Twin Cities campus
 
Twin Cities Campus

Feminist Studies Ph.D.

Gender, Women and Sexuality
College of Liberal Arts
Link to a list of faculty for this program.
Contact Information
Department of Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies, 425 Ford Hall, 224 Church Street SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455 (612-624-6006; fax: 612-624-3573)
Email: gwss@umn.edu
  • Program Type: Doctorate
  • Requirements for this program are current for Spring 2018
  • Length of program in credits: 56 to 58
  • This program does not require summer semesters for timely completion.
  • Degree: Doctor of Philosophy
Along with the program-specific requirements listed below, please read the General Information section of this website for requirements that apply to all major fields.
The PhD program in feminist studies is designed to help students develop a high level of competence in feminist theories, research methods, interdisciplinarity, and pedagogies. The program is especially strong on feminist theory and issues related to women's diversity, nationally and globally. To guarantee a high level of interdisciplinary exchange, the program is designed to bring feminist studies doctoral students together with graduate minor students who are pursuing a disciplinary specialty in their own home department. The program's interdisciplinary curriculum emphasizes the interaction of social conditions such as class, ethnicity, race, sexualities, and national identity with gender. These interactions and their effects are examined in cultural productions such as media representations or colonialist paradigms in social systems and relations of power; in aspects of science such as genetics and new technologies; in epistemologies and philosophy; in professional areas such as health care to public policy; and in social, political, and environmental justice studies.
Program Delivery
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Prerequisites for Admission
The preferred undergraduate GPA for admittance to the program is 3.50.
A MA in gender, women, and/or sexuality studies or a related field will be considered important, but is not required.
Other requirements to be completed before admission:
Preference is given to students with academic training or an undergraduate degree in gender, women, and/or sexuality studies or a related field. Extensive political work in these areas will also be considered important but not required.
Special Application Requirements:
Applicants for the Ph.D. program must submit scores from the General (Aptitude) Test of the GRE, three letters of recommendation, a writing sample, a current curriculum vitae, and a clearly written statement of career interests, goals, and objectives by electronic application through the Graduate Office (Apply Yourself). Graduate study in the program begins in the fall semester following admission. The application deadline is December 1; all applications are evaluated once each year in December.
International applicants must submit score(s) from one of the following tests:
  • TOEFL
    • Internet Based - Total Score: 79
    • Internet Based - Writing Score: 21
    • Internet Based - Reading Score: 19
    • Paper Based - Total Score: 550
  • IELTS
    • Total Score: 6.5
  • MELAB
    • Final score: 80
The preferred English language test is Test of English as Foreign Language.
Key to test abbreviations (TOEFL, IELTS, MELAB).
For an online application or for more information about graduate education admissions, see the General Information section of this website.
Program Requirements
20 to 22 credits are required in the major.
12 credits are required outside the major.
24 thesis credits are required.
This program may not be completed with a minor.
Use of 4xxx courses towards program requirements is not permitted.
A minimum GPA of 3.50 is required for students to remain in good standing.
At least 4 semesters must be completed before filing a Degree Program Form.
The course and credit requirements for the PhD fall into roughly two categories: interdisciplinary courses satisfying core requirements, and courses constituting or enhancing a concentration. Students are expected to participate in the department colloquium series of faculty, student, and guest lecturer presentations.
Interdisciplinary Core and Required Courses
Required Core
GWSS 8108 - Genealogies of Feminist Theory (3.0 cr)
GWSS 8109 - Feminist Knowledge Production (3.0 cr)
GWSS 8107 - Feminist Pedagogies (3.0 cr)
GWSS 8997 - Dissertation Seminar (1.0-3.0 cr)
Colloquia Credits
Take 4 or more credit(s) from the following:
· GWSS 8996 - Feminist Studies Colloquium (1.0 cr)
GWSS Seminars
Take 6 or more credit(s) from the following:
· GWSS 8210 - Seminar: Feminist Theory & Praxis (3.0 cr)
· GWSS 8220 - Seminar: Science, Technology & Environmental Justice (3.0 cr)
· GWSS 8230 - Seminar: Cultural Criticism and Media Studies (3.0 cr)
· GWSS 8240 - Seminar: Transnational, Postcolonial, Diaspora (3.0 cr)
· GWSS 8250 - Seminar: Nation, State, and Citizenship (1.0-3.0 cr)
· GWSS 8260 - Seminar: Race, Representation and Resistance (3.0 cr)
· GWSS 8270 - Seminar: Theories of Body (3.0 cr)
· GWSS 8103 - Feminist Theories of Knowledge (3.0 cr)
· GWSS 5104 - Transnational Feminist Theory (3.0 cr)
· GWSS 5406 - Black Feminist Thought in the American and African Diasporas (3.0 cr)
Research Methods & Tools
Take at least 6 Research Methods & Tools credits from the list below, or chosen in consultation with the director of graduate studies. Up to 6 of these credits can be applied to the 12-credit requirement for outside coursework.
Take 0 - 6 credit(s) from the following:
· GWSS 8201 - Feminist Theory and Methods in the Social Sciences (3.0 cr)
Outside Coursework
Take at least 12 credits outside the major. Courses are chosen in consultation with the director of graduate studies.
Thesis Credits
Take 24 or more credit(s) from the following:
· GWSS 8888 - Thesis Credit: Doctoral (1.0-24.0 cr)
 
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GWSS 8108 - Genealogies of Feminist Theory
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Two-semester seminar. First term: debates in gender theory; intersections of gender theory with critical race theory, post-colonial theory, sexuality theory, social class analysis. Second term: inter-/multi-disciplinary feminist research methodologies from humanities/social sciences. prereq: Feminist studies PhD or grad minor student or instr consent
GWSS 8109 - Feminist Knowledge Production
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Two-semester interdisciplinary seminar. First term: debates in gender theory; gender theory, critical race theory, post-colonial theory, sexuality theory, social class analysis. Second term: inter-/multi-disciplinary feminist research methods from humanities/social sciences. prereq: Feminist studies PhD or grad minor student or instr consent
GWSS 8107 - Feminist Pedagogies
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Spring Odd Year
Explore feminist theories/critical approaches to pedagogy. Develop teaching philosophy statement, design syllabus, practice teach/learn problem-solving strategies for classroom. prereq: Feminist Studies grad student [Maj or Minor] or instr consent
GWSS 8997 - Dissertation Seminar
Credits: 1.0 -3.0 [max 9.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02566 - AmSt 8801/GWSS 8997
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Conceptualizing the research problem for the dissertation and structuring the process of writing a chapter of it. prereq: AmSt doctoral student beginning dissertation work
GWSS 8996 - Feminist Studies Colloquium
Credits: 1.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: S-N or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
TBD prereq: Grad major or minor in feminist studies
GWSS 8210 - Seminar: Feminist Theory & Praxis
Credits: 3.0 [max 9.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Topics in feminist theory.
GWSS 8220 - Seminar: Science, Technology & Environmental Justice
Credits: 3.0 [max 6.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Spring
Topics related to science, technology, environmental justice.
GWSS 8230 - Seminar: Cultural Criticism and Media Studies
Credits: 3.0 [max 6.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Spring
Topics in literature, film, art.
GWSS 8240 - Seminar: Transnational, Postcolonial, Diaspora
Credits: 3.0 [max 6.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Graduate topics in comparative/global studies.
GWSS 8250 - Seminar: Nation, State, and Citizenship
Credits: 1.0 -3.0 [max 6.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Topics related to nation, state, citizenship.
GWSS 8260 - Seminar: Race, Representation and Resistance
Credits: 3.0 [max 6.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Race, racialization, racial justice as related to representation/struggles for social/economic justice. Intersectional analysis of power, politics, ideology/identity. Queer of color critique, women of color feminisms, critical sex/body positive approaches. prereq: Grad student
GWSS 8270 - Seminar: Theories of Body
Credits: 3.0 [max 6.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
How body is configured in many social arenas. Legal decisions, public policy, medical research, cultural customs. Examine how attitudes toward male/female bodies influence social myths/discourses about social policy/change.
GWSS 8103 - Feminist Theories of Knowledge
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Interdisciplinary seminar. Feminist approaches to knowledge and to criticism of paradigms of knowledge operative in the disciplines. Feminist use of concepts of subjectivity, objectivity, and intersubjectivity. Feminist empiricism, standpoint theory, and contextualism. Postmodern and postcolonial theorizing.
GWSS 5104 - Transnational Feminist Theory
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Fall Odd Year
Third World and transnational feminisms. Interrogating the categories of "women," "feminism," and "Third World." Varieties of power/oppression that women have endured/resisted, including colonization, nationalism, globalization, and capitalism. Concentrates on postcolonial context.
GWSS 5406 - Black Feminist Thought in the American and African Diasporas
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02005 - Afro 4406/Afro 5406/GWSS 4406/
Typically offered: Periodic Spring
Critically examines spatiality of African descendant women in Americas/larger black diaspora. Writings from black feminist/queer geographies, history, contemporary cultural criticism. Recent black feminist theorizing.
GWSS 8201 - Feminist Theory and Methods in the Social Sciences
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Seminar on recent theories, including feminist versions of positivist, interpretivist, critical theoretical, and postmodernist models of social science knowledge. Methodologies congenial to feminist practices of inquiry, including use of narrative in theory, feminist ethnography, discourse analysis, and comparative methods in history.
GWSS 8888 - Thesis Credit: Doctoral
Credits: 1.0 -24.0 [max 24.0]
Grading Basis: No Grade
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
(No description) prereq: Max 18 cr per semester or summer; 24 cr required