Gender, Sexuality & Women's Studies

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Meet Mehnaz Tabassum, PhD candidate, Women’s Studies and Feminist Research

“I am surrounded by brilliant researchers, academicians, and community leaders as peers and colleagues. I truly admire the collegiality I have experienced so far, and I look forward to my upcoming years.”

Why did you come to Western for your graduate degree?
I found my program at Western to be one of the best in Canada, and I wanted to be a part of this community. The research and fieldwork that the professors, current students, and alumni have done are tremendous, and highly motivating. I truly admire the range of research interests and expertise the professors have.

Describe your research.
My current research focuses on the trailing spouses of international graduate students, and their experiences as caregivers, homemakers, and financial contributors while also being in the process of resettlement trials and trauma in a new culture and climate.

Have you worked as a teaching assistant?
I have been working as a TA, and I think it is a great way to prepare for a future career as a university professor, since I get to work with them directly.

What is it about your grad program that enables you to thrive?
I find the environment to be professional yet compassionate and accommodating. All the professors, staff members, peers, and colleagues that I have met so far have been knowledgeable, kind, and willing to help with any queries I have had. I think my training here will enable me to adopt and develop professional skills to succeed in my future career.

Program Websites

Program Contact

Junyu Ke (
Administrative and Graduate Coordinator

Gender, Sexuality & Women's Studies

Western University
Lawson Hall Rm 3260A
London, Ontario N6A 5B8

t. 519-661-2111 ext. 84529
f. 519-661-3491

Explore the dynamics that shape your everyday experiences as a gendered person in contemporary culture. In our courses you will learn how to develop a critical perspective that takes factors such as sex, gender, sexuality, race, class and disability into account. You might find your worldview transformed as you apply these perspectives to your study in other classes and to all aspects of your life. Our courses reflect an expanding field of feminist research including feminist theory, health issues, philosophy, queer issues and sexuality studies, legal issues, violence against women, women and equity in the workplace, and women and the creative arts.

The Own Your Future doctoral professional development program will help you become a career-ready graduate with the skills necessary to excel in your studies and achieve your future goals. By participating in the program, you will assess your own strengths and opportunities for growth, choose what skills you want to enhance during your time at Western, and learn how to articulate the skills you gained in your degree to optimize your future career opportunities. To learn more, visit

Program Length

  • 12 Terms

Program Design

  • Full-time study
  • Thesis-based

Funding Information

Applicants are encouraged to apply for the following scholarships (if eligible):

Tuition and Fees

Tuition and fee schedules (per term) are posted on the Office of the Registrar's website at

Graduate Student Affordability Calculator

Use this helpful tool to estimate how much money you will need to pay for your tuition, fees, housing, food, and other necessities for a 12-month (three term) academic year.

Admission Requirements

  • Master's degree in Women's, Gender or Feminist Studies with a strong feminist theory component.
  • A minimum average of A- (80%) or higher.
  • Students may be admitted with a Master's degree from another field provided that they have an undergraduate Honours degree in Women's Studies and have a background in feminist theory.

English Language Proficiency

Applicants whose first language is not English must furnish evidence of their proficiency in the use of the English language:

Application Deadline

  • January 15 - Late applications will be considered if spaces remain
Acceptance notifications are processed on a rolling basis beginning in March.

Fields of Research

  • Feminist Theory
  • Globalization, Equity and Social Structures
  • Health and Embodiment
  • Representation and Cultural Production
  • Sexuality