A graduate degree in Biology with a certificate in Women's Studies is a great combination for students interested in pursuing a variety of careers. Biology students typically go on to careers in health fields, teaching, and industry. 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 sex, gender, biology, and the constructions of knowledge. The ability to identify, comprehend, and analyze such complex connections is a key quality in each of the careers listed above.

Woman lab studentA graduate certificate in Women's Studies provides students with substantive knowledge that complements their critical comprehension of biology. In recent years, those who study and work in fields related to biology have been paying increased attention to the significance of sex differences in understanding physiological process as well as to the importance of distinguishing gender from sex in research studies. Courses in Women's Studies prepare students to understand and apply relevant feminist theory and research methods in clinical work as well as in collecting and analyzing data. 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 in fields in which women have been traditionally underrepresented report that participating 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.

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 research 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 particular interest to Biology students include:

CAHC 692 Special Topics in Counseling (3)
CAHC 695 Women and Careers (3)
CAHC 766 Human Sexuality Counseling (3)
FCNS 600B Seminar: Family and Child Studies (3)
FCNS 616 Nutritional Factors in Obesity and Eating Disorders (3)
HIST 513 Family, Sexuality, and Society Since 1400 (3)
MGMT 528 Equal Opportunity and Employment (3)
SOCI 663 Women's Health Issues (3)
WOMS 530 Special Topics in Women's Studies (e.g., Women in Science)
WOMS 602 Internship in Women's Studies (e.g., collecting data on women’s wellness)

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, or visit Reavis Hall, room 103.