Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

August 31, 2020 - August 31, 2024
Birks Building
3520 University Street
MontrealQCH3A 2A7

Program information

The purpose of the Ph.D. program is to engage students in advanced academic studies, normally in preparation for an academic career. The community of graduate scholars in this program is engaged in a broad spectrum of critical research involving any number of interdisciplinary approaches conducted on a number of different religious traditions. The faculty members are committed to the training of teaching scholars, making the School of Religious Studies one of few schools that prioritizes offering graduate students opportunities under faculty supervision to teach/lecture during their time in the program.

Women and Gender Studies

The Graduate Option in Gender and Women’s Studies (GWS) provides graduate students with a cross-disciplinary specialization in feminist, women’s, and gender studies. This Option is open to graduate students at McGill University enrolled in the School of Religious Studies. During the application process, prospective students can specify their interest in the Graduate Option through uApply. There are no prerequisites to enter into the Option. However, previous coursework in gender and women’s studies provides an ideal foundation for more in-depth study of and research in feminist scholarship.

Student supervision in the Option is undertaken by one’s departmental supervisor who oversees student work, including choice of thesis, dissertation, or project topic. A student’s Ph.D. dissertation must be on a topic that significantly engages with issues of gender and/or women and/or feminism. For more information about Gender and Women Studies, visit the IGSF website.


Upon admission, students are assigned a Graduate Advisor. This is someone the School believes the student would be interested in working with. This is not their Graduate Supervisor, who will provide thesis supervision, develop a Thesis Proposal and plan a schedule for the Comprehensive Examinations. Students must advise the Student Affairs Coordinator of their supervisor(s) and supervisory committee by October of their first year. Additionally, each year by October 1, students must complete a research tracking progress report to assess degree progress.

Please note that a student who has not completed Comprehensive Examinations by the end of Ph.D. 3 may not qualify for T.A. employment, may not teach as a sessional lecturer and may not commence formal dissertation research and writing. Additionally, students who do not follow the timeline outlined below will not be considered for in-course funding.

Milestones and requirements will be closely followed on MyProgress. The timeline students can expect is as follows:

Ph.D. 1: Course work (by August 31 Year 1) (6 seminars)
Ph.D. 2: Course work (by August 31 Year 2) (4 seminars)
Ph.D. 3: Comprehensives (by August 31 Year 3)
Ph.D. 4: 2 Required Languages (by August 31 Year 4)
Ph.D. 5: Thesis Proposal (by April 30 Year 5)
Ph.D. 6: Doktorklub (by April 30 Year 6)

Ph.D. students must complete all program requirements by the end of Ph.D. 7. Please see the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies office website for more on Program Progression and Time Limitation.

Residency requirements

Refers to the number of terms (or years) students must be registered on a full-time basis to complete their program. Students are not permitted to graduate until they have fulfilled the residence requirement (or paid the corresponding fees) in their program.

Candidates admitted to Ph.D. 1 must be registered on a full-time basis for four consecutive years (8 terms) and candidates admitted to Ph.D. 2 must be registered on a full-time basis for three consecutive years (6 terms), after which they will continue as additional session students until completion of the program. Half-time study may be permitted upon request.

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