best gender studies phd programs in the world

Last Updated on July 31, 2023 by Oluwajuwon Alvina

The rationale and design of the Ph.D. Program in Comparative Gender Studies are theoretical, methodological and practical. They are based on the overarching scholarly and educational goals of the Department of Gender Studies at CEU, which are elaborated in the Statement of Purpose located on the department’s website

The program aims to combine theoretical and empirical inquiry into a wide range of gender issues. Its activities and courses facilitate the examination of diversified patterns of gendered social and cultural change. While the program offers students the possibility of a specific focus on Central and Eastern Europe, research projects may address any geographical area. Whatever regional or topical focus students choose, the program helps them understand gender in terms of local and global, national and transnational, influences and articulations, and both material and symbolic relations. In general, the program trains students analyze gender in an historically and culturally contextualized manner, with thorough consideration of salient institutions and social, cultural, political, and economic processes. The program also strives constantly to foreground the investigation of gender in intersection with other significant social categories such as race, nationalism, ethnicity, class, and sexuality.

Understanding the way gender works in symbolic and social orders requires new epistemologies and methodologies. The Ph.D. Program in Comparative Gender Studies aims to empower students to combine competence in traditional disciplinary skills in the social sciences and humanities (e.g. archival research, textual analysis, statistical analysis, participant observation, theoretical inquiry, discourse analysis etc.) with the formulation of new questions and techniques arising from emerging or marginalized perspectives and areas of study. Students receive methodological training that encourages them to broaden the range of material and information they consider and the scope of questions they ask in their research, while maintaining the highest standards of scholarly quality.

Students may and do choose a variety of epistemological and methodological approaches for their research. However, the department provides a strong foundation in potential research strategies and design through its required first-year course, “Methodological Practice in Gender Studies” while also giving students intensive and focused guidance in formulating their projects through a mandatory year-long “Ph.D. Preparation Seminar.” Students may also choose from a variety of elective courses that offer different possible theoretical and methodological directions for their scholarship.

PhD Course Overview–Coursework Requirements for the Ph.D. Program

In their first year, doctoral students must take the year-long “Ph.D. Preparation Seminar,” the course “Methodological Practice in Gender Studies,” the “Qualitative Research Methods in Gender Studies” course (or an alternative Methods course approved by the department), and a number of elective and tutorial credits. Please consult the Ph.D. Handbook for more details about credit requirements. Doctoral students may enroll in MA courses with the approval of their Ph.D. supervisor and the Director of Doctoral Studies. Students are expected to take the bulk of their elective courses from the elective offerings in the department. Please consult the Ph.D. Handbook for the specific regulations for taking elective Ph.D. course from another department. After their first year, doctoral students may audit or enroll in additional courses whenever they are in residence in Budapest.

For inquiries about the content of the Ph.D. programs, please contact the Director of the Doctoral Program: Elissa Helms – Director of Doctoral Studies

Questions concerning applying to the program can be answered by visiting the Admissions page on this website or by contacting the staff person who oversees the Ph.D. program: Natalia Versegi, External Programs and Ph.D. Coordinator.


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