Women & Gender Studies Institute

Requirements

Program Requirements

Students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with the SGS regulations and program requirements as specified in the SGS calendar and WGSI handbook.

Program requirements are designed to ensure that Ph.D. students receive a shared, advanced overview of crucial questions in interdisciplinary feminist studies and develop a rigorous and in-depth background in the theories, methods and themes chosen by the individual student. The program requirements include: (1) coursework, (2) comprehensive exams, (3) a dissertation proposal, (4) a dissertation, and (5) active participation in WGS Research Seminar Series. Each student’s program of study must be approved by the graduate coordinator. The normal program length is 4 years (full-time Ph.D.) or 5 years (full-time, direct-entry Ph.D.). No more than 1.0 full course equivalent (FCE) in courses in which undergraduates are also enrolled may be applied towards graduate degree requirements.

The Ph.D. Program is only offered full-time. The program is not offered on a part-time basis.

For students admitted from a Master’s degree:

Students admitted to the program from an M.A. must complete a total of 3.0 full course equivalents (FCEs) as follows:

  • 1.0 FCEs required courses: WGS5000H (Feminist Theories, Histories, Movements I) and WGS5001H (Feminist Theories, Histories, Movements II). Students who have already taken WGS5000H will be required to enroll in alternate course selections, with WGSI approval.
  • .5 FCE elective in Women and Gender Studies.
  • 1.55 FCEs offered in Women and Gender Studies or by other departments and chosen in consultation with your faculty advisor.

Students must also complete WGS 2000H, a credit/noncredit course requiring participation in the WGS Research Seminar Series. Normally students will enroll in WGS 2000H during the first year of their Ph.D. program. The WGS Research Seminar Series is a crucial part of graduate education in the program, and attendance at 80% of the WGS Research Seminar Series is required.  In addition, students must present their dissertation research in the WGS Research Seminar Series once before graduating. The WGS Research Seminar Series schedule can be found on our website at http://www.wgsi.utoronto.ca/research/wgs-research-seminar.

All coursework should normally be completed in the first year of Ph.D. study. Students may repeat a failed course once. Failure to successfully complete the required courses on the second attempt will ordinarily result in a request for withdrawal from the program.

For students admitted from a Bachelor’s degree (“direct-entry” students):

Students admitted to the program from a Bachelor’s degree must complete a total of 5.0 full course equivalents (FCEs) as follows:

  • 1.0 FCEs required courses: WGS5000H (Feminist Theories, Histories, Movements I) and WGS5001H (Feminist Theories, Histories, Movements II).
  • 2.0 FCEs elective courses in Women and Gender Studies.
  • 2.0 FCEs elective courses offered in Women and Gender Studies or by other departments and chosen in consultation with your faculty advisor.

Students must also complete WGS 2000H, a credit/noncredit course requiring participation in the WGS Research Seminar Series. Normally students will enroll in WGS 2000H during the coursework years of their Ph.D. program. The seminar is a crucial part of graduate education in the program, and attendance at 80% of the seminar is required. In addition, students are required to present their research in the Research Seminar prior to graduation. The seminar schedule can be found on our events calendar http://www.wgsi.utoronto.ca/events.

All coursework should be completed by the end of the second year of Ph.D. study.  Students may repeat a failed course once. Failure to successfully complete the required courses on the second attempt will ordinarily result in a request for withdrawal from the program.

 

Ph.D. Advising/Supervising Process

The potential student’s initial contacts with WGSI are usually with the Graduate Coordinator and the Graduate Administrator. Opening conversations and e-mails focus on whether the student is prepared for the Ph.D. program and whether supervision can be provided for the intended area of study. During the application process the conversation may expand to include professors whose research interests are similar to those of the applicant. Incoming students will be provisionally assigned a Supervisor, or Co-Supervisors, chosen on the basis of expertise in the student’s stated area of scholarly interest. A student will normally work with the Supervisor(s) throughout the programme of study.  Either the student or the Supervisor(s) may initiate a change, if they believe that a change is in the student’s best interest. Normally, the student and Supervisor(s) would have the first conversation about a change; one or both may then approach the Graduate Coordinator for assistance in effecting any change.

In the first weeks of the first year, the student will meet with the Supervisor and the Graduate Coordinator to discuss the student’s program of study; both must sign off on the student’s proposed program of study. At the end of each year, the student will meet with the Supervisor to complete an annual progress report. By the end of the first year, the student will also constitute a Comprehensive Exam Committee consisting of the Supervisor and two other faculty members for the purpose of defining and conducting examinations in one major field and one minor field. During the second year, the student will also constitute a Dissertation Committee consisting of the Supervisor and at least two other faculty members, which may or may not be the same committee as the Comprehensive Exam Committee.  The Dissertation Committee will be responsible for approving the student’s dissertation proposal and reading and evaluating the dissertation itself. It is recommended that the student and the Supervisor begin to construct the Dissertation Committee in January of the second year; in order that the dissertation proposal may be reviewed well before the June 1st deadline. Students are required to meet with the members of their Dissertation Committee at least once a year to establish that they are making satisfactory progress in the programme.  Students should plan to submit drafts of their dissertation to their Supervisor(s), and potentially to other committee members, for comments before officially submitting the final version.

Termination Procedures:

Termination from the program is governed by the School of Graduate Studies Termination of Registration Guidelines, which may be found here: http://www.sgs.utoronto.ca/facultyandstaff/Pages/Termination-Guidelines.aspx.