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Graduate Certificate in Women's Studies

The graduate certificate in Women's Studies permits study of gender and its significance through a systematic engagement with feminist theory and criticism, research methods, and scholarship and results in recognition of that study on the student's transcript. Since the Women's Studies Program is not a degree-offering unit, all graduate degrees are obtained through the student's major department, whose special requirements must be met. The certificate is available to students in good standing in any graduate program in the university. Students-at-large in good standing may also pursue the certificate. Faculty who regularly teach courses which contribute to the certificate or participate in the core courses come from a variety of departments.

A student who wishes to pursue the certificate must receive approval from both her or his major department faculty adviser and the Women's Studies director. Students may earn transcript credit for the certificate by completing 12 hours in approved courses, including the two required interdisciplinary core courses. For the other 6 required hours, in addition to the approved electives listed below, any graduate-level special topics course or directed study focused on gender may be counted toward the graduate certificate in Women's Studies with the approval of the director of Women's Studies. Students may enroll in internships combining their professional interests with their preparation in Women's Studies.

Students interested in pursuing this certificate are advised to meet with the director of Women's Studies as early as possible in their graduate program.

Certificate of Graduate Study (12 credit hours)

Required courses:

  • WOMS 620 Feminist Theory (fall semester) 
  • WOMS 630 Research in Women's Studies (spring semester)

Two 3 credit hour electives, such as:

  • ANTH 522, Gender in Southeast Asia
  • ARTH 785*, Topics in Art History (3)
  • CAHC 595, Women and Careers 93)
  • COMS 656, Feminist Film Theory (3)
  • ENGL 602D, Feminist Literary Theory and Criticism (3)
  • EPFE 703, Foundations of Feminist Educational Thought (3)
  • FCNS 616, Nutritional Factors in Obesity and Eating Disorders (3)
  • HIST 513, Family, Sexuality, and Society Since 1400 (3)
  • HIST 573, Topics in Women's History (3)
  • LGBT 650, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies (3)
  • MGMT 528, Equal Opportunity and Employment (3)
  • PSYC 595*, Seminar in Special Topics (3)
  • SOCI 550, Social Inequality (3)
  • SOCI 663, Women's Health Issues (3)
  • WOMS 530, Special Topics in Women's Studies (3)
  • WOMS 534, Women, Men & Language (3)
  • WOMS 602, Internship in Women's Studies (3-6)
  • WOMS 610, Topics in Women’s Studies
  • WOMS 625X, Museums: Gender, Race, and Class (3)
  • WOMS 639, Independent Study in Women's Studies (1-3)

*Courses may meet the certificate requirements when they include substantial treatment of women's studies.

View a complete list of electives and more information about the certificate in the 2014-2015 Graduate Catalog.

Women's Studies Graduate Course Offerings:

  • WOMS 530.SPECIAL TOPICS IN WOMEN'S STUDIES (3). May be repeated for credit to a maximum of 6 semester hours as topic changes, but only 3 credits may be applied toward the graduate certificate in Women's Studies.
  • WOMS 534. WOMEN, MEN, AND LANGUAGE (3). Examines the empirical evidence pertaining to language variation by sex and gender identity within the framework of sociolinguistics. Focuses on characteristics of feminine and masculine speech and conversational styles, societal attitudes toward them, and their implications for men and women in society. Also considers biological foundations and sociogenesis of sex differences in language; interaction effects on language variation of other social variables such as age, class, and ethnic identity; and cross cultural differences.
  • WOMS 602. INTERNSHIP (3-6). Work as an intern in activities related to Women's Studies. Reading and paper preparation under the supervision of a faculty member in the university. May be repeated to a maximum of 6 semester hours. S/U grading. PRQ: Consent of program director; graduate standing.
  • WOMS 620. FEMINIST THEORY (3) Concepts, methods, and development of feminist theories; systematic overview of schools of feminist theory as they are grounded in different social identities and epistemological perspectives; implications of feminist theories of scholarly research.
  • WOMS 625X. MUSEUMS: GENDER, RACE, AND CLASS (3). Interdisciplinary, multicultural study of museum theory and practice as it pertains to diversity of race, class, and gender. A case study approach will be used. (Crosslisted ART 625).
  • WOMS 630. RESEARCH IN WOMEN'S STUDIES (3). Interdisciplinary analysis of principles, methods, and bibliographic resources for the study of gender and for evaluating the relevance of scholarship in women's studies to traditional disciplines. Focuses on theoretical perspectives and methodological issues central in feminist inquiry and development of skills in integrating gender-related research and criticism in students' area of academic specialization.
  • WOMS 639. INDEPENDENT STUDY IN WOMEN'S STUDIES (1-3). Student must present research prospectus approved by a faculty member before a permit is granted. PRQ: WOMS 620 and WOMS 630, or permission of the Women's Studies director.


Download the WOMS 602: Internship in Women's Studies approval form (Approval required at least 2 weeks prior to the start of the semester)

Download the WOMS 639: Independent Study in Women's Studies approval form (Approval required at least 2 weeks prior to the start of the semester)


View a complete list of electives and more information about the certificate in the 2014-2015 Graduate Catalog.

Check out the Graduate Certificate in Law & Women's Studies.

We offer a limited number of Graduate Teaching Assistantships.

We also offer two scholarships.

We have a growing library of resources.

Find out What You Can Do With Your Women's Studies Degree.

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Grad student receiving scholarship

Graduate student and Mothers Memorial Scholarship winner Maimouna Konate with President Peters