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PhD in Women Studies

PhD in Women Studies

A PhD in Women Studies is designed for students who are interested in researching into gender, racial, cultural, economic and sexuality related issues faced by women. This is a vast area of studies and prepares students for research or teaching careers in colleges, government departments and political organizations. Students who opt for this degree are exposed to a variety of topics such as how the feminist theory is related to violence, labor and educational issues.

Let’s have a look at the various aspects regarding a PhD in Women Studies program.

Requirements for a PhD in Women Studies

Before you go on to enroll in a PhD in Women Studies program, you are advised to ensure that the following requirements are met.

  • You need to have at least a 4 year bachelor’s degree in a related field. Bear in mind that some universities might make it a requirement for you to have a master’s degree as well
  • Applicants might be required to have some related work experience
  • Some universities might make proficiency in a second language a requirement too
  • GRE scores will need to be submitted
  • Letters of recommendation might also be required from your past instructors or employers
  • In certain cases, you might even be needed to sit for a series of interviews before a panel

Coursework for a PhD in Women Studies

This degree typically takes a multicultural approach towards gender studies and explores a wide array of topics with application in the social setup. The core curriculum for this degree would include classes related to women in art, politics, health, law and literature. In addition to these, there will also be courses on general methods of research, statistical analysis and mathematical tools that can be used in determining the big picture as shown by the data collected.

Even though the coursework would vary from university to university, the following courses are covered in nearly every university’s PhD in Women Studies program:

  • Feminist genealogies
  • Contemporary feminist theories
  • Feminist pedagogy
  • Gender politics
  • Women’s health advocacy
  • Gender, sexuality and law
  • Psychology of women
  • Legal issues and civil rights
  • Ecofeminism
  • Global feminism

A PhD degree in Women Studies would be highly multi-dimensional. It would not only focus directly on women, but would also revolve around disciplines women have contributed to in terms of development. These include aspects of literature, anthropology, political science, sociology and so on. This program would also require students to submit a well-researched dissertation at the end as well. You might be assigned a faculty member to help you in deciding the topic for your research and the subsequent details regarding it.

Career Options with a PhD in Women Studies

Even though it sounds like a very specialized major, women studies majors are suited to enter into a large variety of career fields, thanks to their interdisciplinary backgrounds. Their main task is to effectively market their skill set to potential employers. Individuals with this degree can enter fields such as:

  • Marketing
  • Public policy advocacy
  • Journalism
  • Non-Profit Management
  • Publishing
  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Human resource

Organization looking to hire these graduates would include a variety of research institutions all over the US, government agencies, educational institutes and political organizations. Experts on women studies will be in high demand, thanks to the growing concerns of equal rights and opportunities for all genders.

Women Studies graduates can go into a vast number of careers that might not seem directly related to their degree. For instance, a lot of graduates end up in the healthcare sector, choosing to work as registered nurses or as public relations specialists or even social workers in some cases. Other options for Women Studies majors in the healthcare sector could be working as the director of women’s or family care centers, midwives or reproductive health counselors. In terms of social work, these graduates can apply their skills as drug and alcohol addiction counselors, director of ten mothers programs, director of domestic violence prevention organizations, elderly services providers, rape awareness, breast cancer awareness and so on. 

Bear in mind that you can go into these careers with a bachelor’s or a master’s degree as well, but a PhD degree can increase your options and make you better suited and more well-informed for these jobs. So plan your career goals well before you decide to pursue a PhD in Women Studies.

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