PhD Minor in Gender & Women’s Studies

Any student enrolled in a UW-Madison PhD program can pursue a PhD minor in Gender and Women’s Studies. The PhD Minor offers substantial and systematic training in the field of gender and women’s studies and can be tailored to a student’s specific interests in one of two ways – Option A or Option B. A PhD minor on Gender and Women’s Studies is an excellent way to gain training in feminist analysis and research methods as well as in substantive topical areas related to women and gender that can be applied to one’s research field and to one’s teaching. The training is greatly aided by the presence of excellent library holdings and the Office of the Gender & Women’s Studies Librarian.

The advisors for the PhD Minor in Gender and Women’s Studies are the graduate program coordinator and the Director of Graduate Studies.

GWS PhD Minor Declaration

PhD Minor Options:

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Option A Minor

Graduate students who wish to pursue an Option A minor in gender and women’s studies should consult the associate chair of the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies. A student may earn a PhD minor in Gender and Women’s Studies with 9 credits if all 9 credits are in exclusively graduate-level Gender & Women’s Studies courses.  Alternatively, a student many earn the minor with 12 credits if these are graduate/undergraduate Gender & Women’s Studies courses numbered 300 and above. One of the courses must be GWS 900: Research in Gender and Women’s Studies. Students are expected to earn a B or better in all courses. Courses are chosen in conjunction with the associate chair, who serves as the minor advisor, and the student’s departmental advisor.  Directed Study courses do not count toward the minor. Students may not use colloquia or “brown bag” format courses toward requirements of the PhD minor. Transferred credits are discouraged, but may be allowed with approval of the associate chair. Any transferred credits must have been taken as a graduate student.  In addition, the student is responsible for assuring completion of the graduate school’s minimum requirements for courses taken in residency at UW. This requirement varies dependent on degree program. If a student is pursuing two PhD minors, there shall be no more than one course overlap between the Gender and Women’s Studies minor and the other minor.

Option B Minor

Graduate students who wish to pursue an Option B minor combine course work with a gender component from two or more departments outside the student’s major department. The student’s home department is responsible for approving an Option B minor.

Graduate students can also pursue their interests in gender and women’s studies analysis within their home discipline by taking courses involving gender, as well as doing research in gender and women’s studies as it relates to their discipline (in papers, theses, dissertations, and preliminary examinations).


Many faculty members in the department have joint appointments in other departments as well as in Gender and Women’s Studies and serve as advisors on course work, committees, examinations, and research. Other faculty members who are affiliated with the program support research and teaching in Gender and Women’s Studies.