Women & Gender Studies Institute

Thesis & Proposal

Ph.D. Thesis

Each student will complete a dissertation based on original research conducted by the candidate on a topic in women and gender studies, approved by the Supervisory Committee. The dissertation must constitute a significant contribution to the knowledge of the field, and must be based on research conducted while registered for the Ph.D. Program. It will be submitted and evaluated according to the procedures specified by the School of Graduate Studies.

Ph.D. Proposal

A student’s research formally begins with the submission of a dissertation proposal to the Dissertation Committee. The Dissertation Committee consists of at least three faculty members including a supervisor from the WGSI graduate faculty. The dissertation proposal is normally about 20-30 pages (not including references); it should draw in significant part on the work done for the comprehensive exams. The proposal is expected to: state the issue that the doctoral project seeks to address; situate the research within the relevant literatures and debates; indicate the contribution that the research is anticipated to make; and describe the methods and approaches to be employed in the research.  It should include a bibliography and a tentative timeline for completion of different stages of the dissertation.

The student will submit the proposal to all Dissertation Committee Members who will review the proposal for approval after the student’s satisfactory completion of the written submission and oral exam.

The dissertation proposal will be accepted no later than JUNE 1st of the second year of Ph.D. studies for students admitted with an M.A. degree; it will be accepted no later than APRIL 1st of the third year of Ph.D. studies for direct-entry students.

Students whose projects involve the study of human subjects must submit an ethics protocol and have it approved before field work begins.  Ethics approvals should be submitted in time for review by the Research Ethics Boards and in any event no later than the deadline for the submission of the dissertation proposal.  The review process normally takes 6-8 weeks; students should review the following websites to obtain more details on this process: