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Frequently Asked Questions for Graduate Students

Do I have to have a Master's degree to apply?

Does your department offer a terminal Master's degree?
No. Only those students intending to pursue the Ph.D. will be admitted to the program. However, a Master's degree may be obtained upon satisfactory completion of its requirements.

Is previous women's/gender studies coursework required for a successful application?
Some background in women's/gender studies may strengthen an application, but it is not required.

What is the department's policy on transferring credits into the Ph.D. program from another institution?
Up to thirty hours of graduate credit can transfer; grades for transfer courses must be B or better.

What kind of financial aid does your department provide and how do I apply for it?
The Department of Gender Studies strives to offer assistantships to all students offered admission. Typically they are for four years of support for the Ph.D. Your graduate application serves as an application for an assistantship. For a comprehensive guide to applying for grants and scholarships visit our funding guide page.

How much weight do you give to GRE scores?
GRE scores are required, and must have been taken in the past five years. GRE scores provide only one measure of applicants' qualifications. High scores are helpful to students in the selection process, but when we consider your GRE results, we keep in mind every other part of your application as well. In general, we prefer applicants to have a score of at least 600 (old exam) or 160 (current exam) in either the Quantitative or Verbal sections of the GRE and a 5.0 on the Analytical Writing assessment. Furthermore, we expect a minimum total score (Quantitative and Verbal scores added together) of 1150 (old exam) or 308 (current exam).

What is the minimum TOEFL score required for admission?
For the TOEFL the College recommends a score of at least 550 (paper-based), 213 (computer-based), or 79 (internet-based).

What is your institution code for submitting GRE scores? Is there a specific department code as well?
Indiana University's Institution Code: 1324
TOEFL Code: 1324
We do not have a specific department code.

What do you look for in a Statement of Purpose?
A good Statement of Purpose contains a lot of information in a short document (approximately 700 words). Most importantly, it should speak to your academic preparation for inter- or transdisciplinary work in Gender Studies. It should also tell us about your research plans, and discuss any other facts that are most relevant to your qualifications for admission. Specific detail - used selectively and described succinctly - is important in our assessment of your background, of the questions or projects you would like to pursue, and of your fit for our program. Keep in mind that the way the Statement of Purpose is written gives us a sense of how you think and set up problems. While graduate students' interests often shift over time, it is important to indicate your current plans as clearly as possible.

Whom should I ask to write my letters of recommendation?
Approach people who can describe in some detail your potential for success in our Ph.D. Program. Most of your recommenders should be faculty who have worked with you.

How long does it take to complete your Ph.D. program?
Time to degree varies (particularly with the number of transfer credit hours available, if any). The structure of our program allows students who enter with a B.A. to complete the Ph.D. in five years (and possibly sooner).

What kinds of employment opportunities are available to those with a Ph.D. in Gender Studies?
In the past several years, the numbers of academic jobs in women's/gender studies has grown dramatically. Our graduates will be uniquely positioned to take up these jobs, as well as academic posts in more traditional disciplines that emphasize gender as an area of specialization. Training in gender studies also offers an advantageous background for careers in international agencies, civil service, public policy, education, publishing, mass media, human resources, marketing, and many other areas in the private sector.

Can I apply for spring or summer admission?
No, we only admit students into the program in the fall.

When is the application deadline?
All applications are due by December 1st.

When will I hear from you about my application?
The official deadline is April 15th. However, we will try to contact everyone by late March or early April.

Do you have a graduate student handbook with basic facts about graduate student life in your department?
Yes. Click here to access the handbook in .PDF format.