Doctoral Program Frequently Asked Questions

Application-Related Questions

Q. What’s needed to apply, and where do I send my application materials?

A. Prospective students who want to pursue a PhD in Multicultural Women's and Gender Studies must fulfill requirements for both the TWU Graduate School and the MWGS PhD Program, which means that you send some materials to the Graduate School and some to us. For information on what the Graduate School requires and where to send it, see the catalog.

Here’s what the MWGS Program requires:

  1. Two letters of recommendation from individuals who can address the applicant's past academic performance and future academic potential in the field of WGS.
  2. A statement of purpose: a short essay (approximately 1,000 words) discussing the applicant's personal and professional goals and how TWU's PhD program in Multicultural Women's and Gender Studies can assist the applicant in meeting these goals.
  3. A writing sample: an academic paper not to exceed twenty-five pages, including notes and references.
  4. A current curriculum vitae or resumé.

These documents must be sent directly to the department via our email address or mailed to the MWGS Department's physical address.

Q. As part of the admissions process, should I contact the TWU faculty to locate someone who can supervise my research?

A. No! Arranging a research advisor is not part of our application process; the MWGS faculty do not have research teams, and you should not contact faculty about this. Before applying, you should do your own research to ensure that the MWGS program faculty have expertise in your areas of interest.

Q. What is "priority review" of applications?

A. We have a limited amount of spots and a limited number of assistantships and scholarships. The applications we receive by our January 15 ("priority review") deadline receive priority because they are reviewed first. These applicants will have a better opportunity to be accepted into the program and a better opportunity to receive an assistantship and/or scholarship.

Q. I don't have a master’s degree, but I do have a bachelor’s degree. May I apply to the doctoral program without a master’s degree?

A. Yes! You are welcome to apply.

Q. I have not completed my master’s degree, but it will be completed before the admitting semester. May I apply to the doctoral program before I complete my master’s degree?

A. Yes! We encourage you to apply. In your application materials, be sure to let us know when you anticipate receiving your degree

Q. I have a master’s degree; however, it is not in women’s or gender studies. Am I still eligible to apply to your doctoral program?

A. Yes! We welcome applicants with master’s degrees in other areas of study. We do, however, expect that applicants will have an understanding of the field as well as some familiarity with feminist and/or womanist theories. (Be sure to clearly indicate your familiarity in your application materials – especially in your personal statement and your writing sample.)

Q. I did not complete a thesis as part of my master’s degree. Am I still eligible to apply to your doctoral program?

A. Yes. We welcome your application!

Q. I have never taken a women’s studies course; however, I am well-versed in feminist/womanist theories, and I have a solid understanding of women’s and gender studies. Am I still eligible to apply to your doctoral program?

A. Yes! You are very welcome to apply to our doctoral program. Be sure to indicate your knowledge about the field in your personal essay and writing sample.

Q. Can people with no background in women’s or gender studies apply?

A. Yes. However, the strongest applications indicate familiarity with feminist and/or womanist theories and with multicultural theory. If you have no course work in these areas, you should be sure that your writing sample and your personal essay demonstrate your familiarity with these areas. If you are unfamiliar with these fields, you should consider taking some graduate work in the field before applying.

Q. What are you looking for in prospective students?

A. We’re interested in accepting into our program students with the following characteristics and experiences:

  • A clear understanding of the field of women's and gender studies, including, whenever possible, previous coursework in feminist and/or womanist theories and other related fields.
  • Solid knowledge of multicultural issues (defined broadly) and feminist/womanist theories.
  • Strong writing and research skills.
  • A statement of purpose that discusses specific intellectual questions that the prospective student would like to pursue in the context of our doctoral program. It is especially important for the statement of purpose to indicate specifically why the student would like to study at TWU, including which specific courses sound appealing and which professors the student would like to study with.
  • Strong letters of recommendation addressing the students’ potential for success in a doctoral program in women's studies. (Letters should be from professors who have taught the applicant and can speak to the applicant’s abilities to perform well academically.)
  • A GPA of a minimum of 3.5 for previous coursework.

Program-Related Questions

Q. Can this program be completed online?

A. No. The Doctoral Program in Multicultural Women's and Gender Studies is not a distance-education program, and we are not authorized to offer it as such. Most of the core required courses and many of the electives are taught in a face-to-face format. Typically, courses meet once a week on the Denton campus in the afternoon or evening. We strongly encourage students to live in the local area, so that they can develop working relationships with their peers and participate in University life.

Q. I work full-time. Could I attend part-time?

A. Yes. However, please keep in mind that the Graduate School only allows eight years, maximum, to complete the degree. If you work full-time, you will need to work carefully with your advisor to ensure that you complete the degree in a timely fashion.

Q. How long will the program take to complete?

A. Our degree is highly individualized, which means that time to completion will vary, depending on many things (including whether you enter directly from the bachelor's degree or with a master’s degree). The program requires a minimum of 72 semester credit hours beyond the baccalaureate degree. Up to 30 semester credit hours from a previous master's degree may count toward the degree plan if approved by the student's advisory committee.

Q. What kinds of teaching opportunities will doctoral students receive?

A. Teaching is not guaranteed, but some full-time doctoral students receive opportunities to teach undergraduate courses in Multicultural Women’s and Gender Studies that are offered for the University's Multicultural-Women's Studies core curriculum requirement. These courses include "Gender and Social Change," "U.S. Women of Colors," and "Feminist Theories.”

Page last updated 2:28 PM, October 2, 2023