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NWSA Journal 18.1 (2006) 190-206

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The Women's Studies Ph.D. in North America:

Archive II

O'Barr and Shields (2003) reported on women's studies Ph.D. programs in the United States and Canada in this journal. In this paper, we update the information and briefly report on new resources available for tracking the development of doctoral training in Women's Studies and gender studies. We also list titles of dissertations completed since the 2003 publication.

As of summer 2005, there are sixteen graduate programs in the United States and Canada that grant Ph.D.s in Women's Studies. Programs at the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, and Indiana University (pending final university approval) are new since O'Barr and Shields (2003) identified twelve programs (ten free-standing Ph.D. programs; two joint-degree programs) plus the Union Institute, which has offered the interdisciplinary option for Ph.D.s in Women's Studies since 1964 (NWSA Journal 2003).

A listserv for discussion of doctoral study in Women's Studies was established in late 2001 and, until fall 2005, was moderated by Cari Carpenter who received her Ph.D. in Women's Studies and English from the University of Michigan. Jillian Duquaine-Watson (, who received her Ph.D. in Women's Studies from the University of Iowa, has taken over as listserv moderator. Jillian is assistant professor in the Department for the Study of Culture and Society at Drake University. WSPhD-L is specifically aimed to address the needs of current women's studies Ph.D. students and recent recipients of the degree.

Rosi Braidotti and Martine De Vos (2005) prepared a summary of the current state of women's studies Ph.D. programs in Europe for NWSA Journal. Their summary includes twelve graduate programs that responded to their invitation to contribute, but it is not an exhaustive list of European doctoral programs that offer advanced degrees in Women's Studies.

Women's Studies Ph.D. Programs in the United States

Claremont University

Department/Program Name: Women's Studies in Religion
Degree Offered: Ph.D. in Women's Studies in Religion
Year Ph.D. Program Approved: 1995
Ph.D. Students in Residence: 15 Average Admitted: 4 per year
Mission Statement/Themes and Tracks: The program is designed to prepare students for positions in women's studies programs and in schools of [End Page 190] religion. Coursework is divided between Women's Studies and religion, as are the qualifying exams.
Qualifications for Admission: Not provided
Program of Study/Required Courses: For students applying for women's studies positions, their concentration is religion. However, students applying for religion positions will need to demonstrate a specialization within the field of religion, a concentration. Courses dealing specifically with religion must be concentrated in any of the areas offered within the Department of Religion, such as Hebrew Bible; Biblical Studies; New Testament; Philosophy of Religion and Theology; Theology, Ethics and Culture; and History of Christianity. The coursework within the field of religion must be focused in the area of concentration. The School of Religion offers a range of doctoral degrees in religion, all of which may be used to build a concentration. Possible areas for a concentration might be Hebrew Bible; Biblical Studies; New Testament; Christian Origins; History of Christianity; History of Christian Thought; Theology; Philosophy of Religion and Theology; Theology, Ethics, and Culture; and Comparative Religion, Religion in the United States. Students may be admitted into the 48-unit Ph.D. program with either 24 units of religion courses or 24 units of women's studies courses taken at the master's level, or some combination of the two equaling 24 units. Students entering with 24 units in Women's Studies will need to take a greater proportion of religion courses in their 48 units. Conversely, students entering with 24 units of religion will need to take a greater proportion of women's studies courses.


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