Gender Studies, PhD


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.



Curriculum

Our gender studies curriculum provides the interdisciplinary training in theory and methods needed to create original research and scholarship. The research-based degree requires 84 credit hours and allows students to take courses from three main focus areas: gender, justice and social change; health, science and technology; or visual and cultural narrative.  A written comprehensive exam, an oral comprehensive exam, a prospectus and a dissertation are required.

Required Core (12 credit hours)
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)


Total Hours Required (84)


Courses and electives

Students take core elective courses in Women and Gender Studies and can also choose from electives offered by more than 100 affiliated faculty across ASU. With few required courses among the 84 units, you’ll have flexibility to build a program that suits your research interests and professional goals.

At the core of the program are four required courses:

  1. Critical concepts of gender.
  2. Mapping the intersections of gender.
  3. Engendering methodology.
  4. Research design and development.

You'll also take two research methods courses relevant to your dissertation and additional courses in the focus areas: Health, science and technology; Justice and social change; Visual and narrative culture. You may take courses across all three foci areas, but generally you will take courses in at least two of the areas.



At a Glance: program details

  • Location: Tempe campus
  • Additional Program Fee: No
  • Second Language Requirement: No


Degree Overview

The research-based gender studies PhD program is composed of a diverse community of scholars from multiple academic disciplines. 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 in the 84 credit, highly flexible program.



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, plus additional courses chosen across faculty's areas of expertise.

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. Faculty have expertise 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. Faculty have expertise in:

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

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. Faculty have expertise in:

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




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 to15 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 https://students.asu.edu/financial-aid.



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)

Electives are chosen in consultation with student’s assigned faculty mentor and the program’s graduate coordinator once admitted to the program.

Elective Coursework in Specialization (12 credit hours)

Electives are chosen in consultation with student’s assigned faculty mentor and the program’s graduate coordinator once admitted to the program.

General Electives (30 credit hours)

Electives are chosen in consultation with student’s assigned faculty mentor and the program’s graduate coordinator once admitted to the program.

Research and Dissertation (24 credit hours)

Research:
Supervised research focused on the preparation of the dissertation, including literature review, research, data collection and analysis, and writing.

Dissertation:
Independent study in which a student, under the supervision of a faculty member, conducts research that is expected to lead to a specific publishable project. Assignments might include data collection, experimental work, data analysis, or preparation of a manuscript.

Financial Support

You’ll find a number of opportunities for financial aid and professional supports.

Each year we aim to admit a number of doctoral students who can be fully funded with graduate fellowships and teaching and research assistantships (typically four or five). These awards cover your tuition, health insurance, and also carry a stipend.

As doctoral students near the final stages of their program, they apply for competitive dissertation completion fellowships from Arizona State University Graduate Education, which is semester-long funding that allows students to focus on the dissertation.

If your ultimate goal is a professorial career, you will be encouraged to participate in ASU’s outstanding Preparing Future Faculty (PFF) program after your first year of doctoral study.

In support of off­site research and participation in professional conferences and meetings, ASU’s Graduate and Professional Student Association (GPSA) offers competitive research grants and travel funding. www.asu.edu/gpsa/funding

Testimonial

The faculty mentorship I have experienced in the Gender Studies PhD program has proven to be one of the best facets of my graduate experience at ASU. The intellectual growth and development I've experienced over the last few years would not have been possible without the invaluable guidance of those scholars. Furthermore, the scholar-activist spirit cultivated in the School of Social Transformation has encouraged me to push myself and my work to be more interdisciplinary, more theoretically nuanced, and more grounded in my practical feminist commitments.
 

Dr. Samantha Vandermeade, Ph.D.
Using the Master’s Tools to Dismantle the Master’s House: White Women’s Gendered and Racialized Citizenship, Pro-(Im)migrants’ Rights Advocacy, and White Privilege in the Borderlands. (July, 2020)

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