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Frequently Asked Questions about the PhD Minor

General Questions

What is the value of a PhD Minor?

A PhD minor serves as a credential in the field. The minor in FGSS provides 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.

How do I sign up for your mailing list?

To become a member of fs-students and/or fs-announcements, email antnguyn [at] (antnguyn[at]stanford[dot]edu)

Do you engage in other forms of social networking?

Stay tuned for a new Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Instagram account.  The program also maintains a 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 PhD 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.

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.”

Requirements for the PhD Minor

Do I need a faculty adviser?

Prior to being approved as a minor, each student selects a suitable Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies adviser. We recommend that you locate this adviser 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.

Are there restrictions on what courses I can take for the minor?

Courses taken for the PhD minor must be graduate‐level courses numbered 200 or above. Courses must be taken for a letter grade and must be outside of the student's home department unless special permission has been granted by the Program Director.

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

A study plan is required of all students at the time of application to the minor. Students may include alternate courses on their proposed list and submit syllabi and a brief justification 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.

I opted to take a course Pass/Fail but now need the letter grade in order to count the course toward the PhD Minor. Could I get the instructor to submit the letter grade that I would have received?

Students may petition to count a course they took pass/fail before applying to the minor towards their minor requirements. Students must submit a letter from the instructor that evaluates the student’s work and assigns an unofficial grade.

Does FemGen 299 count towards my minor units?


May I fulfill my 20-unit requirement with more than 4 courses?

Yes.  Although our form only has 4 spaces in which to list the classes that will count toward your minor, you MAY take more than 4 classes to reach 20 units.  If you need to list more than 4, feel free to add on to the form or to include an addendum listing relevant class details.

Can I take 1-unit lecture series courses?

YES, as long as the total number of units towards the minor adds up to at least 20.

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 PhD with the home department’s approval. As noted above, FGSS minor units may not be counted toward a Master’s degree.

Is it possible to transfer graduate credits from another institution to count toward the PhD minor?

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

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 they can meet both sets of requirements without delaying time to TGR and incurring additional tuition charges.

The Application Process

How do I declare?


Typically, this application is completed by the end of the second year.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. 

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

What if I have already declared my intent to earn another PhD Minor - is it possible to get a second one?

The University does allow students to complete two minors, but the pertinent units must not overlap. This increase in course load may well delay time to TGR and therefore may not be approved by a student’s home department.