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Director of Graduate Studies:

Amy Marshall

For information on
The Graduate Program
please contact Sherri Gilliland
(814) 863-1721

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Department of Psychology 
125 Moore Building 
The Pennsylvania State University 
University Park, PA 16802-3106

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You are here: Home / Graduate / Program Areas / Cross-Cutting Program Initiatives / Dual-degree Programs / Psychology and Women's Studies

Psychology and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Penn State Psychology is one of only two graduate programs in the U.S. to offer a dual-title Ph.D. in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS) and Psychology. Graduate students in Psychology also have the option to pursue a graduate minor in WGSS.

Students in the dual-title Ph.D. program learn to synthesize feminist and psychological theories and methods in their research. Our faculty advise students to work from intersectional, critical, queer, and/or feminist approaches to diversify the perspectives historically omitted or overlooked in psychological science. Students also gain experience with a variety of methodological tools such as experimental paradigms, qualitative inquiries, survey design, physiological measures, and longitudinal and field-based studies that can be used to inform positive social change. Our faculty are experts in addressing a number of timely social issues, such as intersectionality in psychology, power, masculinity, sex and sexuality, LGBTQ+ issues, prejudice, allyship and activism, human emotion, workplace outcomes, and health disparities. Graduates are well positioned to pursue both academic and non-academic career tracks. Some graduates are tenure-line faculty at various institutions (e.g., Ramapo College; University of Nebraska; University of California, Merced), while others are researchers in industry (e.g., FactWorks; Geico Insurance).

Students interested in WGSS may receive the M.S. and/or Ph.D. in “Psychology and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.” The Psychology requirements are no different than those for students seeking the Psychology degree alone, except that students also take 3 required courses in WGSS and 3 electives hosted within WGSS or cross-listed between Psychology and WGSS. There are also requirements for the thesis or dissertation and the composition of the candidate’s committee. To learn more about the dual-title Ph.D. and minor requirements, please see: https://psych.la.psu.edu/graduate/program-areas/cross-cutting-program-initiatives/dual-degree-programs/psychology-and-womens-studies-1/requirements-for-the-dual-degree

How to apply: Students interested in the dual-title Ph.D. program may choose to express their interest in their online application to Psychology during the initial admission process. After a student is admitted to Psychology at Penn State, they may apply to WGSS for admission to the dual-degree program within the first two years or prior to defending their master’s project. WGSS determines whether to admit the student into the dual-title program. Students should take at least one required WGSS seminar and complete at least one semester in the Psychology graduate program before applying for admission into the dual-title Ph.D. program. Students interested in a WGSS minor do not need to formally apply into WGSS, but they must complete an online form after completing the required coursework.

Psychology Faculty Affiliated with WGSS

  • Mary Gergen, Professor Emerita of Psychology and WGSS, Penn State, Brandywine
  • Jes Matsick, Assistant Professor of Psychology and WGSS, Penn State, University Park
  • Stephanie Shields, Professor of Psychology and WGSS, Penn State, University Park
  • Margaret Signorella, Distinguished Professor of Psychology and WGSS, Penn State, Brandywine
  • Terri Vescio, Professor of Psychology and WGSS, Penn State, University Park

 

Current or Prospective Students of Psychology and WGSS

  • Terri Frasca
  • Mary Kruk
  • Katie Lewis
  • Flora Oswald
  • Lindsay Palmer
  • Nathaniel Schermerhorn

 

Graduates of Psychology and WGSS

  • Brittany Bloodhart, Dual Ph.D. in Psychology (social) and WGSS; California State University, San Bernardino
  • Jessica Cundiff, Dual Ph.D. in Psychology (social) and WGSS; University of Missouri, Rolla
  • Elaine Dicicco, Dual Ph.D. in Psychology (social) and WGSS; Geico Insurance
  • Sarah Gervais, Dual Ph.D. in Psychology (social) and WGSS; University of Nebraska, Lincoln
  • Johanna Johnson, Ph.D. in Psychology (I/O) with WGSS minor; Infor
  • Lizbeth Kim, Dual Ph.D. in Psychology (social) and WGSS; FactWorks
  • Heather MacArthur, Dual Ph.D. in Psychology (social) and WGSS; Hamilton College
  • Kaitlin McCormick-Huhn, Dual Ph.D. in Psychology (social) and WGSS; University of Nevada, Las Vegas
  • Katina Sawyer, Dual Ph.D. in Psychology (I/O) and WGSS; George Washington University
  • Kristy Schlenker, Master’s Degree in Psychology (social) and WGSS; City and County of Denver
  • Srijana Shrestha, Dual Ph.D. in Psychology (adult clinical) and WGSS; Wheaton College
  • Maggie Thomas, Ph.D. in Psychology (social) with WGSS minor; Earlham College
  • Leah Warner, Dual Ph.D. in Psychology (social) and WGSS; Ramapo College of New Jersey
  • Kevin Weaver, Dual Ph.D. in Psychology (social) and WGSS; FactWorks
  • Matthew Zawadzki, Dual Ph.D. in Psychology (social) and WGSS; University of California, Merced

 

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