The Ph.D. program in the Department of Gender and Women's Studies at the University of Arizona trains scholars and researchers in this dynamic, interdisciplinary field. Graduates will produce original knowledge in the field from a foundation in diverse theories of gender, critical race theory, feminism and other social movements, history, literature, critical and cultural studies, and the relation of gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality, and transnational economic and political processes.
Through coursework and preparation for individually designed comprehensive exams, students gain understanding and skills in diverse approaches to feminist scholarship that enable them to design and complete their own innovative dissertation project. The department has particular expertise in Chicana/Latina studies, LGBTQ/Sexuality Studies, transnationalism, and representation and culture and maintains methodologically diverse approaches to scholarship. Through its affiliation with the Southwest Institute for Research on Women the department also contributes to applied community-based research on women's and adolescent health, substance abuse treatment, women and incarceration, and projects related to border issues.
PHD PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS
Gender and Women's Studies offers highly competitive funding packages, which include healthcare and tuition waivers. We will fund students in good academic standing for at least four years. There are many forms of funding available to graduate students in our program. The department is able to provide some fellowship funding, especially to incoming students, with monies from the Graduate College and the Elizabeth Lapovsky Kennedy Endowment (which funds both the Women’s Plaza of Honor Fellowship and the Kennedy Endowed Fellowship). In addition, during their first four years, students are eligible for Teaching and Research Assistantships. Students can earn additional money by teaching online courses in summer and winter sessions. Students at the dissertation stage should apply for grants and fellowships offered by departmental, university and national sources relevant to their research topic (information on these opportunities can be researched through SBSRI). Students at all stages of the program are encouraged to apply for small one-time grants for research and for travel to conferences from SBSRI, WOSAC, the GPSC and other sources.
The University of Arizona Department of Gender & Women's Studies is a member of the Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP).
The Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP) allows master’s, graduate certificate, and Ph.D. students who are residents of the 15 participating WICHE states and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands to enroll in some 320 high-quality programs more than 55 participating institutions outside of their home state and pay resident tuition. The WICHE states are Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
For a full list of WRGP programs, download this PDF handout.
WRGP is a tuition-reciprocity arrangement similar to the Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE). Students can enroll directly in the program through WRGP; they are not dependent upon the approval of their home state to participate because the student’s home state does not provide funding for each individual student. WRGP represents a tremendous opportunity for Western states to share distinctive programs (and the faculty who teach them) and build their workforce in a variety of disciplines, particularly healthcare.
In fall 2012, more than 1,000 students enrolled through WRGP and saved an estimated $15.2 million dollars in tuition, and each student saved an estimated average of $15,000.
For Graduate Students
To be considered for the WRGP resident tuition rate, apply directly to the department or graduate studies department of the institution where you want to enroll, and identify yourself as WICHE WRGP applicant. WGRP students must fulfill all the usual requirements of the department and institution concerned, and meet all admission deadlines. Contact information for each participating program is listed in our WRGP online directory.
Deadline for all applicants: December 15
No Spring admission
Ph.D. Program - Application Requirements
Students applying to The University of Arizona's Ph.D. in Gender and Women's Studies degree program should hold a baccalaureate degree or its equivalent by the date of entry into the program. An undergraduate major or minor in Women's Studies or a strong background in feminist theory within the undergraduate major is strongly recommended. To be competitive for admissions, applicants must achieve a GPA of at least 3.0.
1. Three Letters of Recommendation. The Department requires each applicant to have a minimum of 3 letters of recommendation submitted on their behalf. The letters of recommendation should be written by faculty that can speak about your academic and research ability.
2. Admissions Essay. A 750-1000 word statement of purpose that includes a description of a research topic that will likely lead to your dissertation; why you feel the program at the UA is a good "match" for you; and, how your interests intersect with those of faculty here. A strong essay should convey why you wish to pursue a Ph.D. or J.D./M.A. in Gender and Women's Studies, and explain how you have prepared for graduate work. It should assess what you believe to be your strengths and weaknesses, specifying the steps you've taken to strengthen your abilities overall. Try to give a sense of what makes you unique as a scholar and a person and consider what diversity you would bring to our program. Describe your career goals. Please include your last name and page number in the header section of each page.
3. Writing Sample. This may be a term paper, a published article or essay, or a substantive research report. Your sample should demonstrate your ability to write clearly, develop a reasoned argument, and engage in innovative thinking. Please limit your writing sample to 25 pages. Please include your last name and page number in the header section of each page.
4. Curriculum Vitae. Upload your CV. Please include your last name and page number in the header section of each page.
Your CV should include:
- Education (degrees you have received or anticipate);
- Academic employment (such as teaching or research positions), whether paid or unpaid;
- Non-academic employment (including internships);
- Honors, prizes, awards, scholarships, and memberships in honor societies and professional organizations.
- Published articles, papers presented at professional meetings, screenings or other public presentations of your creative work;
- Any other activities or accomplishments that you feel are relevant to this application (e.g. extra-curricular activities during college or graduate school or substantial engagement with a non-profit or activist organizations not already listed under employment).
5. Transcript. All transcripts uploaded into your application are considered unofficial. If recommended for admission, then sealed, official paper transcripts or official electronic versions sent from your university or clearing house are acceptable. Degree certificates, diplomas, and transcripts for international documents will require official English translations.
If you are recommended for admission to our program and you accept, the Graduate College Admissions Office will then and only then require you to submit official transcripts. If you fail to submit those official transcripts or if the official transcripts reveal negative information not previously disclosed to us, we reserve the right to revoke the recommendation for admission and any funding that may have been offered.
6. Consideration for Research Assistantship and/or Teaching Assistantship. Upload a one-page Statement of Interest to be considered for a Research Assistantship and/or a Teaching Assistantship position. Please describe your qualifications and prior experience and responsibilities. Please include your last name and page number in the header section of each page.
7. Official GRE Scores. To be competitive for admission, applicants must achieve at least two out the three following minimum GRE General Test Scores:
Verbal 153 or 500
Quantitative 144 or 500
Analytic Writing 4.5
8. English Proficiency is one of the conditions for admission for all applicants whose native language is not English. Applicants must submit a minimum TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score of 600 paper based (PB), 100 internet based (iBT), or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) composite score of 7 (no subject area below 6).
Course work for the PhD includes:
13 UNITS of required courses.
• GWS 539A Feminist Theories I (Semester I)
• GWS 539B Feminist Theories II (Semester II)
• GWS 639 History/Social Movements
• Critical Race/Ethnic Studies couse (see descriptions of GWS Required Classes for details).
• GWS 695A - Gender and Women's Studies Graduate Colloquium (1 unit)
24 ADDITIONAL UNITS in Major field. These may be electives, in and outside of the department. Up to six units of Independent Study and six units of Internship may count toward degree requirements.
9 UNITS (minimum) in Minor field
18 DISSERTATION UNITS
TOTAL MINIMUM UNITS: 63
Other requirements include:
Graduate credit earned at approved institutions, if accepted by the Gender and Women’s Studies Department and the Graduate College, may be counted toward the requirements. Click here to view complete details.
For students with an MA in gender and women’s studies or a related field, a total of fifteen units may be fulfilled through approved transferred credit.
For students without an MA in gender and women’s studies or a related field, a total of twelve units may be fulfilled through approved transferred credit.
Second Language Requirement
All GWS Ph.D. students will be required to demonstrate knowledge of a second language (which may include a heritage language or Sign) before the advancing to Doctoral Candidacy and before Dissertation Defense can be scheduled.
Qualifying Process (QP)
All students entering the Ph.D. program are required to complete a Qualifying Process. There are two Qualifying Processes: one for students entering the program without an M.A.; the other for students who enter with an accredited M.A.
Comprehensive Examination for Doctoral Candidacy
This Examination is intended to test the student’s comprehensive knowledge of the major and minor subjects of study, both in breadth across the general field of study, and in depth within the area of specialization. There are two portions to the Comprehensive Examination: the written exam and the oral exam. They must be taken sequentially. Students should normally take the Comprehensive Exams upon or near completion of their coursework.
Dissertation Proposal and Defense
The proposal must describe original, substantive research in Gender and Women’s Studies. It should explain how the dissertation will contribute new knowledge to the field(s) and it should display fluency with existing scholarship related to the topic. All members of the Dissertation Committee must approve the Dissertation Proposal at a Proposal Defense.
The dissertation is a substantial piece of original research in Gender and Women’s Studies. Great care should be taken with your dissertation. For those students who go on to become professors, the dissertation will be a key component in job interviews. Hiring committees will want to see that the dissertation topic, research, and writing indicate that the dissertation can be revised into a publishable book in a timely fashion.