How to Apply

Our primary goal when reviewing admission applications is to match prospective students with the faculty and resources that can best support their research interests and cultivate their academic and activist visions. Personal statements are reviewed meticulously and weigh substantially on the decision to admit. Why is our program the right one for you? How would working with our faculty better inform your future work? What contributions are you poised to make to the field? Craft a vision of yourself here and what has encouraged you to pursue graduate study in feminist studies.

Letters of reference should reflect upon your previous work and the promise of productive scholarship in feminist studies. Your writing sample (limit 20 pages) should demonstrate outstanding writing, analytical, and organizational research.

We strongly encourage scholars from Iran, Afghanistan, and Haiti, and from Dalit and Adivasi backgrounds, to apply.

We invite you to learn more about our program in this letter from our Chair, Aren Aizura.

Ready to Apply?

All applications are submitted through our online application website. Applications are due December 1st, 2023. You will be asked for the following materials:

  1. The Feminist Studies PhD application does not require GRE scores. You may include GRE scores in your application materials, but they are not a deciding factor in admissions. The Graduate School requires that international students and students whose first language is not English provide proof of English language proficiency via TOEFL, MELAB, or IELTS, regardless of US Citizenship status. For more information, please view the Graduate School’s English language requirements. However, English language test scores are not a deciding factor in admissions.
  2. Unofficial transcript(s) for each institution attended. Non-English transcripts must include an English translation.
  3. Personal Statement/Research Statement (2-3 pages). Please provide a statement outlining your immediate educational and long-range career objectives in relation to your chosen field. If there is a particular faculty member with whom you wish to study, please give that person's name and explain why you want to study with that person. You may also wish to include other information, such as any undergraduate research experience, internships, or other experience you may have had to document your preparation for advanced study in your chosen field.
  4. Diversity Statement (1 page). Enrolling and graduating a diverse student body is central to the University of Minnesota's mission. Please write a statement that identifies the distinctive qualities, characteristics, and life experiences you would contribute to your graduate program and to the education of fellow students at the University of Minnesota. You may wish to include examples that address your contribution to the diversity of the student body and illustrate your motivation to succeed by setting high standards for accomplishing intellectual and other goals, overcoming obstacles to achievement, and/or helping others to gain access to the resources necessary for success.
  5. Extenuating Circumstances Statement (1 page, optional). If you would like to provide an explanation of circumstances that contributed to your test scores or GPA, please do so.
  6. Resumé/CV. May include descriptions of research or work experience, if relevant.
  7. Writing sample (up to 20 pages). Scholarly writing on a topic related to feminist studies. The sample may be excerpted from a longer work, but may not exceed 20 pages.
  8. Graduate Program Additional Material (1 page). Statement focused on examples from your life history that demonstrate your motivation or drive to succeed at past goals you have set. 
  9. Three letters of recommendation. These are uploaded by your recommenders electronically. You will have the opportunity to enter their names and email addresses in the online application system. The department requires that you waive your right to examine the letters; check this option when prompted via the application. Do not submit paper copies of the letters to the department. Letters of recommendation should address:
    1. The applicant's working relationship with the recommender
    2. The applicant's intellectual ability, ability in research, and professional skills and creativity
    3. The quality of the applicant's previous work and promise of productive scholarship especially in the field of feminist studies 
  10. Application Fee. GWSS is unable to waive application fees for applicants due to departmental budget constraints. 

*Note: Do not submit a Description of Research. This topic is covered in your Personal Statement. 

For more details, please see our FAQs page.

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