UC Santa Barbara General CatalogUniversity of California, Santa Barbara

Feminist Studies

Division of Social Sciences
South Hall 4631
Telephone: (805) 893-4330
E-mail: use individual staff and faculty emails on website
Website: www.femst.ucsb.edu
Interim Department Chair: Elizabeth Marchant

Graduate Program

The M.A./Ph.D. in the Department of Feminist Studies brings together social science and humanities approaches to interrogating the ways that relations of gender, intersecting with race, class, ethnicity, sexuality, age, nationality, religion, ability, and other differences, are embedded in social, political, and cultural formations. The program’s three broad areas of concentration are race and nation; genders and sexualities; and productive and reproductive labors. The Department offers an independent M.A. for teachers and those seeking careers in the public sector or non-governmental organizations and is one of a select group of universities offering a Ph.D. in this field for those interested in research and teaching at the university level.


Students applying to the graduate program must possess a B.A. or B.S. degree from an accredited institution or equivalent, have a strong background in women's, gender, or feminist studies, and evidence of potential for excellence in research, analysis, and oral and written communication. Applicants must complete the online application, and upload a statement of purpose, an achievements/contributions essay, a CV/résumé, and a writing sample. Official transcripts from all institutions attended, three letters of recommendation, and official GRE scores (verbal, quantitative, and writing) are also required. Candidates should have at least a 3.3 grade point average. International applicants must provide evidence of sufficient English language ability as required by the Graduate Division.

MA students not admitted annually: Interested MA candidates must contact the Feminist Studies Graduate Director before applying.

Areas of Concentration

1. “Race and Nation” centers the experiences of African American, Latina, Asian American, Native American, and Arab American women—“the Third World within”—in a global context, attending to both the centrality of race and ethnicity and the inextricability of race and ethnicity (including whiteness) from all other categories of identity and difference.

2. “Genders and Sexualities” concentrates on an interdisciplinary exploration of the historical and global processes by which desires, sexual acts, relationships, gender and sexual identities, communities, and movements have been constructed, transformed, and challenged. A number of our affiliated faculty members specialize in masculinities and queer sexualities, which are part of this concentration.

3. “Productive and Reproductive Labors” focuses on the economic (both paid and unpaid) and reproductive roles and experiences of diverse groups of women globally and historically and the complex relationship between employment and child-bearing and child-rearing.

Master of Arts – Feminist Studies (Requirements - PDF)

Doctor of Philosophy – Feminist Studies (Requirements - PDF)

Doctor of Philosophy – Feminist Studies, Continuing M.A. (Requirements - PDF)

Optional Interdisciplinary Emphases

Students pursuing a doctoral degree in Feminist Studies may petition to add the following Optional Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Emphases: Black Studies, Environment and Society, Global Studies, Writing Studies. Requirement sheets for each emphasis may be found on this page.