Program FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

about the Ph.D. Minor in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

 General Questions

What is the value of a PhD Minor?

A Ph.D. minor serves as a form of certification in the field. The minor in FGSS will provide graduate students with broad interdisciplinary knowledge and will prepare students to teach courses in fields related to feminist, gender, and sexuality studies. It will also bring together graduate students and faculty from different departments, programs, and schools.

Why was the name of the program changed?

The new name better communicates the range of approaches to sexuality and gender that our program actually and potentially contains and is anticipated to attract greater numbers of faculty and students to the Program.

How do I sign up for your mailing list?

Any student who wishes to be a member of the “fs-­‐students” list may notify the staff and ask to be included (feminist-­‐

Do you engage in other forms of social networking?

We encourage interested students and other members of the community to “friend” our Facebook page (Stanford Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies), where many articles and events of interest are posted.

Why does my degree show up as MTLit-PMN?

The Ph.D. minor in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies is sponsored by the Program in Modern Thought and Literature. The minor is administered by the Program in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.

Questions about the Application Process

How do I declare?

An “Application for the Ph.D. Minor” outlining a program of study must be approved by the major department as well as Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, normally by the end of the second year of graduate study at Stanford (exceptions will be made for students already beyond that point during 2013-­‐14, the initial year for the minor). The form must be approved by the student’s primary departmental adviser, as well as by the FGSS Program and then submitted to the Student Services Center.  For application and study plan forms to download, please see the forms page.

[See Graduate Student Forms on the Registrar’s website: ]

What if I have already declared my intent for another PhD Minor – Is it possible to get a second one?

The University does allow students to complete two minors, but they must be unduplicated units. This may well delay time to TGR and therefore may not be approved by a student’s home department.

Is it possible to earn both a master’s and a PhD minor as a doctoral student?

Yes, but units applied to the minor may not also be applied to a master’s degree. Therefore, students earning a minor and a master’s degree must map out their courses carefully to determine whether all the requirements for both can be met without delaying time to TGR and incurring additional tuition charges.

Is it possible to double­‐count units for the doctoral degree and PhD minor?

Yes, units taken for the minor may count toward the degree requirements for the Ph.D. with the department’s approval. As noted above, they may not be counted toward a master’s degree.

Is it possible to transfer prior graduate credit from another institution toward the PhD minor?

No, all units for the minor must be taken at Stanford University.

Questions about Requirements for the Minor

Do I need a faculty adviser?

Prior to receiving FGSS approval, each student selects a suitable Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies adviser, identified in consultation with the Director or Associate Director of FGSS. The FGSS adviser may be a member of the student’s home department. Students will be expected to meet regularly with their FGSS advisers and to submit yearly progress reports.

What restrictions are there regarding courses taken for the minor?

Courses taken for the Ph.D. minor must be considered graduate-­‐level courses, numbered 200 or above. Courses must be taken for at least 3 units and for a letter grade, unless special permission has been granted by the Director.

What if I have taken a course related to feminist, gender, and/or sexuality studies but the course doesn’t appear on your list of courses? How may I get it to count toward the PhD minor?

A proposed list of courses (study plan) is required at the time of application to the minor. Students may include alternate courses on the proposed list and submit syllabi and brief rationale statements for those courses. If the application to the minor is approved, those courses are thereby approved as well. If a students wishes to propose an alternate course after having been admitted to the minor, a petition, supported by the student’s FGSS and department advisers, should be submitted to the Program Office.

What if I opted to take a course Pass/Fail but now need the letter grade to get the course to count toward the PhD Minor? Could I get the instructor to verify the letter grade that I would have received?

Students may petition to count a “pass” graded course at the time they apply to the minor, along with a letter from the instructor evaluating the student’s work and assigning an unofficial grade.

Is there a minimum GPA for the 20 units that count toward the PhD Minor?

There is no specific GPA minimum, but students must be in good standing with their home departments and may be asked to withdraw from the minor if a low GPA or an accumulation of incompletes indicates lack of satisfactory progress to degree.

Does FemGen 299 count towards my minor units?


Can I take more than 4 courses in addition to 299 to add up to 20 units?

YES.  Although our form only has 4 spaces to list your classes, you MAY take more than 4 classes.  If you need to list more than 4, feel free to add on to the form or just list the relevant details in an MS Word doc, and send that as an addendum.  For example, you might take FemGen 203 for 5 units, Anthro 201 for 3 units, Educ 273 for 4 units, Law 307 for 4 units, and FemGen 360 for 4 units (adding up to a total of 20 units).  Please note: those numbers are just an example! :)

Can I take 1 unit lecture series courses?

YES, if you also take at least 4 other courses for a minimum of 3 units each.  For example, you might take 4 of the courses listed above for 4 units each, plus 2 lecture series for 1 unit each.

Do I need to list how many units I am taking each course for?  There’s no space on the form!

YES.  As I mentioned, we are a work-in-progress, and while future drafts of the form will most definitely include a space to list # of units, for now you can add them in parenthesis after the course name, or email me with how many units you will take each course for, or list them separately in an MS word doc.

What will it say on my transcript?

The notation on the transcript will read “Ph.D. Minor in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.”

Will I get a diploma?

Your doctoral diploma will indicate that you completed the “Ph.D. Minor in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.”