Tamale received her Bachelor of Laws (LLB) with honors from Makerere University, her Master of Laws (LLM) from Harvard Law School, and her Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), in Sociology and Feminist Studies from the University of Minnesota in 1997. Tamale received her Diploma in Legal Practice from the Law Development Center, Kampala, in 1990.
Tamale has been a visiting professor at the African Gender Institute of the University of Cape Town and a visiting scholar at the University of Wisconsin. In 2003 she was condemned by Ugandan conservatives for proposing that gay men and lesbians be included in the definition of "minority". Since 2004 Tamale has been the dean of the Faculty of Law and Jurisprudence at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda.
- 1999 When Hens Begin To Crow: Gender and Parliamentary Politics in Uganda
- 2006 "African Feminism: How Should We Change?"
- 2011 editor African Sexualities: A Reader
- 1987-1988 Ford Foundation Fellowship
- 1993-1997 Fulbright-MacArthur Scholarship
- 2003 University of Minnesota Award for International Distinguished Leadership
- 2004 Akina Mama wa Afrika Award for human rights activism in Uganda
- Staff (2 December 2004). "Honouring Sylvia Tamale". Pambazuka News. Archived from the original on 7 October 2007. Retrieved 28 December 2008.
- "Sylvia Tamale (Uganda)". London: The Equal Rights Trust. 2010. Archived from the original on 23 November 2010.
- Wilson, Gretchen L. (21 December 2006). "African Female Scholars Share Virtual Lifeline". Worldpress.org. Archived from the original on 24 December 2006. Retrieved 28 December 2008.
- "ILS Past Fellows and Visitors (2000-2005): Tamale, Sylvia". University of Wisconsin Law School. 2007. Archived from the original on 20 July 2011. Retrieved 28 December 2008.
- Bennett, Jane (10 October 2011). "“Worst Woman Of The Year”: Sylvia Tamale Publishes African Sexualities: A Reader". Association for Women's Rights in Development (AWID).
- Tamale, Sylvia (1999) When Hens Begin To Crow: Gender and Parliamentary Politics in Uganda Westview Press, Boulder, Colorado, ISBN 0-8133-3462-4; reviewed: Parpart, Jane L. (2000) "Review: When Hens Begin to Crow: Gender and Parliamentary Politics in Uganda Africa Today 47(2): pp. 218-220; and Ottemoeller, Dan (1999) "Book Reviews - Politics - When Hens Begin to Crow: Gender and Parliamentary Politics in Uganda" African Studies Review 42(2): pp. 181
- Tamale, Sylvia (2006) "African Feminism: How Should We Change?" Development 49(1): pp. 38-41, doi:10.1057/palgrave.development.1100205
- Tamale, Sylvia, ed. (2011). African Sexualities: A Reader. Oxford, England: Pambazuka Press. ISBN 978-0-85749-016-2. with introduction and conclusion by Sylvia Tamale; reviewed Bennett 2011
- "Distinguished Leadership Award for Internationals, 2003 Recipient, Dr. Sylvia Tamale, Uganda". Office of International Programs, University of Minnesota. Archived from the original on 13 May 2007. Retrieved 28 December 2008.
- Akina Mama wa Afrika (AMwA) is an international, Pan-African, non-governmental development organisation for African women based in the United Kingdom with its African headquarters in Kampala, Uganda. "Akina Mama wa Afrika". The Royal African Society. Archived from the original on 20 November 2006.
- Staff (2 December 2004). "Honouring Sylvia Tamale: Outstanding contributor to the advancement of women's rights". Pambazuka News. Archived from the original on 24 May 2011.
- "Dr. Sylvia Tamale - Dean of Law [brief biography]". Makerere University. 2008. Archived from the original on 22 December 2008. Retrieved 18 October 2008.
- "Dr. Sylvia Tamale [brief curriculum vita]". Makerere University. 2012. Retrieved 6 August 2012.