Jun 24, 2018  
School of Graduate Studies Calendar, 2014-2015 
School of Graduate Studies Calendar, 2014-2015 [-ARCHIVED CALENDAR-]

Gender Studies and Feminist Research Graduate Diploma (Ph.D)

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The Graduate Diploma (Ph.D.) in Gender Studies and Feminist Research aims to enhance the intellectual development and training of students already enrolled in doctoral programs by allowing them to combine disciplinary research with interdisciplinary scholarship from the fields of Gender and Feminist Studies.

The Graduate Diploma option is available to incoming and in-course Ph.D. students in McMaster’s Departments of English and Cultural Studies, History, Philosophy, Religious Studies, Social Work, and Sociology.

Students completing the diploma will receive the notation Completed Graduate Diploma in Gender Studies and Feminist Research on their academic transcript in addition to the doctorate degree from their home graduate unit.


The primary requirement for admission to the Graduate Diploma program (beyond admission to the home department’s stand-alone Ph.D. program) is distinction in a Master’s degree with sufficient academic background and preparation (at the undergraduate and/or Master’s level) in women’s, gender, and/or feminist studies. The University requires that applicants’ previous graduate work be equivalent to at least a McMaster B+ (77-79%), but higher standards may be set in practice by the diploma student’s home department.

For a full description of application materials and procedures see the Gender Studies and Feminist Research website http://gsfr.mcmaster.ca.

Part-time Studies

Doctoral students who wish to pursue a doctorate in their home department together with the GSFR Graduate Diploma will normally be admitted full-time to both. In the occasional instance when the home department and the GSFR program admits, or converts a student, to part-time studies, the requirements for the diploma program (as for the home department) will remain the same but will be spread out over a longer time period.

Program Requirements

Program requirements for the Graduate Diploma (Ph.D.), in addition to those of the student’s home department, are:

  • one compulsory core course (GENDR ST *700 ) (3 units) (also required for Master’s students)
  • one additional elective course in gender studies and feminist research (3 units) (from an approved list)
  • participation in the Program’s Research Symposium, including
    • regular attendance at symposium events, and
    • an oral presentation based on the doctoral student’s own research, normally in the third or fourth year of study; and
  • a doctoral thesis on a topic related to Gender and/or Feminist Studies.

Students will normally complete the 6 units of diploma coursework during their second year. In order to ensure timely degree completion, diploma students will be encouraged to choose an elective course likely to directly enhance and move forward their thesis research.

Diploma students will normally give their Research Symposium presentation during their third or fourth year.

Language Requirements

To be determined by individual home departments.

Thesis Evaluation Procedures

Students in the Graduate Diploma program must have their thesis topics approved by both the home department and the program in Gender Studies and Feminist Research. The thesis must be on a topic related to the broad fields of Gender Studies and Feminist Research. Approval is granted by the program’s Graduate Committee and occurs in conjunction with the home department’s regular schedule for doctoral thesis proposal submission and approval. Members of the Gender Studies and Feminist Research program may sit on doctoral thesis supervisory committees, or serve as external examiners of doctoral theses. Such arrangements are at the discretion of the home department.

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