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  • Do you have to have a Masters degree or previous Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies coursework to apply?

    No - We admit students from a wide variety of disciplines and academic levels.

  • Can I meet with a faculty member in the department prior to applying to the Ph.D. program?

    Unfortunately, we are unable to accommodate individual meetings between faculty and prospective students. We are also unable to provide professional mentoring or advice regarding your research.

  • I'm interested in working with a particular faculty member. How do I know if they are they accepting new students for the upcoming year?

    We encourage applicants to review our faculty pages.

  • What kind of writing sample should I send?

    It is best to send a selection of your best work, no more than 20 pages. You may wish to consult with those who know your goals and intellectual work best.
  • Does the department require GRE scores?

    WGSS and Laney Graduate School no longer require GRE scores. Scores which are volunteered will be removed from the application, therefore, please do not submit official or unofficial GRE scores to Laney Graduate School.
  • Why doesn't the department consider GRE scores?

    Research on graduate admissions and testing overwhelmingly demonstrates that GRE scores do not reliably predict success in doctoral programs. There is also substantial evidence to show that GRE scores represent a barrier to diversity: they are biased against women, under-represented minorities, and international applicants. Finally, the cost of the GRE can be a disincentive to apply to graduate school. The department’s decision to ignore GRE scores in graduate admissions reflects our commitment to equal access regardless of gender, race, economic status, or national origin.  

  • Am I eligible for an application fee waiver?

    Please check the application fee waivers page to see whether you are eligible for a fee waiver.
  • What should a good Statement of Purpose contain?

    A good Statement of Purpose should give us a clear representation of your strengths as an applicant. It should tell us about your academic background, about what kinds of research plans you wish to pursue, and any other facts about yourself that are most relevant to your qualifications for admission. Specificity in the description is especially helpful, such as classes you have taken or sustained research projects you may have pursued. These kinds of details, used selectively, give us a much better picture of you as a student and applicant. A good Statement of Purpose might run about 3 pages, double-spaced. There is no strict requirement, but this is a reasonable length for most statements that do the job they need to do.

  • On average, how many applications do you receive per year? How many offers do you make?

    We typically receive 100-135 applications for admission and make an average of five offers of admission a year. Students who accept offers are awarded a basic funding package and are eligible for additional fellowships through Laney Graduate School.
  • If English Is Not Your First Language

    WGSS requires that all Ph.D. applicants who are non-native speakers of English submit TOEFLscores (Test of English as a Foreign Language) to the Laney Graduate Schoolwhen applying for admission.  In very rare circumstances, non-native English speakers who have completed a substantive part of their education in English may be considered for a waiver. Applicants who believe they might be eligible should email the WGSS Graduate Program Coordinator with PDFs of unofficial transcriptsafter submitting their application to the programA waiver is not guaranteed and will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

     However, alldegree-seekingstudents,regardless of citizenship status or educational background, whose first language is other than English, must take the Laney Graduate School English Language Proficiency Test or receive an exemptionafter being admitted to the PhD Program and before registering for classes. More information is in on our English Language Support Program Testing page.

    This assessment is not used in the admissions process, but for teaching recommendations and placement of admitted students who need English language support.

  • What is your notification schedule?

    Notification schedule is under revision; we will post more information on this soon.