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PhDs in LGBTI Rights, Gender and Diversity


The highest degree that people may earn at a university or college is a PhD or doctorate. This shows that they have taken the time to study a subject intensely and with great focus. It opens up many career options, but also provides the ability for the graduate to teach within a college setting, helping to shape and educate those around them. LGBTI professionals who seek to become high earing and respectable professionals within the community and their field often consider obtaining a PhD to reach their ultimate goals. Most universities and colleges offer PhDs, but not all of them perfectly prepare you for working in the LGBTI community. Below is a list of degrees that enable people to work knowledgeably and consciously aware of the people they are serving.

The University of Kentucky in Lexington, Kentucky located within the United States is a public university with many colleges and schools teaching a large variety of subjects. With a large and diver population, the school is perfect for international students. It offers undergraduate, graduate, and online degrees ranging from bachelor’s to professional certificates. Tuition at the University is one of the lowest and most affordable in the country. The University offers financial aid packages that help students pay for their education in the form of loans and scholarships.

Through the University of Kentucky’s College of the Arts and Sciences students have the opportunity to obtain a PhD in Gender and Women’s Studies. The program helps professionals understand how gender shapes the modern world and what factors play into it or how people view it. Students will explore subjects related to social justice, critical theory, and transnational perspectives concerning gender politics. Teaching, research assistantships, and fellowships that help students pay for tuition and health care are offered but are intensely competitive positions. This is a full-time on campus course without an option for distance learners. Tuition for the program is around $22,000 per year.

The University of Kentucky has an online degree program that allows students to obtain their PhD in Education Sciences with a focus on Educational Leadership. LGBTI professionals can use this advanced degree to work as school administrators or policy makers that focus on LGBTI individuals within the school system to make sure they are treated equally. This is a research-based degree that equips its students with the skills needed to perform policy analysis that rework the system to fit the current world. This is a fully online degree program that does not offer students licensure within any state. Tuition for the program is $31,000 for out of state students and more for internationals who all of the ability to apply scholarships and loans to the cost.

Emory University is an American university in Atlanta, Georgia serving undergraduate, graduate, and PhD degrees to admitted students. It has many different colleges and schools that offer different majors and minors for students to choose from. The University offers a small number of online degrees for admitted students. Tuition for the University is high, sitting at $48,000 for undergraduate students. With financial aid packages awarding more than $48,000 for students, Emory University does what it can to make sure every admitted student can afford to study at the University.

A PhD in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies is offered by Emory University to its admitted students. It is a historic degree being the first ever in the country and is still the only PhD program for people who want to study the subject. Faculty members teach this program from an interdisciplinary standpoint where they pull from a variety of topics to provide each student with a well rounded and inclusive education. This is a fully funded on-campus program which means any admitted students have their tuition paid for during the five years that it takes to receive their degree. There is no online option for this program, but flexibility is a big part of what many students love about the course.

Emory University has a PhD in Health Services and Health Policy degree that is a competitive and highly selective program for graduates and professionals who want to implement change in the health care system. The program uses interdisciplinary study to analyze health care policies and train its students to work in social science fields. A degree of this caliber is well suited for professionals who want to help LGBTI individuals in gaining better health care treatment and ensure that policies that are made consider the LGBTI community and its many complexities. For the first twenty-four months of study, all admitted students receive a stipend to assist in paying for living expenses and tuition.

A part of the Emory University’s Department of Psychology degree programs is their PhD in Clinical Psychology that prepares students to work as practicing psychologists or clinical therapists. Professionals who wish to contribute to the LGBTI community by providing mental health services can use this program to provide a researched approach to assessing mental differences in a sensitive and respectable way. There is no online portion for this fully on-campus course. Students enrolled in the program are able to apply for loans and scholarships.

Stony Brook University is ranked in the top 1%  for schools in the world located in the American town of Stony Brook, New York. The University has undergraduate, graduate, professional certificates, and PhD degrees that they offer at their campus and online through their distance learning portal. Admitted students can choose from master’s degrees in nursing, undergraduate degrees that blend art and psychology, and earn PhDs in a plethora of different science fields. It’s listed as one of the more affordable universities in the country with a tuition of $26,000. More than 50% of the students enrolled receive financial aid packages that cover the cost of their education.

At Stony Brook University there is a PhD program offered in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies that enables professionals to pursue careers in many different fields. The program examines sexuality and gender through a variety of lens to enable its students to think critically about the intersectionality of how gender and sexuality play into society. This is an on-campus program without an option for distance learning. Tuition for this degree is $25,000 per academic year, and graduate students have the ability to apply for financial aid to pay for their fees.

The University of California Los Angeles is a branch of the larger University of California higher education institution. While offering degrees for many students within the state and abroad, the University has many options for online degree and certificate programs. It is a globally top ranked University consistently ranking within the top twenty colleges and universities. Tuition to attend the University is $40,000, but UCLA offers all of its students financial aid packages and options in the form of loans, scholarships, and grants for paying the cost of attendance fees.

UCLA’s College of Social Science offers a PhD degree in Gender Studies to graduates who wish to work on an advanced degree in the field. This program is fully on-campus with no option for part-time or distance learning. There is possibility for students to obtain their master’s degree while receiving their PhD. Through interdisciplinary studies that blend race, history, and other factors, the PhD in Gender Studies allows students to view gender as more. Graduates with this degree go on to work in many different fields. Tuition for the program is $32,000, and fellowships are offered to PhD candidates that offers stipends of up to $21,000.

Arizona State University is an American university located in Arizona with campuses spread across the large city of Phoenix. The schools and colleges range in studies from engineering to arts and the sciences. Admitted students can choose from many different degree programs that will lead to master’s, bachelor’s, and PhD’s. In addition to their on-campus courses, Arizona State University has online courses that allow distant learners pursue higher degrees of learning. It is ranked number one in accessibility throughout the United States. Tuition for the University is $44,000 with almost 100% of students receiving aid to cover their cost of attending the school.

Arizona State University’s School of Social Transformation allows students to obtain a PhD in Gender Studies. This is an advanced research degree that prepares students for their careers as professors or working in government organizations. There are multiple areas of focus that students within the program can choose from, including Gender, Justice, and Social Change; Health, Science and Technology; and Visual and Narrative Culture. Students in this on-campus, but flexible program, receive close mentorship from faculty members while they are studying. With full funding offered to all students, this is a competitive program with limited spots offered each year.

The PhD in Counseling Psychology at the Arizona State University aims to instill its students with the proper skills to work in the LGBTI community as practicing counselors. As a professional who wants to work within that diverse community, they must look toward interdisciplinary courses such as this one if they want to provide services that help and not harm the individuals who seek them out. This program is held on campus at the University’s Tempe campus in Arizona. There is an option for students to obtain dual degrees while at the school. The completion of the degree takes four to five years and includes a year long internship that each student must do to obtain their PhD.

With a PhD in Justice Studies from the Arizona State University, professionals working with the LGBTI community can foster social change as leaders whether that be in the justice system or at any other institution. The program is held on the University’s Tempe campus and is hosted out of the school’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and School of Social Transformation which is the first in the country. This degree is perfectly suited for professionals or students who already hold a law degree or are considering earning one. Graduates from this program go on to lead organizations that work to implement change on a large scale.

Arizona State University offers a PhD in Social Work that combines interdisciplinary teaching that equips graduates to work with diverse clients like LGBTI individuals. The degree aims to prepare its students for working on major research projects that benefit marginalized communities and for teaching or leadership positions within the social work field. Held at the Downtown Phoenix Campus and through the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions, the program is completely held on-campus with close mentorship between faculty and students. Typically, students complete the course work and dissertation within three to five years.

Oregon State University located in the United States is an internationally recognized top ranked school in Corvallis, Oregon. The University stands in the top 15 for many of its programs including its online degree portal. Admitted students can receive bachelor’s, master’s, professional certificates, and PhD’s online or on campus. For professionals and students who want to do advanced research, Oregon State is known for receiving a high number of research grants for its students and faculty. Tuition for the school is $29,000 with many students receiving financial aid packages to assist in paying for their education. Students who are studying online are charged lower tuition based on their credit programs.

An online hybrid PhD in Counseling is held at the Oregon State University. It combines on-campus direct mentorship and cohort experiences with a majority of online courses that help enable students to continue working in their careers while obtaining a degree. Campus meet-ups are only held twice each quarter in Wilsonville, Oregon which is in the Portland Metro area. This is a part-time course with limited financial assistance offered to its admitted students. Advisors suggest that students who are interested in the program already have full-time employment to help pay for what financial aid cannot. Students on average finish this program in three to four years.

Central European University in Budapest and Vienna is a graduate learning institute for research heavy and social conscious programs and students. This is a university that is accredited in Europe and the United States and offers many programs in English. None of the degrees that the University has is offered through any sort of online portal. All classes are held on a full-time basis with only some classes that offer a more flexible schedule. It is an affordable school with tuition rates at 12,000 euros or $14,000 dollars per year. The University offers many financial aid programs that help students pay their way through school.

At Central European University, students have the choice to apply for a PhD in Comparative Gender Studies. This interdisciplinary program is structured to give students all the necessary skills to working and thinking about gender through multiple lens. Faculty members recognize that gender is complex and take that into account while designing the program. They use race, class, culture, and many other facets to bring together a comprehensive learning experience aimed at preparing students to work and think on a global scale. Many students complete this course in three to six years. This program is accredited in the United States.

McGill University located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada is an international public university dedicated to advanced research studies. The school offers undergraduate and graduate degrees, as well as, postdoctoral programs, continuing studies degrees, and has an executive institute that assists business professionals in gaining experience that advances their careers. Online certificates in varying departments and topics are available through the University’s School of Continuing Studies. International tuition for the University is 29,200 cad ($22,240 or 19,600 euros). McGill has financial aid options to help students pay their way in the form of work-study, scholarships, loans, and grants.

A PhD in Gender and Women’s Studies is offered at McGill University for graduate students who have obtained their master’s degree. This is a combined degree program for people who are already studying to receive their PhD in other fields like Philosophy, Integrated Studies in Education, Music, Anthropology and many more. It aims to provide a cross-disciplinary degree that brings in gender studies and combines them with different concentrations to create a more focused learning experience for graduates who want to pursue careers in the LGBTI community.

McGill University’s PhD in Art History with a specialization in Gender and Sexuality is only one of the University’s graduate art degrees that focuses on LGBTI studies. The program also has a concentration in Art historical methodologies, notably Feminism, Postcolonialism, and Queer Theory. Most students complete this program in five to six years. There is a language requirement for completion of this degree. PhD candidates are able and encouraged to apply for financial assistance. Tuition for this completely on-campus course is based on credits and concentration, since some require more coursework than others.

The PhD in Art History: Gender and Women’s Studies offered by McGill University is geared toward professionals and graduates ready for advanced study and research in the field. This course is similar to the University’s main Art History PhD program and takes five to six years for students to complete. Students who chose this path must take an additional course load of gender and queer theory classes that lead to the students completing their thesis that must have a central theme around gender studies. Before the students can obtain their PhD degree, they must complete a langue requirement that demonstrates proficiency in French or English.

The PhD in Music: Gender and Women’s Studies from McGill University is one of a kind and allows students to study music composition and theory with a specialized focused in how gender plays into it through interdisciplinary learning. Students who choose this doctoral track must take additional classes in gender studies and produce a final thesis around the core subjects of music and gender studies. This program requires two foreign language requirements one having to be German while the other is based on the candidate’s research and studies. There are no options for online or part-time learning, though students are able to apply for financial aid.

Professionals who have obtained their bachelor’s or master’s degrees and who want to continue gaining experience and knowledge in their field should look toward pursuing a doctorate in their chosen or desired field. On average, professionals with a PhD earn $20,000 more than those with master’s or bachelors. Companies and organizations value candidates who have committed their time to pursuing advanced degrees. For people who want to work in the LGBTI community and with individuals, have more skills and resources to pull from when they hold a PhD.


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Global Peace Careers is a website dedicated to career related information in the sectors humanitarian aid and action, international development, peace and conflict studies, negotiation, conflict resolution, diplomacy and international law. On our website we collect and distribute information about entry level jobs, paid internships, affordable master degrees, free online courses and other opportunities.

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Disclosure: Global Peace Careers may be compensated by course providers.