PhD Admission Criteria

The PhD program accepts students with a Master’s degree as well as students coming directly from a Bachelor’s program. Applicants should have a BA or MA in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies or a closely related field and a strong grounding in feminist theory. Successful applicants to the Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies PhD program have had undergraduate/graduate GPAs of 3.4 or higher.

Applicants for the direct-to-PhD need to demonstrate, in addition to the excellence expected of all our MA candidates, rigorous preparation, commitment to serious intellectual study, and extraordinary scholarly ability. The department reserves the right to admit some of these applicants to the MA program but not to the direct-to-PhD program.

Applicants are judged on the basis of letters of recommendation, statement of purpose, GPA, writing sample, and TOEFL scores (for international applicants). Applicants to the PhD program who are currently enrolled in the department's MA program are evaluated on the same criteria as those applying from other schools.

The GRE is NOT required for PhD applicants. Do not submit GRE scores.

Admission to the Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies PhD program is very competitive. The department admits approximately 10%-15% of applicants; generally 4-6 new PhD students each year. Experience has shown that the best predictors of success in the program are a scholarly background in feminist theory and Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies. It is highly recommended that students who do not have this background acquire it before applying. However, Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies is an interdisciplinary program and students with different academic backrounds are still welcome to apply. 


The Department of Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies only admits students for Autumn Semester. Applications for consideration for admission Autumn 2020 open Sunday, September 1, 2019. All application materials are due Wednesday, December 4, 2019 at 11:59 pm EST for all students. Late applications will not be considered.

For More Information