Ph.D. Admissions

Important Admissions Links:
Graduate School Application
Return to Your Online Application for Status Updates

Admissions Offers - Next Steps
Graduate School Admissions Webpage

Our goal is to admit students whose career goals and scholarly interests can be best nurtured by our faculty and academic milieu. Applicants should indicate why they believe our department can provide a strong foundation in their intended area of study (including ways in which the applicant's interests intersect with those of our core faculty) as well as discuss any unique talents or experiences that applicant will bring to enrich our community of scholars.

Applicants to the Ph.D. program should demonstrate familiarity with the academic field of Feminist Studies at the undergraduate level. A strong applicant will have some training in either qualitative and/or quantitative research methodology, and will have fluency in a foreign language, at least through the intermediate level. An applicant who does not meet these criteria should plan on completing foreign language and methodology training early in their graduate student career. The Department of Gender, Women and Sexuality Sudies does not accept non-matriculated graduate students into the Ph.D. program, nor do we accept non-matriculated students for enrollment into graduate level courses.

GWSS does not have a stand alone Master's degree program. "The MA degree can be earned ONLY within a PhD program as a thesis or non-thesis degree." 

In addition, applicants must meet basic Graduate School requirements including:
1.     A 3.0 undergraduate GPA or higher over the most recent two years of study
2.     A baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution
3.     Submission of results from the general Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
Meeting these minimum standards does not ensure admission, however. Students who have earned an MA from another institution may apply for our Ph.D. program, but an MA is not required for admission to the Ph.D. program.

Applicants will be evaluated on the following criteria:

1.     A Statement of Purpose, in which applicants describe their academic background in Feminist Studies and their possible area(s) of scholarly focus during their graduate training. This statement should address the applicant's motivation for seeking an interdisciplinary degree in Feminist Studies and their ultimate career goals. We actively seek and welcome applicants from diverse backgrounds. You are encouraged to reflect on how your personal history, family background, and other factors influenced your intellectual development and/or professional goals in your personal statement. Please address any educational, cultural, and economic opportunities and disadvantages that you have experienced, and the ways those experiences have affected the development of your special interests, career plans, and future goals. This statement of purpose should be 1-2 pages in length (approx. 500 words), double-spaced and is not to exceed 3 pages.

2.     Writing sample. This is intended to help us discern the applicant's capacity to write, to research a topic, and to analyze information. Appropriate samples include seminar or course papers, or a selection from an undergraduate or Master's thesis. The writing sample should include a bibliography. Please do NOT submit take-home essay exams.

3.     Three (3) letters of recommendation are required. One (1) letter may be from a non-academic reference who can address the applicant's academic skills. You will be asked to provide the names and email addresses of your three recommendations as part of the online application process. Your recommenders will then be contacted and asked to fill out the recommendation online. The content of the letter is at your referee's discretion. If you choose to ask your recommenders to provide a hard copy instead, please note that we do not supply or require a specific form for referees to fill out. The content of the letter is at your referee's discretion. It should be in a signed and sealed envelope and may be sent directly to the department.

4.     Transcripts: Upload PDF or Word formatted (jpeg pasted into a word document) versions of transcripts from all institutions you attained a baccalaureate or higher degree as part of the on-line application. If you are currently working toward your baccalaureate degree, you should upload transcripts from the institution that will award the degree. If you are offered admission it will be made contingent upon receiving an official transcript from all institutions in which you received a baccalaureate, or higher, degree. You do not need to request transcripts to be sent to the Graduate School at this time if you have successfully uploaded a digital copy of an official or unofficial copy.

5.     GRE scores. Use 4854 as the "institution code" and you do not need a department code.

6.     Intended Research Focus. You will be asked to describe (in 40 words or less) your intended research focus. You should elaborate on this in your Statement of Purpose.

7.     Match with Scholarly Interest of Faculty. Given your research interest stated in the description of focus, you will be asked to indicate up to three core faculty members who most closely match your own research/educational focus.

Application Procedure: Submit application materials to the Graduate School via the electronic application system - Graduate School Application.  

Students are admitted for Fall Quarter only. The application deadline is December 1 for Fall quarter of the following year. The faculty may not review application material that arrives after the December 1 deadline.

Applicants will be notified of the decision of the faculty in late March/early April.

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

Questions about the program? Please consult the Graduate Manual.

Additional information for International Applicants