PhD Program Application

Application Deadline 

For September 2022 admission, the deadline is January 15th, 2022 for early acceptance. Applications submitted later will be considered if spaces remain.

International Applicants

The Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies welcomes international applicants. In 2022-2023, applicants admitted to our graduate program will receive a funding package.

Program Regulations

Intake into the program will be once per annum, in September. Admissions will be recommended by the Committee on Graduate Studies. Students must have completed a Master's degree in Women's, Gender, Sexuality, and/or Feminist Studies with a strong feminist theory component, and an average grade of A- (80%) or higher. Students may be admitted with a Master's degree from another field provided that they have an undergraduate Honors degree with related experience in the discipline and have a background in feminist theory.

To Apply:

Link to GSWS Graduate Program Application

1. Applications are to be submitted electronically to the School of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies at Western (SGPS).

Applicants can contact SGPS for assistance with their application at (519) 850-2341 or e-mail

2. Please ensure that your university transcripts are uploaded and included with your on-line application. Transcripts issued in a language other than English must be accompanied by certified English translations. 

3. Applicants must provide names and contact information for two academic referees. SGPS will contact the referees directly with forms and directions for submitting references electronically.

4. If English is not the applicant's first language, official TOEFL, IELTS or MELAB scores taken within the past two years are required.

  1. TOEFL minimum: 630 (paper), 267 (electronic) or 109 (internet)
  2. IELTS minimum: 8.0
  3. MELAB minimum: 91 overall, with a minimum of 85 on each of the 3 parts, plus the oral/speaking component

5. All PhD applicants are required to submit a research statement of 500-750 words (2-3 pages) detailing their area for a potential dissertation topic. This is a critical document that will facilitate finding a match with a faculty mentor. Acceptance into the program is based on the department's capacity to supervise a student's topic. Applicants are strongly encouraged to identify a potential supervisor in their research statement. Please consult our list of full-time faculty members. A complete list of graduate supervisors, including affiliate members of GSWS, can be found here. In their research statement, applicants must indicate one or more areas of specialization in which their interests lie:

  1. Feminist Theory
  2. Health and Embodiment
  3. Representation and Cultural Production
  4. Globalization, Equity and Social Structures
  5. Sexuality

6. In addition to the research statement, Ph.D applicants must provide a sample of their scholarly writing.

7. Applications are not forwarded to the department until the form is completed and submitted by the applicant and the application fee of CAN $125.00 has been paid.

8. All files will be considered by the Graduate Committee and early offers will be made starting in February 2021. If you do not hear from us, it means your file is still under consideration. Please contact us if you have any questions about the application process.

School of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies
Tel: 519-850-2341

Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies
Office: Lawson Hall 3260A
Phone: 519.661.2111 x84529