Graduate Certificate in WGS

The graduate certificate in Women's, Gender, & Sexuality Studies is a 12-14 hour program available to graduate students in any field of study across the university.

Its purpose is to enhance a disciplinary graduate degree with specialization in Women's, Gender, & Sexuality Studies. Using an interdisciplinary approach, students in this program explore the influence of gender and other social differences on the production and dissemination of knowledge.

Masters and doctoral students who earn a Graduate Certificate in Women's Studies gain an advantage in a highly competitive job market. In the worlds of business, public service, government, education, and fine arts, job candidates with knowledge of how gender, sexuality, and cultural difference function in their area of expertise may stand out in a crowded field. Perhaps even more important is the intellectually stimulating experience of thinking across and outside disciplinary parameters. Sharing these inquiries with students from other fields creates a rich supplement to a discipline-centered degree program.


Introduction to Graduate Women's Studies (WGS 601, 3 hrs)

This seminar focuses on Women's, Gender, & Sexuality Studies as an academic project and a force for social transformation. WGS faculty from a variety of disciplines visit class and share their academic and professional experiences with the students, providing an introduction to a variety of ways that WGS scholars produce and disseminate their work and pedagogical expertise.

Feminist Theory and Methodology (WGS 602, 3 hrs)

This graduate seminar investigates major research methods as they are theorized and practiced within contemporary women's, gender, and sexuality studies. A special emphasis will be on students' own work in their field, and the production and peer critique of a substantial project relevant to the student's academic and/or professional progress.

Electives (6-8 hrs)

The certificate requires that students take two electives (3 or 4 hours each): one within their major field of study and one in another discipline. Electives should be at the 500 level or above. To qualify as electives, courses should be selected with the assistance of the student's WGS advisor.

Public Presentation

To emphasize the collective nature of Women's, Gender, & Sexuality Studies work, students will be asked to make a public presentation to the university and/or community about some aspect of their work within the certificate. This presentation may involve delivering the results of research or teaching in a public talk, creating a community engagement project related to the student's academic interests, or devising some other form of public interaction. The nature of this project will be planned with and approved in advance by the student's advisor.

Teaching Opportunities

Students enrolled in the Graduate Certificate may have the opportunity to teach WGS 201, Introduction to Women's Studies. The high quality of this pedagogical program is reflected in the fact that 5 graduate student teachers of WGS have earned graduate teaching awards in recent years.