Graduate Certificate in Women’s and Gender Studies

The advanced graduate certificate in women's and gender studies is an interdisciplinary approach to the study of gender and sexuality as social constructs and as objects of cultural analysis and critical discourse. By looking at gender and identity from multiple perspectives of literature, history, sociology, politics, science, cultural studies and the arts, the student will gain a deeper understanding of the construction of gender differences in relation to issues of race, ethnicity, class and sexuality, both in national and transnational contexts. Attention will be paid to the relationship between theory and practice, and historical and contemporary feminist theories will be viewed in terms of issues of social justice, gender equality, power and privilege, resistance and transformation, silence and voice and national and global change.

Program Design

Courses are taught primarily online with opportunities for teleconference and/or on-site instruction. Students may begin the certificate program in the fall, spring or summer terms.

Required Courses and Suggested Sequence

Seminar in Women's and Gender Studies
(3 credits)

This course offers an interdisciplinary approach to the study of gender and identity from a cultural and sociohistorical perspective. We will look at Women's and Gender Studies as an evolving field of study and explore the multiple voices that have shaped the conversation, past and present. Issues of gender equality, women’s suffrage, the women’s liberation movement, issues of gender and work, concepts of family, gender and violence, health and reproductive rights, representations of the body, gender and sexuality, gender, race and ethnicity, global feminism and activism will be considered. Authors such as Mary Wollstonecraft, Margaret Fuller, Virginia Woolf, Simone de Beauvoir, Betty Friedan, Kate Millett, Audre Lorde, Adrienne Rich, bell hooks, Angela Davis and Judith Butler will be examined. Attention will be paid to analysis of gender and sexuality in relation to race, ethnicity, class and national and transnational discourse. The student also will develop graduate-level research, writing and analytic abilities and become familiar with resources in the field of women’s and gender studies.

Feminist Theory
(3 credits)

This course will provide an introduction to feminist theory by exploring the ways in which gender has served historically to legitimate or marginalize forms of knowledge in Western cultures. Through the close reading of primary and secondary texts, students will view the emergence of feminist thinking in terms of the view of women as subjects and objects of knowledge. Students also will explore questions of how gender interacts with other social categories such as race, how such distinctions as mind/body and thought/emotion are used to delegitimize knowledge that is associated with women and how gendered views of knowledge and power are constructed in multiple cultures.

TWO electives in Topics in Women's and Gender Studies:

  • Gender, Race and Nation (3 credits)
  • American Queer Sexualities: U.S. History Since the Civil War (3 credits)
  • Modern Gender and Sexuality through Science Fiction Literature (3 credits)
  • Diagnosing Desire: Gender and Medicine in U. S. History (3 credits)
  • Women and Humor (3 credits)
  • American Women Writers (3 credits)
  • British Women Writers (3 credits)
  • Socially Constructed Body (3 credits)
  • Global Feminist Movements in the Contemporary World (3 credits)

Admission and Advisement

Admission to the certificate program requires the applicant to submit an official transcript of his or her bachelor’s degree along with a complete application. Advising will be provided by the certificate program coordinator, Dr. Elana Michelson.

While the 12 credits of this certificate may be transferred into the M.A. in liberal studies program, acceptance will require candidates to apply to the master’s degree program and complete the full admission process. Completion of the graduate certificate does not guarantee admission to the master’s program.

Apply online or request information for more details on the certificate in women’s and gender studies.