faculty. Development and approval of the extended timeline for completion of the degree must be completed by the end of the second quarter of the student’s 9th year of study so that the department’s Graduate Program Advisor can submit a petition for extension of the 10-year limit for a time period consistent with the approved extended-completion timeline before the end of the student’s 9th year.

Student progress during the extension period will be monitored closely by the department faculty and failure to meet deadlines established in the approved degree-completion timeline will result in the following:

  1. Missing a timeline deadline will result in a departmental Warning, at which time the student must meet with their committee chair(s) to update the timeline for completion of the degree.
  2. Continued failure to meet deadlines, will result in a final restructuring of the timeline by the student’s committee and in the department recommending that the Graduate School place the student on academic Probation.
  3. Continued failure to meet deadlines while on academic Probation will result in the department recommending that the Graduate School place the student on Final Probation.   A student placed on final probation will have one quarter to bring their work to completion (or back into alignment with the approved timeline).  Failure to do so will result in the student’s dismissal from the Ph.D. program.