Sep 27, 2023  
2021-2022 Graduate Bulletin 
2021-2022 Graduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Gender and Women’s Studies, PhD

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The graduate program in Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of Kentucky aims to train cutting-edge scholars in feminist, gender, and sexuality studies. We are deeply committed to the academic innovations in both women’s studies, in which lived experiences of women worldwide are honored and used to expand traditional disciplinary knowledges, and gender studies, which examines how we ascribe gendered meanings to everyday objects, experiences, and relationships across space and time. Our curriculum is shaped by an intellectually and culturally diverse faculty whose areas of expertise complement each other in ways to ensure that students gain a variety of knowledge and skills. These include the areas of transnational perspectives, critical theory, affect theory, social justice frameworks, and interdisciplinary methodologies. Our faculty actively publish and teach across a broad range of topical area including studies of violence, social movements and activism, the law, reproductive justice, education, disability, masculinities, migration, body, popular culture, sexualities, queer theory, science, and health.

The Ph.D. program is designed to familiarize students with (1) fundamental concepts, theories and frameworks for scholarly feminist inquiry, and (2) different approaches to inquiry and research in gender and women’s studies. Students will learn to critically interpret and evaluate feminist theories, methods, and arguments; analyze relations of power marked by gender and other social distinctions and processes including age, class, colonialism, ethnicity, national origin, race, region, religion, and sexuality; and conduct and communicate advanced research in gender and women’s studies.


Admission Requirements

  • Applicants for the Ph.D. degree program may be accepted from any undergraduate degree field. Applicants will be accepted into the program with or without an M.A. or equivalent advanced degree. For students without an M.A., the degree will be earned as part of their Ph.D. program.
  • Applicants should have a 3.0 or higher undergraduate GPA and, if relevant, a 3.2 or higher graduate GPA.  In addition, students must submit a personal statement, resume or vitae (CV), writing sample, three letters of recommendation, and official undergraduate and graduate (if relevant) transcripts. 


Degree Requirements

The Ph.D. program requires 36 credits of coursework plus a minimum of 4 dissertation residency credits.

Students must complete:

  • A two course sequence on feminist theory: Feminist Theory (GWS 650  ) and History of Feminist Thought (GWS 640  )
  • Two courses in methods/skills training (GWS 630   and an additional GWS or approved course)
  • Two GWS “area” pro-seminars (GWS 600 , GWS 700 ), which include topical areas in gender, women’s and sexuality studies
  • Elective courses in GWS or other disciplines, determined in conjunction with the student’s advisory committee

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