Feminist Studies Graduate Education

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Feminist Studies is an interdisciplinary area of inquiry that has been producing cutting-edge research and fostering innovative teaching for over thirty years.  It is interdisciplinary because it draws from and contributes to theories and methodologies central to disciplines throughout the social sciences and humanities.  At the same time, like other disciplines that emerged from existing areas of study, it has developed a research tradition, an approach to methodology, a body of theory, journals, a professional association, conferences, curricula, graduate programs, and the other institutional accoutrements of an autonomous discipline.

The roots of Feminist Studies lie in the study of women’s experiences and a critique of their neglect in knowledge production.  But the name “Feminist Studies” reflects the fact that the subject matter includes more than women: research and teaching focus on the ways that relations of gender, intersecting with race, class, ethnicity, sexuality, nationality, age, religion, ability, and other categories of difference, are embedded in social, political, and cultural formations.  Feminist Studies encompasses teaching and research interests in men and masculinities and sexualities, as well as women.

Read more about what students graduating with a Ph.D. in Feminist Studies will learn by downloading the Program Learning Outcomes sheet.


Current and prospective graduate students can contact the Graduate Director for advising and with general inquiries about the program.

Dr. Matt Richardson, Graduate Advisor: mattrichardson@ucsb.edu

Dr. Mireille Miller-Young, Feminist Studies Graduate Diversity Advocate: milleryoung@femst.ucsb.edu




The Department of Feminist Studies offers a doctoral emphasis (designed for students pursuing doctoral degrees in other disciplines at UCSB) and a dual M.A./Ph.D. Please note: the independent M.A. program is on temporary hold for the Fall 2021 cycle.

The Ph.D. degree offers rigorous interdisciplinary training to potential scholars and professors of feminist, women’s, and gender studies. Increasingly universities and colleges seeking to fill positions in women’s and gender studies expect an interdisciplinary degree, not just a concentration on women and gender within another discipline.

In addition, Feminist Studies Ph.D. students can pursue an optional emphasis, including Global and International StudiesWriting Studies, Environment and Society, and Black Studies.  For more information, please visit the websites of these doctoral emphasis programs.

The Feminist Studies Doctoral Emphasis is designed for students who are pursuing doctoral studies in one of the UCSB departments participating in the emphasis. Students in the doctoral emphasis are expected to complete a pattern of four required courses and include an affiliated faculty member on their dissertation committees. For more information on the Feminist Studies Doctoral Emphasis Program click here.