Department of Gender Studies

Department of Gender Studies
Department of Gender Studies

PhD Program of Study

Coursework and Evaluations

Full-time students in the PhD program complete required coursework by taking five courses:

  • three required core courses, GNDS 801/3.0 “Theories in Gender Studies,” GNDS 802/3.0 “Methodologies in Gender Studies,” and GNDS 903/3.0 “Applications in Gender Studies”
  • one (3.0) elective course, selected from graduate courses in Gender Studies or other departments
  • GNDS 950/3.0 “PhD Practicum”

Students advance to candidacy for the PhD after passing two evaluations: a Syllabus and a Research Proposal.

  • The Syllabus must demonstrate comprehensive understanding of scholarly literature in a specific research area, and the capacity to communicate that knowledge to appropriate audiences.
  • The Research Proposal must demonstrate comprehensive understanding of scholarly literature in all areas of the proposed research, as well as a defensible rationale and plan for dissertation research and for the dissertation format. The Research Proposal also must demonstrate the students’ professional capacity and autonomy to propose and pursue a unique area of knowledge production.

Students receive the PhD for completing the Dissertation, which may be written in one of three formats: Monograph; Manuscript; or Portfolio. (See below, “Dissertation”)

Supervision

Students are assigned a Supervisor at the time of admission. Prior to submitting an application, PhD applicants should consult with department faculty to seek out and identify a potential Supervisor.

Core faculty in Gender Studies are eligible to serve as sole supervisors. Students may request, or may be assigned two Co-Supervisors. Co-Supervisors must be either core or cross-appointed faculty in Gender Studies, and at least one Co-Supervisor must be a core faculty member.

The Supervisory Committee forms in winter of the first year of study. Students should consult with their Supervisor/s to identify two additional faculty members who would be appropriate for the supervisory committee. Faculty members normally will be core or cross-appointed faculty in the Department of Gender Studies. With permission of the Supervisor and Graduate Chair, one supervisory committee member may be from outside of the department. The committee should be confirmed no later than the end of winter term.

Graduate student working in her office

Syllabus

Students create a syllabus that is relevant to the student’s course of study and research programme. The syllabus must demonstrate command of an area of study within the field of gender studies and the capacity to communicate and apply this knowledge in an instructional setting. The syllabus may be designed as an undergraduate academic course or as an equivalent teaching activity in a nonacademic instructional setting.

Skills in syllabus preparation and pedagogy will be delivered within the course GNDS 815 Proseminar: Professional Development Seminar. The Supervisor may require the student to access additional resources during Syllabus preparation (for instance, Center for Teaching and Learning or School of Graduate Studies courses or workshops).

During spring / summer term of the first year, the student consults the supervisory committee to set the topic, contents, and instructional setting of the Syllabus.

The Syllabus is evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • the relevance of its topic to the student’s course of study and research programme
  • the level of topical knowledge demonstrated by the course design
  • the appropriateness of the course content, pedagogy, and learning outcomes for the target audience and level of instruction.

The syllabus must include a narrative rationale addressing each of these factors to the examining committee.

The student must submit a draft to the supervisor for initial review during spring / summer term, and then submit the final syllabus for committee review no later than August 1. The committee may pass the syllabus, or if revisions are requested, the syllabus must be revised and resubmitted within two weeks of its first evaluation. The syllabus should be approved before the end of the first year of study.

If a committee evaluates a syllabus as fail, the student must consult with the Supervisor and Graduate Chair to decide whether to write and submit a new syllabus or to withdraw from the program. If a student proceeds to write a second syllabus and it also fails, then the student must withdraw.

Research Proposal

During fall term of the second year, the student begins preparing the proposal process by deciding, with the committee’s input, the area/s of knowledge over which the student must demonstrate mastery, and the topic and method of the proposed research.

The proposal will consist of two parts: demonstrating knowledge of scholarship in the proposed research area; and presenting an appropriate focus, method, and plan for implementation of the proposed research. Both the knowledge demonstration and the research plan will highlight relevant scholarship on the applications of gender studies research within work for social change.

By January of the second year, a research proposal draft should be delivered to the supervisor for review and revision. Also by this time, the student must have completed all coursework for the PhD.

Once the supervisor decides that the proposal is ready for review, and provided that all coursework is complete, the proposal may be sent to the supervisory committee and a defence scheduled. The proposal defence should be scheduled before the end of winter term of the second year.

Proposals are evaluated on a scale of pass, referred or fail. Students who pass the Proposal Defence immediately advance to candidacy for the PhD. Referred proposals must be revised for re-evaluation by the committee, but they do not require a second oral defence. All Research Proposals should receive final approval by the start of spring / summer term, or no later than May 15.

A student who fails at the defence must meet with the Supervisor and Graduate Chair, who will decide whether the student will be allowed to write and defend a new proposal or be withdrawn from the program. If a student is allowed to write and defend a second proposal and it also fails, then the student will be withdrawn from the program.

Dissertation Formats

The dissertation may be designed in one of three formats: Monograph, Manuscript, or Portfolio.

•  A Monograph dissertation is a singular text modeled on the traditional book-length dissertation.

•  A Manuscript dissertation consists of a minimum of three independent essays (published, or determined by the dissertation committee to be publishable) which are set within a larger document that includes introductory and concluding chapters.

- A literature review spanning the range of literature cited in the independent essays must appear either in the introductory chapter or as a separate chapter.

•  A Portfolio dissertation consists of multiple components of scholarship based in analytical writing, applied writing, and/or research creation (to be determined by the student and dissertation committee) and presented alongside introductory and concluding writing.

- A literature review spanning the range of literature cited in the Portfolio components must appear either in the introductory writing or as a separate document.

Dissertations in the Department of Gender Studies adhere to Queen’s School of Graduate Studies guidelines for each dissertation format. Students should refer to SGS guidelines for more detailed information.

PhD Candidacy and Doctoral Research

After successfully completing all coursework and the Syllabus, Research Proposal and Proposal Defence, students are advanced to candidacy for the PhD and begin doctoral research.

During years three and four, students conduct original research and prepare written components of the dissertation under the guidance of the supervisor.

After the student advances to candidacy and before a completed dissertation is submitted, the student in consultation with the Supervisor may begin to plan the composition of the Dissertation Examining Committee. Normally the Supervisory Committee members continue onto this committee, although they may withdraw or the student and Supervisor may choose to ask additional faculty members to serve.

In final form, the Dissertation Examining Committee consists of the Supervisor, two Gender Studies faculty members, an Internal/External Examiner (from Queen’s University but outside of Gender Studies) and an External Examiner (from outside of Queen’s University). 

Dissertation Completion and Defence

Students creating the Manuscript or Portfolio dissertation complete and submit distinct components for supervisory review in stages: in Winter and Spring / Summer terms of the third year and in Fall term of the fourth year.

Students creating the Monograph dissertation submit a full rough draft for supervisory review in Fall term of the fourth year.

All dissertation students must submit a complete dissertation for Supervisory Committee review during winter term of the fourth year.

The dissertation moves to defence in spring / summer term of the fourth year. The PhD examination follows the regulations of the School of Graduate Studies.

PhD Progress Checklist

1. Courses 

  • FALL Year 1
    1. GNDS 801 (3.0)
    2. GNDS 802 (3.0)
  • WINTER Year 1
    1. GNDS 903 (3.0)
    2. Elective Course (3.0)
  • FALL Year 2
    1. GNDS 950 (3.0)
  1. Supervision and Committee
    • AT ADMISSION
      1. Supervisor assigned
    • WINTER Year 1
      1. With the Supervisor, discuss, contact, and confirm members of the Supervisory Committee
  2. Syllabus
    • SPRING / SUMMER Year 1
      1. Consult the Supervisory Committee to determine the contents of the Syllabus
      2. Prepare the Syllabus
      3. Submit the Syllabus to the Supervisory Committee for review by August 1
  3. Practicum Research, Research Proposal, and Proposal Defence
    • FALL Year 1 
      1. With the Supervisor, investigate and plan the research topic and the site/s of research application 
    • WINTER Year 1 
      1. With the Supervisor and instructor of GNDS 903, draft a plan for implementing PhD Practicum and doctoral research
    • by APRIL Year 1
      1. Formally notify the Graduate Chair of the planned site of the PhD Practicum research
    • SPRING / SUMMER Year 1
      1. Obtain all permissions to begin practicum research. These may include:
        1. Permissions from Queen’s GREB (General Research Ethics Board)
        2. Permissions from Queen’s OCASP (Off-Campus Activity Safety Policy)  
        3. Permissions from the site of research
      2. Present permissions to the Graduate Chair by August 1
      3. Consult Supervisory Committee to determine contents of the Research Proposal (may occur in early Fall)
    • FALL Year 2
      1. Consult Supervisory Committee to determine contents of the Research Proposal (may occur in Summer)
      2. Conduct PhD Practicum
      3. Write Research Proposal
    • WINTER Year 2
      1. Submit Research Proposal Draft to Supervisor in January
      2. Revise Research Proposal and resubmit to Supervisory Committee
      3. Schedule and Hold Proposal Defence
    • SPRING / SUMMER Year 2
      1. After successfully defending the Research Proposal, begin research

 

  1. Post-Candidacy 
    • FALL Year 3
      1. Conduct Research
      2. Present doctoral research project at the Gender Studies Graduate Symposium
    • WINTER Year 3
      1. Conduct Research
      2. Students completing Manuscript / Portfolio Dissertations submit first chapter / component for supervisory review
    • SPRING / SUMMER Year 3
      1. Conduct Research
      2. Students completing Manuscript / Portfolio Dissertations submit second chapter / component for supervisory review
    • FALL Year 4
      1. Conduct Research
      2. Students completing Manuscript / Portfolio Dissertations submit third chapter / component for supervisory review
      3. Students completing Monograph Dissertation submit rough draft for supervisory review
    • WINTER Year 4
      1. Submit complete draft of dissertation for Supervisory Committee review
      2. Revise dissertation
    • SPRING / SUMMER Year 4
      1. Submit revised dissertation for examination
      2. Hold Dissertation Defence