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Graduate Programs

The Harriet Tubman Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS) offers a Ph.D. as well as a graduate certificate program.

UMD is one of a small number of universities in the U.S. to offer a doctoral degree in the interdisciplinary field of women, gender, and sexuality studies.

The department enjoys a global reputation for new methodologies and exciting new research. Our students and alumni are building new fields of study and reimagining the future of feminist thought across, within and beyond academia. 

Students in the doctoral program explore feminist and queer theories, methodologies and genealogies through coursework within the department and then draw upon resources across UMD and the D.C. area to build an individualized course of study as they ready themselves for dissertation research. With the guidance of faculty, students work through our series of benchmarks in order to gain a strong grounding in the field and then develop their specific trajectory, pursuing the classes, networks and training necessary for the projects they are building.

The graduate certificate is only open to students currently enrolled in other graduate programs at UMD, allowing them to combine studies in the Harriet Tubman Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies with their home program.

    Research Expertise

    Our program and campus have particular strengths in the following areas:

    • Race and racialization, ethnic and diasporic studies, Black feminist thought and intersectionality
    • Arts, technology, media, cultural studies and digital humanities
    • Sexual cultures, queer and trans studies and queer of color critique
    • Social justice and political movements
    • Transnational feminisms and global gender justice

    For information about faculty research, please read about our department faculty and explore our research page, which can be filtered by area of expertise. You can also learn about the work of our current doctoral students. For information about alumni dissertations and committee members, please look at our Ph.D. Alumni page.

    Current Ph.D. Students

    Our doctoral students are creating new knowledge at the forefront of multiple intersecting interdisciplinary fields.

    Current doctoral students

    Director of Graduate Studies

    Alexis Lothian

    Associate Professor, The Harriet Tubman Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

    2101 Woods Hall
    College Park MD, 20742