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The PhD is an advanced research degree that combines course work, Comprehensive Examinations, and the completion and oral defence of a Dissertation.

The sections below offer general information about the PhD degree process. More detailed information can be found under Degree Requirements.

PhD students are required to complete 18 credits of coursework (3 full courses or 6 half-courses), including:

  • GFWS 6009. 3.0 Advanced Research in Feminist Theory;
  • GFWS 6008 3.0 Feminist Methodologies and Research Methods;
  • one other half-course (3.0 credits) chosen from the program course offerings; and,
  • 9.0 credits of the students choice.

The final selection of courses will be determined in consultation with the faculty advisor and/or the Director of the Graduate Program. With permission, up to 6.0 credits may be chosen from courses offered by another Graduate Program at York. Typically, full-time students will complete all the coursework in the first year of the doctorate. (See Course Descriptions for details).

Students in the Doctoral Program must demonstrate, by passing a written and oral comprehensive examination, that they have both an overall command of knowledge in Gender, Feminist and Women's Studies and in their area of dissertation specialization. The successful completion of the exam indicates that the student is qualified to teach at the university level, in undergraduate introductory and overview courses as well as in her/his own specific area.

Doctoral candidates complete a research study and write a dissertation that demonstrates the candidate's independence, originality and understanding of the field of investigation at an advanced level. The research is conducted and dissertation completed under the supervision of three members from the Faculty of Graduate Studies, at least two of whom must be members of the graduate program in Gender, Feminist, and Women’s Studies. The final version of the dissertation is submitted to the supervisory committee for approval and then proceeds to an oral examination. The oral examination centres on the dissertation and is a public academic event involving an external examiner in addition to the supervisory committee.

The PhD is designed to be completed in 5 years (15 terms) but often takes longer. All requirements for a doctoral degree must be fulfilled within 6 years (18 terms) of registration as a full-time or part-time doctoral student in accordance with Faculty of Graduate Studies Registration Policies, including the requirement of continuous registration.

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The Graduate Program in Gender, Feminist & Women's Studies at York is an exciting environment to pursue innovative, socially engaging, career-ready education. Contact our Graduate Program Assistant to learn more.