Why study women, gender and sexuality studies?

Because much of what people think they know about women, gender, and sex is myth.  Our department seeks to produce intellectually rigorous, analytical and creative work that embodies the perspective of gender in its local and global dimensions through teaching, research, and outreach activities.

Admission to Graduate Studies

An applicant seeking to pursue graduate study in the College may be admitted as either a degree-seeking or non-degree seeking student. Policies and procedures of Graduate Studies govern the process of Graduate admission. These may be found in the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog.

Please consult the Departments & Programs section of the online catalog for information regarding program-specific admissions criteria and requirements. Special admissions requirements pertain to Interdisciplinary Studies degrees, which may be found in the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog.

Graduate Admission

Admission requires a bachelor’s degree and acceptance by Graduate Studies. Submit your graduate application online. Send all other supporting materials to the department at wgss@ku.edu.


Ph.D. Program

The Ph.D. program requires completion of core and elective courses and demonstration of depth in a chosen concentration or track. Candidates must complete a minimum of 13 credit hours of required courses in WGSS and 15 credit hours of elective WGSS courses. In addition, the student must take a minimum of 18 credit hours (3 in theory, 3 in methods, and 3 in a designated field) in an approved concentration or track selected from the list below.

Students must also fulfill Research Skills and Responsible Scholarship requirement as outlined in the WGSS Graduate Handbook (available on line). At the end of 30 hours of course work (21 in WGSS and 9 in a concentration), Students will take a qualifying exam in their fourth semester (administered by the instructors of WGSS 800, WGSS 801, WGSS 802). Results of this exam will determine whether the student will earn a terminal M.A. and then leaves the program, or if the student earns an M.A. and then continues on towards the Ph.D. After completion of 31 credit hours and the Research Skills and Responsible Scholarship requirement, students take a comprehensive oral examination, the centerpiece of which is a portfolio of all major written work (exams, papers, syllabi), and a professional essay. Within 3 months of passing this exam the student defends a dissertation prospectus and enrolls in dissertation hours.

Required Graduate Courses in WGSS

WGSS 800History of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies3
WGSS 801Feminist Theory3
WGSS 802Feminist Methodologies3
WGSS 803Topics in Feminist Pedagogy: _____ (0.5 hour, taken 2 times)1
WGSS 804Topics in Professional Development: _____3
WGSS 999Doctoral Dissertation1-12


African and African-American Studies, American Studies, Anthropology, Classics (Greek and Roman Studies), Communication Studies, English, Film and Media Studies, History, History of Art, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, Theatre, Indigenous Studies, and Museum Studies.

The WGSS graduate student handbook lists a selection of the approved courses in the concentrations.