Gender Studies, PHD

At a Glance: program details

Once you receive transdisciplinary training in feminist theories and methodologies that's needed to conduct original, cutting-edge research, you'll be ready to contribute to the larger field of women, gender and sexuality studies.

Program Description

Degree Awarded: PHD Gender Studies

The PhD program in gender studies is part of the nation's first School of Social Transformation. The inclusive gender studies doctoral program empowers tomorrow's community leaders and scholars by immersing students in:

  • creative and critical knowledge production
  • deep fluency in feminist theory and practical applications
  • publicly engaged academic research
  • socially embedded community partnerships

The connections between social locations, community and lived experience are the foundation of the research, teaching and community engagement. Faculty and students explore these intersections from a holistic perspective that goes beyond the classroom.

The gender studies program includes courses that explore the gender dimension of social structures, institutions and organizations; the processes of social change and community development; the ways policies and laws can change gender relations; the impact of gender on health care, health occupations, science and technology and health, science and technology policy; and the historical and contemporary representations of gender in all genres, including art, literature, popular culture, scientific, medical, historical and legal discourse, and theater and performance.

Students can choose to specialize in a wide range of topic areas:

  • activism and social movements
  • BIPOC feminisms
  • critical refugee studies
  • critical globalization and development studies
  • immigration and migration
  • feminist social reproduction theory
  • popular culture studies
  • queer of color critique
  • reproductive justice
  • transnational feminisms

Degree Requirements

84 credit hours, a written comprehensive exam, an oral comprehensive exam, a prospectus and a dissertation

Required Core (12 credit hours)
WST 601 Critical Concepts of Gender (3)
WST 602 Mapping the Intersections of Gender (3)
WST 603 Engendering Methodology (3)
WST 701 Research Design and Proposal Development in Gender Studies (3)

Elective Coursework in Methodology (6 credit hours)

Elective Coursework in Specialization (12 credit hours)

General Electives (30 credit hours)

Research and Dissertation (24 credit hours)

Additional Curriculum Information
When approved by the student's supervisory committee and the Graduate College, this program allows 30 credit hours from a previously awarded master's degree to be used for this degree. If students do not have a previously awarded master's degree, the 30 hours of coursework is made up of electives to reach the required 84 credit hours.

Students should see the academic unit for a complete list of approved electives.

Students must maintain an average GPA of 3.50 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in their courses.

The gender studies doctoral program is designed to provide students with the transdisciplinary training in theory and methods needed to conduct original research and scholarship about gender. Thus, students also take two research methods courses relevant to their dissertation chosen in consultation with their faculty advisor.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

The gender studies program welcomes applications from qualified students without regard to race, creed, color, religion, sex or national origin. Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's or master's degree in any field from a regionally accredited institution.

Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of their first bachelor's degree program, or applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.

All applicants must submit:

  1. graduate admission application and application fee
  2. official copies of all undergraduate and graduate transcripts
  3. resume or curriculum vitae
  4. statement of purpose
  5. three letters of reference, preferably from faculty or other researchers
  6. writing sample (10 to 15 pages)
  7. proof of English language proficiency

Additional Application Information
An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency regardless of their current residency.

Students should see the ASU Admission Services website for mailing addresses and further admission information.

For additional financial information, students should consult the Tutition and Aid website.

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Application Deadlines



Session A/C
In Person
December 15th

Learning Outcomes

  • Integrate and apply the core theories of gender in the field of Women and Gender Studies.
  • Evaluate and apply core methodologies in the field of Women and Gender Studies.
  • Examine and apply intersectionality as a foundational framework in the field of Women and Gender Studies.

Career Opportunities

Graduates of the program have gone on to careers at universities, research and policy institutes, government organizations and nonprofit organizations.

Global Opportunities

Global Experience

With over 250 programs in more than 65 countries (ranging from one week to one year), study abroad is possible for all ASU students wishing to gain global skills and knowledge in preparation for a 21st-century career. Students earn ASU credit for completed courses, while staying on track for graduation, and may apply financial aid and scholarships toward program costs.

Program Contact Information

If you have questions related to admission, please click here to request information and an admission specialist will reach out to you directly. For questions regarding faculty or courses, please use the contact information below.