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Graduate Certificate in Women's Studies

Download the Application for the Graduate Certificate

The Institute for Women's Studies offers a 18-hour graduate certificate in Women's Studies. The certificate is available to students who are currently pursuing a graduate degree or who already have a graduate degree. In some cases, non-degree students may be permitted to pursue a certificate.

The purpose of the certificate is to train students in a rapidly expanding and interdisciplinary body of theoretical, epistemological, and substantive scholarship on women and gender and its intersections with race, class, and nation. The IWS comprises core and affiliate faculty with expertise in a wide range of approaches to the study of women and gender, making the Institute uniquely able among institutes and departments on campus to provide access to this body of cutting-edge theories, methodologies, and empirical research. The graduate certificate thus offers students who pursue training in this area a credential that is sure to make them more well-rounded scholars and enhances their marketability in an academia that increasingly values interdisciplinary approaches to the construction of knowledge

All certificate candidates are required to take WMST 7010 Graduate Introduction to Women's Studies, WMST 8011 Feminist Research Methods and WMST 8020 Advanced Feminist Theory. The nine remaining hours will be composed of 3 electives from other WMST graduate offerings (including solely WMST as well as cross-listed courses) OR 2 electives from WMST and 1 elective from other departmental options listed here.

Students who have done extensive undergraduate or graduate coursework in feminist theory may petition to waive WMST 7010 and substitute another elective.

For one of the electives, a student may take a three-hour Directed Research course either in a department or in Women's Studies (WMST 7950). Directed readings or independent research hours will be allowed if: 1. the research focuses on a Women's Studies-related topic and 2. the graduate director receives and approves, prior to the student's enrollment in the course, a statement from the student and instructor outlining the goals and content of the course. This statement should accompany the “Petition for Transferred Coursework” form available on the IWS website. The student must file a copy of the final paper with the Institute Office.

A list of graduate courses can be found in the Student Handbook. Students are not required to take WMST 7010, 8011 or 8020 before taking other courses on the list. However, departmental prerequisites do apply. Students should consult the current Graduate Bulletin for the prerequisites set by the respective departments for all the courses listed.

As we work to increase the number of WMST and cross-listed graduate level courses, the graduate coordinator will work with students to make sure they are able to satisfy the elective requirements. If necessary, students may be allowed to substitute a qualified non-WMST elective for a WMST elective. However, permission to do this will only be granted on a case-by-case basis. Students should contact the graduate coordinator with any concerns.

When students have completed all certificate coursework, they must “apply to graduate” on Athena and contact the graduate coordinator in order to schedule an exit interview.

Graduate Certificate Required Courses (9 hours)

WMST 7010, WMST 8011 and WMST 8020

WMST/cross-listed electives & qualified non-WMST electives Course Options (6 - 9 hours)

See the list of courses

Directed Research Option (0 - 3 hours)

WMST 7950 Directed Research in Women's Studies. 3 hours


Approved departmental directed research (Will count as non-WMST elective). 3 hours.

Appropriate substitutions may be petitioned. No more than two courses in the same department (or courses with the same prefix) and no more than two courses with the same instructor may be taken. A minimum grade of "B" in each course is required for graduate certificate credit.

Course Options for Graduate Certificate

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