WOMEN’S STUDIES PH.D. PROGRAMS ensure that a core of experts is gaining advanced knowledge not only about women’s issues but also feminist and womanist critical perspectives. Graduates will be ready to serve all societal sectors, from academic and research institutes to government, the professions, media, nonprofits, corporations and the creative arts. Furthermore, since women’s studies is interdisciplinary, people with advanced degrees will by definition be equipped to think broadly about a wide range of social problems, drawing from multiple bodies of knowledge and diverse methods of problem-solving.
The oldest and largest of the Ph.D. programs is at Emory University, which has graduated more than 40 women’s studies Ph.D.s in the past two decades, many of whom now serve on other women’s studies faculties. Emory boasts a Ph.D. in women’s studies that is linked with the Feminist and Legal Theory Project, and has made recent hirings in feminist science studies as well. Another trailblazing program is the feminist studies Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, which stands out both for calling itself feminist and for integrating women’s studies with gender and queer studies.
Since the 1980s, the number of freestanding women’s and gender studies Ph.D. programs has more than tripled. Two of the programs house important women’s studies journals—Feminist Studies at the University of Maryland and Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society at Rutgers—while Ohio State boasts a women’s studies library housing over 20,000 volumes and 100 journals. Indiana University at Bloomington maintains a connection with the famous Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction, and the University of Arizona is similarly tied in with the Southwest Institute for Research on Women.
Two programs are unique in their emphasis on women’s spirituality: The Claremont (Calif.) Graduate University offers a Ph.D. in women’s studies in religion, while the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco offers a Ph.D. in women’s spirituality, allowing academic study of the spiritual quest as well as spiritually informed womanist and feminist approaches to eco-social concerns.
For complete survey data of college women's studies programs (including community colleges), visit the National Women's Studies Association (NWSA) website www.nwsa.org/msmag.