PHD Gender Studies

Receive transdisciplinary training in theory and methods needed to conduct original, cutting-edge research that will 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 by immersing them in:

  • ASU's on-campus Digital Humanities research lab
  • 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.

Focus areas within the Gender Studies program include:

Gender, Justice and Social Change --- Courses in this area explore the gender dimension of social structures, institutions and organizations; the processes of social change and community development; and the ways policies and laws can change gender relations. Students can choose to specialize in:

  • child welfare
  • domestic violence
  • globalization
  • immigration
  • labor and employment
  • social policy
  • sustainability
  • transnational feminisms
  • women's rights, sexuality and gender equality in the Global South

Health, Science and Technology --- Courses in this area explore the impact of gender on health care, health occupations, science and technology and health, science and technology policy. Students can choose to specialize in:

  • adolescent pregnancy and parenting in the Global South
  • bioethics
  • gender and technology
  • health and sexuality
  • HIV and AIDS prevention

Visual and Narrative Culture --- Courses in this area explore 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:

  • affect theory
  • intersections of gender representations with representations of race, sexuality, disability and class
  • literary theory
  • literature, theatre and performance, film, music and media
  • performance theory
  • queer of color critique
  • representation as discourse

At a Glance: program details

Degree Requirements

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 current residency.

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

For additional financial information, students should consult the Financial Aid and Scholarship Services website at

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Program Contact Information

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