Comparative Gender Studies PhD in Central European University, Budapest

Deadline: 23 January 2014
Open to: MA degree holders in Gender Studies or related discipline
Fellowship: tuition waiver and three years of living stipend


The rationale and design of the PhD Program in Comparative Gender Studies are theoretical, methodological and practical. They are based on the department’s overarching scholarly and educational goals as elaborated in the Statement of Purpose. The program aims to combine when appropriate a theoretical and empirical inquiry into gender. Its activities and courses facilitate the examination of diversified patterns of social and cultural change and allow interested students the opportunity to focus on Central-Eastern Europe in particular. Whatever the regional or textual focus students choose, the program helps them understand gender in terms of local, national, and transnational influences and articulations. Additionally, the program’s courses and activities are structured to investigate gender as it intersects with other significant social categories such as race, nationalism, ethnicity, class and sexuality. In general, the PhD program at CEU helps students analyze gender in an historically and culturally contextualized manner with consideration of institutions, social processes, and other salient material conditions.

Understanding the way gender functions in the symbolic and social order requires new epistemologies and methodologies. The PhD Program in Comparative Gender Studies aims to empower students to combine competence in traditional disciplinary skills with the formulation of new questions arising from hitherto marginalized perspectives and areas of study. Students receive methodological and epistemological training that encourages them to broaden the range of materials and information they consider and the scope of questions they ask, while maintaining the highest standard of scholarly quality. Students may and do choose a variety of epistemological and methodological approaches for their research. However, the department introduces them to comparative and integrative research strategies in the required course, “Uses of Comparative and Integrative Perspectives for Women’s and Gender Studies” in the first year of coursework. Students may also choose from a variety of elective courses that provide models for and training in interdisciplinary research approaches.


Eligible applicants must have a Masters degree in Gender Studies or related discipline (completed before enrollment into the program) and a strong background in gender scholarship as well as knowledge in the area(s) of the proposed topic. Applicants who lack sufficient background in Gender Studies may be encouraged to first enroll in one of the department’s MA programs (one or two years).


Successful applicants receive a tuition waiver and three years of living stipend. The program entails one year of coursework and proposal writing, after which students must pass the comprehensive exam before continuing on to research and thesis writing. Serving as a teaching assistant is also a requirement. Additional funding, exchange opportunities, and resources and training in teaching in higher education are also available from CEU.


Below is the list of the documents you need to prepare or arrange for submission. All application materials must be submitted with the online application form.

1. Completed online CEU Application Form (2014/2015).

2. Letters of Recommendation. You must have two or, for certain doctoral programs, three.

3. Academic Records. Your online application must include a scanned image of an official English version/translation of your full Bachelor’s (and, for doctoral programs, Master’s) transcript (transcript = an official report supplied by a school on the record of an individual student, listing subjects studied and grades received), including an explanation of the grading system, and an official English version/translation of your Bachelor’s (and, for doctoral programs, Master’s) diploma.

4. A full curriculum vitae or resume, including a list of publications, if any.

5. Department- and program-specific requirements. These may include a statement of purpose, a research proposal, writing samples, additional test scores, etc. Each department has different requirements, which are listed in the relevant section on the departmental websites. (Read some useful tips about writing the Statement of Purpose here).

6. Proof of English proficiency. This is defined as an official score report from one of the English-language examinations listed under Language Requirements. You must submit a copy of your score report with the application (or by February 15, 2014 at the latest), or request exemption from the English testing requirement if applicable. Candidates applying by January 23, 2014 are eligible to take the CEU-administered institutional TOEFL. Admitted students must provide documentary evidence of their scores prior to enrollment.

7. Application Fee. Please note that CEU charges an application fee of 40 USD for each applicant, which allows them to be considered for up to 2 departments and for any number of programs within each department in one admission cycle. The application fee is non-refundable and will not be waived: all applicants are subject to submit this fee regardless of nationality or financial circumstances. The fee must be paid when the first application is submitted in an admission cycle.

For further information please visit the official website.

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