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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.); Islamic Studies — Gender and Women's Studies

Offered by: Islamic Studies     Degree: Doctor of Philosophy

Program Requirements

The graduate option in Gender and Women's Studies is an interdisciplinary program for students who meet the degree requirements in Islamic Studies who wish to earn 9 credits of approved coursework focusing on gender and women's studies, and issues in feminist research and methods. The student's Ph.D. thesis must be on a topic centrally relating to issues of gender and/or women's studies.


A thesis for the doctoral degree must constitute original scholarship and must be a distinct contribution to knowledge. It must show familiarity with previous work in the field and must demonstrate ability to plan and carry out research, organize results, and defend the approach and conclusions in a scholarly manner. The research presented must meet current standards of the discipline; as well, the thesis must clearly demonstrate how the research advances knowledge in the field. Finally, the thesis must be written in compliance with norms for academic and scholarly expression and for publication in the public domain.

Required Courses (6 credits)

  • ISLA 701 Comprehensive Examination

    Offered by: Islamic Studies (Faculty of Arts)

    Administered by: Graduate Studies


    Islamic Studies : An examination that must be passed by all doctoral candidates in order to continue in the doctoral program.

    Terms: Fall 2013, Winter 2014

    Instructors: There are no professors associated with this course for the 2013-2014 academic year.

    • Fall and/or Winter
  • WMST 601 Feminist Theories and Methods (3 credits)

    Offered by: Inst for Gender, Sex & Fem St (Faculty of Arts)

    Administered by: Graduate Studies


    Women's Studies : Examination of feminist theories and research methods from a variety of disciplinary perspectives.

    Terms: Fall 2013

    Instructors: Ada L Sinacore (Fall)

  • WMST 602 Feminist Research Symposium (3 credits)

    Offered by: Inst for Gender, Sex & Fem St (Faculty of Arts)

    Administered by: Graduate Studies


    Women's Studies : Discussion and development of participants' research in gender and women's studies.

    Terms: Winter 2014

    Instructors: Elizabeth Groeneveld (Winter)

    • Prerequisite: WMST 601.
    • Restriction: Must be enrolled in the Option in Gender and Women's Studies.

Complementary Courses (24 credits)

24 credits of courses at the 500 level or higher, including 6 credits at the 600 or 700 level of seminars offered by the Institute of Islamic Studies (IIS) AND an additional 3 credits in a course with a substantive focus on women and/or gender.

ISLA 603 (3 credits): Introductory: Research Materials - Islamic Studies is highly recommended.

* Note: ISLA 521D will not count toward the 24-credit complementary course requirement.

With the permission of the Institute, up to 6 credits could be taken in other departments at McGill or other institutions.

With the approval of the student's supervisor, courses taken with an IIS faculty member in other departments (i.e., History, Anthropology, Political Science) can count toward the coursework requirements in the same way as ISLA courses.

To avoid over-specialization, a maximum of 9 credits of content courses (i.e., courses that are not primarily devoted to language instruction can be taken with a single Institute professor.

Language Requirements

All Ph.D. students are required to have completed three years of Arabic language study at the IIS. Students who do not take the third level of Arabic at the Institute may demonstrate their competence by taking a proficiency examination set by the academic staff of the IIS.
In addition to Arabic, all Ph.D. students are required to have completed the equivalent of two years of language study at the IIS of another Islamic language. They may demonstrate competence in this language by taking a proficiency examination set by the academic staff of the IIS. Students are, of course, responsible for whatever higher levels are required for their research.

In addition to English, reading knowledge of one non-Islamic research language (usually European) at a level of scholarly competence will be required for the Ph.D. Students must demonstrate their competence in the non-Islamic (usually European) research language by passing the Language Proficiency Examination administered by the Institute.

Faculty of Arts—2013-2014 (last updated Aug. 21, 2013) (disclaimer)