PhD in Global Gender Studies

GGSs students touring the Albright Knox art gallery.

GGSs students touring the Albright Knox Art Gallery

UB's Department of Global Gender and Sexuality Studies is one of only 12 doctoral degree-granting Women/Gender Studies departments in the U.S., and offered the first doctoral program in women's studies in the SUNY system. We build collaborations among faculty and students by exploring the intersections of gender, race, class, and disability to produce innovative scholarship.

About the PhD Program

Global Gender and Sexuality Studies attracts a wide range of PhD students into a welcoming and diverse community. Students work on their dissertations in close collaboration with hands-on faculty mentors who represent a diverse array of disciplines, and take advantage of opportunities outside the classroom such as conferences, community activism, and writing workshops.

PhD students experience a competitive doctoral program with particular strengths in the areas of literary analysis, gender and global citizenship, gender and public policy, art and cultural production, sexuality studies, and feminist and queer theories. Our department has successfully placed PhDs in Global Gender Studies in academic careers as well as jobs in public policy, the non-profit sector, government, and more.

Student Voices

The faculty at GGS took incredible time to mentor me. I took classes in research methods and ultimately conducted my own study that was later published.

About Applying

All of our graduate programs' applications require a personal statement, which is both a life narrative and a statement of research interests.  On our application, you will be asked to respond to this essay prompt:

Please tell us about yourself, your history, and your academic interests. Describe your motivations and preparation for pursuing this graduate degree. Outline the questions, areas of specialization, and/or methodologies that you intend to pursue. How would our department help you to achieve your goals?

Your statement should describe how your education (both inside and outside of the classroom) has prepared you to undertake this graduate degree, and the kinds of questions, subjects, and angles of approach you would like to focus on in your graduate studies.  You should also give your reasons for applying to UB and to this department; what resources are here that would support your scholarly and professional goals?

This statement of your academic interests does not commit you to this specific project or specialization in any way; rather, it should give a sense of your intellectual trajectory--where you're coming from, and where you intend to go next.  We want to see that you can articulate a field (or fields) of academic inquiry, and how you situate yourself within and among the different disciplinary methdologies that make up the diverse inter-discpline of feminist, gender, and sexuality studies.

Degree Requirements

A total of 72 credits are required for the PhD degree in Global Gender Studies, out of which at least 36 credits must be taken in the Department of Global Gender and Sexuality Studies. Students usually take between five and seven years to complete the doctoral program.

Core Requirements
All doctoral students are required to complete the following:

  • One 3-credit theory course such as GGS 518 – Readings in Feminist Theory
  • One 3-credit quantitative methods (Quantitative Research Methods) or one 3-credit qualitative methods (Ethnographic Methods)
  • An additional six seminars in Global Gender Studies
  • Comprehensive exams, a dissertation prospectus, and an oral defense of the written dissertation

Major Concentration
The PhD program requires a student to design, in consultation with their academic advisor(s), a coherent interdisciplinary program. Students can take courses from a wide range of other UB departments and schools.

For additional guidelines and specific information regarding academic planning, doctoral students should consult the GGSs Graduate Student Handbook and their academic advisors.

Meet Our Students

  • Jenna Woodcock
    Jenna Woodcock is pursuing her Master of Arts in Global Gender and Sexuality Studies at the University at Buffalo. Her research interests include: Memoir as a therapeutic and social justice praxis, Disability studies, Food writing, Memory studies, Queering the archive.
  • Senay Imre
    Senay's research focuses on a comparative study of the social and political aspects of the "gender equality" versus the "gender justice" movements in her native Turkey.
  • Xingyu Chen
    Xingu Chen joined the Global Gender and Sexuality Studies department as an MA student, then decided to stay for her PhD, focusing on war and fertility patterns, conflict-induced exposomes and women’s reproductive health in Asian countries after WWII.
  • Gabriella Nassif
    Gabriella Nassif focuses on issues of labor, gender and development in the Arab region with a specific focus on Lebanon. She has spent the last few years living between Buffalo, N.Y. and Beirut, Lebanon.
  • Kaylee Kagiavas
    "Kaylee’s (she/they) work focuses on reproductive politics and social movement work located in the context of American Rust Belt cities."
  • Deanna Buley
    Deanna Buley's research focuses on abortion access and support systems in highly restrictive locations such as Northern Ireland and parts of the U.S.
  • Elizabeth DiPaola
    Elizabeth DiPaola is an MA student with an interest in the relationships between gender, sexuality, power, race, and class.
  • Maria Amir
    Maria Amir’s work focuses on South Asian queer Sufi practices and postcolonial feminist identities, specifically with regards to contemporary Human Rights and Nationalism discourse in South Asia.
  • Kailey McDonald
    Kailey is a PhD student interested in the interplay between the political imaginary and the transformative power of language. Her research focuses on imagining political alternatives to neoliberal, neocolonial capitalism.
  • Lisa Martin
    Lisa Marie Martin is currently an MA student at the University at Buffalo in Global Gender Studies.
  • Soe Win
    Soe is currently a PhD candidate. Her research interest includes gender-based violence, violence against minorities, and the women's movement in Burma (Myanmar).
  • Jessica Lowell Mason
    Situated in disABILITY theory, feminist theory, and queer theory, Jessica strives to use the written contributions of maligned, misunderstood, and heretical women (those dubbed 'madwomen' and 'witches') on the subject of consciousness to "talk back" to norm-enforcing modern-day sanist institutional and social practices.
  • Kit Lam
    Kit is a PhD student, and their research interests surround issues of interracial solidarity in social movements, with a particular interest in Asian-Black solidarity in the COVID era and its aftermath.
  • Sam King-Shaw
    Sam King-Shaw is a PhD student and Schomburg Fellow at UB. Sam’s research explores questions of relationality, desire, (freedom) dreams, and genealogy in twentieth-century Black queer cultural production.

Contact Us

With questions about the PhD program, please contact:

Gwynn Thomas with student at 2017 commencement.