Women and Gender Studies: Women and Gender Studies PhD

Doctor of Philosophy​

Program Description

The PhD program in Women and Gender Studies has four emphases:

  1. gender, sexuality, and queer studies

  2. feminist cultural studies

  3. feminist studies of technology, science, environment, and biomedicine; and

  4. transnational political economy and development studies.

The offerings bring feminist scholarship to the tasks of challenging and investigating colonial, postcolonial, and transnational contexts. Central themes of the program include global capitalism, nation and state formation, empire, citizenship, diaspora, and cultural flows, all of which are examined through the lenses of diverse feminist scholarship. The program welcomes applications from international students.

Applicants may enter the PhD program via one of two routes: 

  • following completion of an appropriate MA

  • direct entry after completing a bachelor’s degree

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Women and Gender Studies Institute’s additional admission requirements stated below.

  • A master’s degree in women and gender studies, or a master’s degree in a related discipline from a recognized university. Applicants must have obtained an average of A– or better in the master’s program.

  • Letter of intent outlining the academic goals the applicant wishes to pursue in the program, two letters of recommendation, a writing sample, and transcripts from all post-secondary institutions.

Program Requirements

  • The student’s program of study must be approved by the Women and Gender Studies Institute.

  • All coursework should normally be completed by the end of Year 1 of PhD study. Students must complete 3.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs) as follows:

    • ​​​1.0 FCE in Women and Gender Studies (WGS 5000H and WGS 5001H). Students who have already taken these courses, or their equivalent, will be required to enrol in alternate course selections, with institute approval.

    • 0.5 elective FCE in Women and Gender Studies.

    • 1.5 FCEs offered in Women and Gender Studies or by other graduate units and chosen in consultation with the student’s faculty advisor.

  • Completion of WGS 2000H (0.0 FCE), a credit/non-credit course, requiring participation in the WGS Research Seminar Series. Normally, students enrol in WGS 2000H in Year 1 of their PhD program. Attendance at 80% of the seminars is required. After completion of this course, students are recommended to attend this seminar regularly, as a crucial part of their graduate education. In addition, students must present their research in the seminar once before graduating.

  • Comprehensive examinations:

    • Completion of two comprehensive exams, one in a primary and one in a secondary area of study, defined in consultation with the advisor and other committee members. 

    • The dissertation proposal, an integral  part of the comprehensive exams, should be defended  and accepted no later than June 30 of Year 2.

    • Examinations are marked on a pass/fail basis. Candidates are allowed two attempts to pass a comprehensive examination. A failure to pass on the second attempt results either in the student’s voluntary withdrawal from the program, or a recommendation by the institute for termination of the student’s registration in the program.

    • Comprehensives should be completed by June 30 of Year 2.

  • Completion of a PhD dissertation based on original research conducted by the candidate on an approved topic in women and gender studies, and successful defence at the SGS Final Oral Examination. 

  • Each student will meet at least annually with their supervisor and other doctoral committee members to review academic progress and to consult about future directions.

Program Length

4 years

Time Limit

6 years

 

PhD Program (Direct Entry)

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Women and Gender Studies Institute’s additional admission requirements stated below.

  • In exceptional cases, direct-entry admission is offered to outstanding students with a bachelor’s degree in women and gender studies or a related area, from a recognized university. Direct-entry students must have a cumulative average of A or better. Applicants must also have obtained an average equivalent to an A– or better in their final year of undergraduate study.

  • Letter of intent outlining the academic goals the applicant wishes to pursue in the program, two letters of recommendation, a writing sample, and transcripts from all post-secondary institutions.

Program Requirements

  • The student’s program of study must be approved by the Women and Gender Studies Institute.

  • All coursework should normally be completed by the end of Year 2 of PhD study. Students must complete 5.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs) as follows:

    • 1.0 FCE in Women and Gender Studies (WGS 5000H and WGS 5001H).

    • 2.0 elective FCEs in Women and Gender Studies.

    • 2.0 FCEs offered in Women and Gender Studies or by other graduate units and chosen in consultation with the student’s faculty advisor.

  • Completion of WGS 2000H (0.0 FCE), a credit/non-credit course, requiring participation in the WGS Research Seminar Series. Normally, students will enrol in WGS 2000H in Year 1 of their PhD program. Attendance at 80% of the seminars is required. After completion of this course, students are recommended to attend this seminar regularly, as a crucial part of their graduate education. In addition, students must present their research in the seminar once before graduating.

  • Comprehensive examinations:

    • Completion of two comprehensive exams, one in a primary and one in a secondary area of study, defined in consultation with the advisor and other committee members.

    • The dissertation proposal, an integral part of the comprehensive exams, should be defended and accepted no later than June 30 of Year 3.

    • Examinations are marked on a pass/fail basis. Candidates are allowed two attempts to pass a comprehensive examination. A failure to pass on the second attempt results either in the student’s voluntary withdrawal from the program or a recommendation by the institute for termination of the student’s registration in the program.

    • Comprehensives should be completed by June 30 of Year 3.

  • Completion of a PhD dissertation based on original research conducted by the candidate on an approved topic in women and gender studies, and successful defence at the SGS Final Oral Examination. 

  • Each student will meet at least annually with their supervisor and other doctoral committee members to review academic progress and to consult about future directions.

Program Length

5 years

Time Limit

7 years