The secondary field in Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality (WGS) is open to all students enrolled in doctoral programs at Harvard. WGS encourages interested students to declare their interest in the secondary field early in their doctoral program to ensure that they can fulfill all requirements in a timely manner.


The secondary field requires completion of four graduate-level courses in the studies of WGS with a grade of B+ or above:

  • The graduate proseminar (WGS 2000, offered in the spring).
  • The WGS theory foundation course (WGS 1210).
  • Two others selected from among graduate courses (or upper-level seminars) taught by members of the Committee on Degrees in the Studies of WGS, or other graduate courses in the field, as deemed appropriate by the WGS director of graduate studies in consultation with the student.

These courses may be used to satisfy departmental requirements. For courses numbered below 2000 (primarily for undergraduates), graduate students must complete the designated graduate-level requirements.

Please consult the WGS website for a list of faculty who teach WGS courses and a list of pre-approved courses , which will be updated each year.

WGS also strongly encourages graduate students to enroll in courses offered by the interdisciplinary and inter-institutional Graduate Consortium in Women’s Studies (GCWS); courses are listed on the GCWS website .

Demonstrating Mastery in the Secondary Field
The secondary field also requires students to compose an article-length paper suitable for publication -- this can be a chapter of the dissertation -- and to serve one term as a salaried teaching fellow in a course offered by WGS faculty.

Students with specific questions about the secondary field should contact Robin Bernstein, director of graduate studies, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..