PhD in Global Gender Studies

GGSs students touring the Albright Knox art gallery.

GGSs students touring the Albright Knox Art Gallery

The UB 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.

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 seven 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 his/her 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

  • 9/18/18
    Jessica Lowell Mason is currently a PhD student in Global Gender Studies. Situated in disABILITY theory, feminist theory, and queer theory, she 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.
  • 9/25/18
    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.
  • 6/11/18
    Hilary is a PhD candidate and her research examines how the judicial system discursively excludes particular people from justice through the management of victimhood narratives.
  • 6/11/18
    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 two years living between Buffalo, N.Y. and Beirut, Lebanon.
  • 9/16/18
    Carolyn's research interests focus on UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security and its integration within NATO militaries, to include military strategies for the prevention of sexual violence during conflict.
  • 6/11/18
    A former civil servant and representative of Poland to the European Union and the United Nations, Karolina researches gendered organizations, institutional mechanisms of sustaining inequality and public service institutions.
  • 4/18/19
    Anne Marie Butler's dissertation, "Unintelligible Bodies: Surrealism and Queerness in Contemporary Tunisian Women's Art," analyzes how art by Tunisian women uses subversive content to critique social norms and the Tunisian state.
  • 6/12/18
    Elif Ege is currently writing her dissertation on the Kurdish and Turkish women’s movements in Turkey and their multi-tiered collaborations and negotiations around the international norms and standards of women's rights.
  • 6/12/18
    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.
  • 10/7/18
    Deanna Buley's research focuses on abortion access and abortion support systems in highly restrictive locations such as Northern Ireland and parts of the United States. She is particularly interested in how coalitions, notions of sisterhood, and networks of solidarity are built through grassroots organizing for reproductive rights.

Contact Us

With questions about the PhD program, please contact:

1027 Clemens Hall

Phone: (716) 645-0677

Director of Graduate Studies
Department of Global Gender and Sexuality Studies
College of Arts and Sciences
Gwynn Thomas with student at 2017 commencement.

Comprehensive Examinations

The goal of this exam is that the student demonstrates a comprehensive, broad knowledge of the field(s) on which his/her dissertation will focus. As this degree program is interdisciplinary in nature, the student should also demonstrate the ability to make interconnections with other fields of study. All doctoral students must successfully complete a comprehensive examination involving both written and oral components.

For more information regarding comprehensive examinations, doctoral students should consult the Graduate Handbook and their academic advisors.

The following forms are required:

Dissertation Committees

The Dissertation Committee is composed of at minimum three members of the UB graduate faculty. Students may add additional non-UB faculty members. Students work closely with their Dissertation Committee in the fulfillment of all major degree requirements. 

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

The following forms are required: