Apr 19, 2024  
School of Graduate Studies Calendar, 2020-2021 
School of Graduate Studies Calendar, 2020-2021 [-ARCHIVED CALENDAR-]

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

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, Sociology, French and Communication, New Media and Cultural Studies.

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 (700 GENDR ST 700 / Current Debates in Feminist and Gender Theory  ) (3 units) (also required for Master’s students)
  • one additional elective course in gender studies and feminist research (3 units) (from an approved list). This course is in addition to coursework required for your Ph.D. degree. Courses cannot be counted towards both the Ph.D. degree and the GSFR Ph.D. diploma.
  • participation in the Program’s Research Symposium, including
    • regular attendance at symposium events. Important Note: The symposium is a key way in which we attempt to create an intellectual community in a program in which students come from many different disciplines. Therefore, students are expected to attend all symposia. Students who anticipate missing more than one symposium event per year must contact the Director of the Program and meet with the Graduate Program
      Committee to discuss the circumstances.
    • 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. The Statement of Interest should clarify what elements in the applicant’s academic background prepare them for graduate level work in feminist and gender theory).

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.