Admission FAQ's

NOTICE: Admissions to the Feminist Studies PhD program is suspended for the 2021-2022 year.

When is your application deadline?
The Feminist Studies Department’s application deadline is always the first Monday of December. As admissions is suspended for the 2021-2022 year, the next admissions deadline will be December 5, 2022.

I am currently an undergraduate student. Can I apply to the Feminist Studies Graduate Program with only a bachelor's degree?
Yes.

Does the Feminist Studies Department offer a Master's degree?
No, is it a Ph.D. program only.

How do I apply to your program?
All applications to graduate programs are submitted online. For instructions on how to apply, visit the Division of Graduate Studies Application Website. This website is also a valuable source of general information about graduate studies at UC Santa Cruz.
A complete application consists of:

  • submitted online application
  • statement of purpose
  • personal statement
  • writing sample (10-20 pages)
  • unofficial transcripts from each college-level institution attended
  • required test scores (TOEFL for international students)
  • three letters of recommendation
  • application fee (pay through the online application)

What are the key admissions criteria?
In evaluating an application, our primary concerns are:

  • Does the applicant have a well-articulated, focused project and a clear idea of how to go about the initial investigation?
  • Is there a match between the applicant's proposed area of research and the expertise of the faculty? The Statement of Purpose needs to detail an intellectual project or domain of study in sufficient depth to allow our admissions committee to determine whether we have the faculty resources to support and guide your work.
  • Can the student write with vision and analytical strength, clarity and conviction?

Students are admitted on the basis of their ability to do sustained, independent, doctoral-quality, interdisciplinary work. Prior achievement, such as previous graduate work, work experience, political and/or community activism, is always a plus. 

What is the minimum GPA requirement?
You must have at least a 3.0 grade point average in undergraduate work—both in the major, and overall—for admission to graduate standing.

Do you require the GRE?
No, the GRE is not required for the purposes of admission.  

May I send my GRE scores?
Yes, if you would like to include them in your admissions file.  Our admissions committee looks at the entire application, the GRE scores being only one component when included. The most important parts of the application are the Statement of Purpose and the letters of recommendation. We also consider carefully past academic record and the writing sample.

What code should I use to report the GRE scores?
Since the GRE scores go directly to Graduate Admissions, a department code is not needed. Use the following code only: 4860.

Do you accept applications for winter or spring quarters?
No, admission is for fall quarter only.

What kind of financial support is available for graduate students in your program?
The Feminist Studies Department provides 5-years of guaranteed funding through employment and fellowships. Students who are advanced to candidacy are eligible to teach summer session courses and/or a one-quarter teaching fellowship. Some fellowships are available to first-year and advanced students through campus wide competition. Additionally, the Feminist Studies department offers small fellowships for research and travel.

To read more about graduate student financial aid, please visit the Financial Aid Office website link for Graduate Student Financial Aid Office.

Are fee waivers for application fees available?
In cases of hardship, fee waivers are available to U.S. citizens and permanent residents only; international students are not eligible. If you feel you qualify for a waiver, you must apply to the graduate division at UCSC at least 10 days before the Department Deadline of December 15.  Complete the “Request for Graduate Application Fee Waiver” form and return it to the Graduate Admissions office for approval. Funds for waivers are limited.

Are there scholarships available for graduate students?
Most scholarships are obtained from outside the university system. We encourage you to do a web search for outside funding at the same time as you are applying for Ph.D. programs. Some fellowships can only be used in the first year of graduate study, e.g. the Mellon; you would apply for these in the fall before you enter graduate school so that, if successful, you will have funding for your first year. Some of our students have obtained Ford, Mellon, Javits, or National Science Foundation scholarships. Our Division of Graduate Studies also awards a small number of one- or two-year fellowships to entering students.  

Will I be a teaching assistant for the Feminist Studies Department?
Yes, the Feminist Studies Department will offer Teaching Assistantship positions to Feminist Studies graduate students. Students will apply every year for TA openings for the following year. TAships are assigned on a quarterly basis.

What is your policy on deferral?
We cannot defer admission. An applicant who is unable to accept admission for the year in question can reactivate the application for the following fall term. However, while the applicant has a very good chance of again being offered admission, there is no guarantee this will happen.

Is there a site where foreign applicants/students can find answers specific to them?
Yes. The Office of International Education is a source of information for international students and for current students wishing to go abroad to study.

Can you tell me, on average, how long the program will take?
Normative time to degree for the Feminist Studies program is six years. The national average for Humanities is six years, so this is a typical time period. Remember, though, that it is not just the courses taken that make up a career in Feminist Studies, but primarily the process of designing, writing, and producing an acceptable dissertation which usually takes more time than one has anticipated.

See Also