Gender Studies (PhD)

Program Description


The academic study of gender is increasingly recognized as central across academic fields, from literature to psychology, to biology and law. The goal of the doctoral program is to train researchers who can take their place in the world as:

  • academic faculty
  • policymakers
  • researchers inside and outside of academia
Additional program fee: 
Second language requirement: 

Degree Requirements

Program requires the following:

84 credit hours, a written comprehensive exam, an oral comprehensive exam, a prospectus and a dissertation


The gender studies program requires:

84 credit hours for students admitted with only a bachelor's degree
a dissertation
both a written and oral comprehensive examination

The gender studies doctoral program is designed to provide students with the interdisciplinary training in theory and methods needed to conduct original research and scholarship about gender. At the core of the program are four required courses:

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)

Students also take two research methods courses relevant to their dissertation, plus additional courses among three areas of specialization:

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. We have faculty expertise in:

  • child welfare
  • development
  • domestic violence
  • environment
  • globalization
  • immigration
  • social policy
  • sustainability
  • transnational feminisms
  • work

Health, science and technology

Courses in this area explore the impact of gender on:

  • health care
  • health occupations
  • science and technology

We have faculty expertise in:

  • bioethics
  • gender and technology
  • health and sexuality
  • HIV and AIDS prevention
  • the participation of women in math and science in the developing world
  • women's roles as healers and caregivers

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
  • theater

Our faculty focus especially on the intersections of gender representations with representations of race, sexuality, class and the ways in which representations produce rather than simply mimic gender inequality and polarized identities.

Admission Requirements

The gender studies program welcomes applications from qualified students without regard to race, creed, color, religion, sex or national origin.

Submit to Graduate Education:

  1. online Graduate Education application
  2. nonrefundable application fee as specified by Graduate Education
  3. official copies of all undergraduate and graduate transcripts
  4. official GRE scores*
  5. resume or curriculum vitae
  6. statement of purpose
  7. proof of English proficiency**
  8. three letters of reference, preferably from faculty or other researchers
  9. writing sample (10-15 pages)

*The GRE test scores cannot be more than five years old.

**Students whose native language is not English (regardless of where they may now reside) must meet ASU's English proficiency requirements

Please see the ASU Graduate Education website for mailing addresses and further admission information.

For additional financial information, consult the Financial Aid office at

Students must fulfill both the requirements of Graduate Education and those of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.