Gender studies is a field of social sciences that studies gender identity, whether it be male, female, or LGBT. It is an interdisciplinary field that tackles gender and sex concerning other societal factors like ethnicity, class, age, and more. It is a very qualitative discipline that requires a lot of research—the discipline not only examines the historical aspects of gender identity but also its role in contemporary society and the ways it continues to change.

Gender studies are very important as people in minority groups continue to be discriminated against based on their sex, gender, and sexual preferences. One of the goals of gender studies is to eliminate this said discrimination, and more and more universities have started offering gender studies in their curriculums.

Below is a list of the top schools in the world for gender studies!

Top Gender Studies Schools in the World

1. University of Michigan

The University of Michigan (UMich) is a top school for gender studies across the globe that is located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States. It has the distinction of being Michigan’s oldest university, one of the top universities nationwide, and one of the largest universities in terms of research output.

The College of Literature, Science, and the Arts at UMich is home to the Women’s and Gender Studies program. It is an intersectional discipline that takes ideas from humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences to understand how sex and gender affect our worldviews, mass media, and cultural environment.

UMich offers three joint Ph.D. gender studies degrees: English, History, and Psychology. However, students can start on their gender studies path as early as their undergraduate years. They have the option of majoring or minoring in gender studies for their bachelor’s and master’s degrees before enrolling in any of the Ph.D. programs.

2. University of Toronto

The University of Toronto is the top university in Canada and one of the top gender studies universities in the world. It offers over 700 undergraduate programs and 200 postgraduate programs in a wide range of fields. The university, in particular, has achieved much academic excellence in the sciences and social sciences.

The Women & Gender Studies Institute of the University of Toronto offers partially- or fully-funded master’s and Ph.D.’s in gender studies. They are known for their focus on transnational feminist studies—they examine how issues of sex and gender are affected by other factors like race, citizenship, colonialism, and more. Students will see intersectionality at play and learn how different narratives and histories shape and reshape ideas on sex and gender.

In addition to its postgraduate programs, the institute also offers major and minor programs for undergraduate students. There is no admission process for this program—any student enrolled at the University of Toronto can specialize in gender studies as long as they take all prerequisite courses.

3. University of California – Los Angeles

The University of California – Los Angeles (UCLA) is a public research university  and a leading school for gender studies in the world that is located in Los Angeles, California, United States. With its world-class reputation and quality of education, as well as its wide range of available courses and degrees, UCLA is the country’s most applied-to university.

UCLA offers a gender studies Ph.D. degree. According to the school’s website, the department only accepts three to five students per year, so admission to this program is incredibly competitive. This is because the curriculum was designed to be highly rigorous—it trains its students to be good at gender studies research work and teaching.

Additionally, like the previous schools, UCLA also offers a gender studies concentration for all levels of study. Any student enrolled in the College of Letters and Science can choose to major or minor in gender studies as long as they take up the relevant coursework beforehand.

4. University of Oxford

The University of Oxford is located in Oxford, United Kingdom. It is one of the oldest universities and a recognized institution for gender studies in the world. According to the Complete University Guide which ranks all universities in the UK, Oxford (and Cambridge) were the only schools to have achieved top 10 rankings in all available courses.

The University of Oxford offers a Master of Studies (MSt) in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. This is a nine-month course that studies feminist theory, women’s identities, and the role of women in the everyday life. It is interdisciplinary and assigns professors from different faculties (i.e., English Language and Literature, History, Classics, Philosophy, and Medieval and Modern languages) to teach its core courses, seminars, and additional classes.

5. Columbia University

Columbia University is a private research university located in New York City, United States. It is a member of the prestigious Ivy League and ranks among the top universities for gender studies in the world. Founded in 1754, Columbia has since produced multiple notable alumni including former US president Barack Obama, former Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and investor Warren Buffett.

Columbia’s undergraduate degree in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies is taught in collaboration with Barnard College. Together, they provide students with a holistic view of feminist and queer discourse that is culturally, historically, and theoretically diverse. Students will also develop critical research skills that are needed to analyze gender studies at personal, national, and/or international levels.

6. Ohio State University

Ohio State University is the flagship university of the state of Ohio in the United States. It is considered a Public Ivy, or a public school that is just as good as Ivy League schools. It is one of the best schools in the country and ranks highly on worldwide rankings, particularly in the fields of political science, sociology, public affairs, and plenty others.

Ohio State University is an excellent school for gender studies in the world that offers a major and minor in gender studies for undergraduate students and masters and Ph.D. degrees for graduate students. Here, students can analyze how gender and sexual inequality are created and maintained by different aspects of society such as race, class, institutions, and more. They also seek ways to bring about societal change. Majors and minors can be taken with just about any offered course, and anyone can apply to the school’s masters and Ph.D. program as long as they have a passion for gender studies.

7. University of British Columbia

The University of British Columbia (UBC) is one of the top three universities in Canada. Established in 1908, UBC is the oldest university in the province and has two campuses in Vancouver and Okanagan. The UBC is well-known for being a top institution for gender studies across the globe and for its student-centered programs and research-oriented courses.

The Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice at UBC is a very flexible masters and Ph.D. program. Because the program is taught by faculty members from many different departments and programs, students have a wide selection of courses to choose from. They may choose to specialize in gender in literature, transgender studies, gender issues in health, gender and cultural studies, and many more.


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