Programs by Campus


Gender Studies

College of Arts and Sciences

Departmental E-mail: gender [at] indiana [dot] edu

Departmental URL:

(Please note that when conferring University Graduate School degrees, minors, certificates, and sub-plans, The University Graduate School’s staff use those requirements contained only in The University Graduate School Bulletin.)



Gender Studies examines the social processes, cultural repre­sentation, relations of power, and forms of knowledge that generate an array of gendered perspectives and experiences worldwide. A focus on gender as an analytic category facilitates an array of scholarly collaborations, reflecting new theoretical and methodological developments in the social sciences, the arts and humanities, the natural sciences, and policy studies. Categories of difference that intersect with gender such as sexuality, race, ethnicity, class, and (dis)ability, are attended to carefully in all aspects of the doctoral degree program.

The Department emphasizes integrative and transdisciplinary modes of analysis for the study of sexualities and sexual identi­ties, bodies and their technologization and medicalization, representation and social/cultural production, and feminist epistemologies.

Three unique core courses form the heart of the program: G600 Concepts of Gender, G603 Contemporary Debates in Feminist Theory, G702 Researching Gender Issues.

Special Requirements

(See also general University Graduate School requirements.)

Doctor of Philosophy Degree

Admission Requirements

  • Applicants for graduate admission must hold baccalaureate degrees from accredited four-year collegiate institutions.
  • For graduate admission the College requires a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  • We require the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) be taken in the past five years. We prefer a score of 160  or higher on either the Quantitative or Verbal sections of the examination and a 5.0 on the Analytical Writing assessment. Furthermore, we expect a minimum total score (Quantitative and Verbal scores added together) of 308 (current exam). The institution code for Indiana University is 1324. All applicants must ask ETS to forward GRE scores to IU using this code.
  • For applicants whose native language is not English, the College and the University Graduate School require proof of proficiency in reading, writing, speaking, and understanding English. In almost all cases proficiency should be demon­strated by achieving a score of 213 (computer-based) or 79 (internet-based) or higher on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

Course Requirements

The requirements for this doctoral degree are 90 credit hours beyond the bachelor's degree - configured as at least 48 credit hours of graded course work and an additional 42 dissertation credit or coursework credit hours (typically as 899 or 901). Each doctoral candidate will complete three required core courses involving theory, methodology, research skills, and professional development: G600 Concepts of Gender, G603 Feminist Theories, G702 Researching Gender Issues. Candidates will also complete a 12-credit-hour minor, which should be taken externally (e.g. in another department) or in an approved program listed in the Graduate Bulletin. Elective courses complete the required 27 hours of gender-related course work. A maximum of 30 credits may be transferred from graduate work completed at another university, provided the Director of Graduate Studies approves the course content.

Only those students intending to pursue the Ph.D. will be admitted to the program. However, a Master’s degree may be obtained with the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies and if the following criteria are satisfied: (1) good standing in the department (as determined by annual reviews, GPA, and any history of probationary status); (2) at least 30 credits of course work successfully earned, including 12 credits of outside GNDR courses and 9 credits of core GNDR courses; (3) a grade of B or higher in the 3 required core courses for the PhD (600, 603, 702). And either a comprehensive MA exam (the equivalent of Part A of the doctoral comprehensive exam), or a substantive research paper (MA thesis) of roughly 50 pages, and subject to an oral defense by an MA committee.

Foreign Language Requirement

Gender Studies does not require a foreign language for all stu­dents. However, if a candidate is engaged in transnational gen­der scholarship, a foreign language may be formally required. The DGS will determine the means by which proficiency will be demonstrated.

Research Skills

Beyond the required core course G702 Researching Gender Issues, there is no specific research-related skill requirement. However, a student’s advisor may require additional compe­tency in (a) research skill(s) appropriate to that student’s dissertation topic. Such requirements may include competency in a second language, statistical methods, questionnaire development, ethnographic methods, interviewing techniques, textual or media analysis, computing/internet/webmaster operations, specific laboratory skills, other research and technical skills, or appropriate combinations of any of these. These studies are to be undertaken early in the candidate’s graduate career. The as­sessment and completion of any required research competencies normally must be certified by the DGS prior to admission to candidacy.

Additional Requirements after Admission with Master’s Degree

Candidates admitted with a master’s degree from another institution may be required to take additional preparatory work, depending on their background and training. The program will be decided in consultation with the student’s faculty advisor and the DGS.

Qualifying Examination and the Dissertation Defense

Qualifying examinations (both written and oral) are to be taken approximately 8 months after the completion of course work. Upon successful completion of the qualifying examination and presentation of a satisfactory dissertation proposal, the student will be nominated to candidacy for the Ph.D. The Dissertation Committee, which must be approved by the Dean of the Gradu­ate School, will be responsible for directing and evaluating the thesis. The dissertation defense serves as the final oral exami­nation and will cover topics related to the dissertation and area of specialization.

Ph.D. Minor in Gender Studies

Course Requirements

A Ph.D. Minor in Gender Studies requires at least four 3-4 credit courses offered by the Department of Gender Studies. At least 1 of these courses must be chosen from the following: G598 Feminist Theory: Classic Texts and Founding Debates; G600 Concepts of Gender; G603 Feminist Theories; G700 Sexualized Genders/Gendered Sexualities; or G702 Researching Gender Issues.  Students may petition for a maximum of one non-GNDR graduate-level 3-4 credit course taken in another IU department or transferred from graduate work at another university to be counted towards the minor.  The director of graduate studies must deem such a course to have significant Gender Studies content.  Plans for the minor must be made in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies or Graduate Secretary in the Department of Gender Studies.


Only grades of B (3.0) and above will count for credit.


None required. A Gender Studies faculty member may be in­vited to attend the student’s oral qualifying examination.

Academic Bulletins

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