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Department of Women's Studies

Department of Women's Studies

Graduate Program
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Degree Programs

 

Admission Requirements

We're delighted that you're interested in applying to the dual degree program in Women's Studies! Everything that you need to know for applying should be listed below but feel free to contact us with further questions.

Requirements for Applicants who are New to Penn State University

Students may apply to the dual degree program when they apply for admission to graduate school at Penn State. Please follow the guidelines for applying established by the co-operating department (click here for a list of co-operating departments) and indicate clearly on your application that you are applying to the dual degree program in Women's Studies. Send all materials to the co-operating department but be sure your personal statement reflects your interest in this interdisciplinary degree. The co-operating department is responsible for the first years of funding and assistantships.

Click here to view participating program requirements

Requirements for Students Currently Enrolled in a Co-operating Graduate Program at Penn State University

PhD candidates must have applications to the dual degree program approved before PhD candidacy exams. The admissions committee meets once each semester to review applications. Application deadlines are February 17 and October 15. Students are encouraged to discuss their application in advance with either their advisor or the Women's Studies Graduate Officer.

Students already enrolled in a co-operating program at Penn State may apply by submitting the following to the Women's Studies Department in 133 Willard Building: 

  • A copy of your Graduate School Application which was originally submitted to your home department
  • Official Transcripts from all previous coursework (Photocopies of transcripts sent from the home department are acceptable)
  • Official GRE scores (Photocopies of GRE scores sent from the home department are acceptable)
  • A writing sample
  • A personal statement that describes how the dual degree program fits with your scholarly interests
  • 1 letter of recommendation from a Women's Studies faculty member at Penn State

 

Lisa Batchelor
Graduate Staff Assistant
133 Willard Building
814-867-3549
lmb135@psu.edu

 

Lise Nelson
Associate Professor of Women's Studies and Geography
Graduate Program Director
122A Willard Bldg.
814-867-4174

PhD Dual Degree Program

Dual Degree doctoral students are required to take 9 credits of course work in Women's Studies: WMNST 501: Feminist Perspectives in Research and Teaching (3 credits); WMNST 502: Global Feminisms (3 Credits) and WMNST 507: Feminist Theory (3 credits). Students also must complete 9 additional credits of Women's Studies course work (at least 6 of which should be at the 500 level) chosen in consultation with the Women's Studies Graduate Officer.

The student’s doctoral committee must include at least two members who are Women's Studies-affiliated faculty. The Women's Studies affiliated faculty members on the student's committee will administer a portion of the student's comprehensive exams focusing on feminist theory, feminist methodology, global feminism and feminist studies in the student's discipline.

A dissertation on a women's studies topic is required of students in the dual-title degree program. The student's committee must approve the topic of the dissertation.

For more information please visit the Women's Studies Dual Degree Program on the University Bulletin.

MA Dual Degree Program

Dual Degree masters students are required to take 9 credits of course work in Women's Studies: WMNST 501: Feminist Perspectives in Research and Teaching (3 credits); WMNST 502: Global Feminisms (3credits) and WMNST 507: Feminist Theory (3 credits). Students also must complete 3 additional credits of Women's Studies course work (chosen in consultation with the Women's Studies Graduate Officer).

One faculty member from Women's Studies should be included on the master's committee. In addition, students should select a thesis topic that reflects their inquiry in women's studies. In the case of dual-title programs in which a master's thesis is not required, students need to take three additional credits of Women's Studies course work and complete a master's paper on a topic approved by the student's committee.

For more information please visit the Women's Studies Dual Degree Program on the University Bulletin.

Graduate Minor

The Women's Studies Department at Penn State offers students enrolled in the graduate minor the opportunity to include women's studies work in their graduate study in any discipline at the masters' and doctoral level. Students who have completed the graduate minor will have a competitive edge as more academic and professional positions require study of feminist theory, women, or gender. In addition, Women's Studies students are a part of a supportive community for discourse that connects personal and larger cultural and political issues.

Graduate students in the graduate minor develop the skills to conduct both disciplinary research and interdisciplinary research in women's studies. Through their participation in interdisciplinary course work and interaction with faculty across disciplinary boundaries, we expect students to ask cutting-edge questions and to conduct high quality research. Students are encouraged to present their research and publish in both disciplinary and interdisciplinary women's studies outlets. Such an approach to graduate study acknowledges and fosters scholarly work across disciplines while increasing the intellectual rigor and breadth of graduate work through the students' immersion in Women's Studies and their discipline.

The Women's Studies Department is comprised of a strong group of approximately 40 faculty engaged in interdisciplinary work from various departments across the university. The faculty represent a wide variety of disciplines, resulting in a rich interdisciplinary environment, Our faculty represent 18 different departments in five different colleges. The Women's Studies faculty has extensive experience working within graduate programs and with graduate students. Currently, 34 Women's Studies affiliated faculty members are members of the graduate faculty, and many of our faculty direct doctoral dissertations and mentor graduate students.

Grad minor requirements:

  • Wmnst 501, Wmnst 507, and 1 Wmnst elective for masters students.
  • Wmnst 501, Wmnst 507, and 3 Wmnst electives for PhD students.


For more information about the Graduate Minor in Women's Studies, please contact , our Graduate Advisor.

To apply, complete the Graduate Minor Application and submit with all signatures to:


Graduate Staff Assistant
133 Willard Building
The Pennsylvania State University
University Park, PA 16802-2800