Former Women's Studies and English graduate student, Kelli Lyon JohnsonA graduate degree in English with a certificate in Women's Studies is a great combination for students interested in pursuing a variety of careers. English students typically go on to careers in research, publishing, public relations, journalism, teaching, and writing. In each of these areas, the skills and knowledge acquired in Women's Studies courses can provide students an edge in finding a job and excelling in it. Women's Studies courses emphasize the analytical, critical, and communication skills that employers seek. The interdisciplinary nature of Women's Studies prepares students to understand the complex interrelationships of gender, language, literature, and constructions of knowledge. The ability to identify, comprehend, and analyze such complex connections is a key quality required in each of the careers listed above.

A graduate certificate in Women's Studies provides students with substantive knowledge that complements their comprehension of English language and literature. In recent years, those who study and work in fields related to English have been paying increased attention to the significance of gender in written and oral discourse, pedagogy, and technology. Courses in Women's Studies prepare students to understand and apply relevant feminist theory and research methods in literary study as well as in linguistics, teaching, and technical writing. Women's Studies also provides in-depth understanding of the ways that the social construction of gender influences the norms, values, and goals of employers and public policy makers.

Graduate students from the English Department report that enrolling in the Women's Studies certificate offers them support, a sense of community, and a renewed commitment to understanding the importance of women in their primary field. They also enjoy the opportunities to participate in lively interdisciplinary discussions in the Feminist Theory group, jointly sponsored by English and Women's Studies.

To earn a graduate certificate in Women's Studies, students should take at least twelve hours of approved courses, including two core classes--WOMS 620, Feminist Theory, and WOMS 630, Research in Women's Studies. In WOMS 620, students examine the relevance and importance of feminist scholarship across disciplines; in WOMS 630, they have an opportunity to design a project in their own discipline that accounts for sex and/or gender as variables. Many students find that this research design is a useful starting point for a thesis or other major project. Independent study and prestigious internship options are available as well as occasional graduate assistantships.

Additional courses from a list of approved electives that may be of interest to English students include:

ARTH 785 Topics in Art History: Images of Women
COMS 640 Seminar in Communication and Gender
COMS 656 Feminist Film Theory
CAHC 595 Women and Careers
ENGL 602D Feminist Literary Theory and Criticism
ENGL 607 Topics in Literature (e.g., Victorian Women Writers)
EPFE 703 Seminar: Gender Issues in Educational Thought
HIST 513 Family, Sexuality and Society Since 1400
HIST 610 Reading Seminar in U.S. History (for example, Women and the State)
ILAS 650 Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies (3)
WOMS 602 Internship
WOMS 634 Women, Men, and Language
WOMS 610 Topics in Women's Studies (for example, Women's Autobiographical Writing)
WOMS 639 Independent Study

A complete list of electives is available in the graduate catalogue.

For additional information about the graduate certificate in Women's Studies, please call 753-1038.