Gender Studies, PHD

At a Glance: program details

Receive transdisciplinary training in feminist theories and methodologies, and learn to conduct original, cutting-edge research while you contribute to the field of women, gender and sexuality studies.

The Gender Studies doctoral program accepts applications for incoming cohorts in odd years only. The next admit term is Fall 2025 (applications due in December 2024). Please contact with questions.

Program Description

Degree Awarded: PHD Gender Studies

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

  • creative and critical knowledge production
  • deep fluency in feminist theory, methodology and praxis
  • publicly engaged academic research

Courses in the gender studies program examine key topics related to gender. These include gendered dimensions of social structures, institutions and organizations; the ways in which policies and laws affect gender relations; the intersections of race, gender, sexualities and citizenship in a transnational world; historical and contemporary representations of gender across genres (e.g., popular culture; social media; scientific, medical, historical and legal discourse); and processes of social change, social movements and community development.

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

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

Degree Requirements

Curriculum Plan Options

  • 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 (12 credit hours)

Dissertation (12 credit hours)
WST 799 Dissertation (12)

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, they select 30 hours of elective coursework with academic unit approval 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 tuition 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.