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Department Spotlight

Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Offers New Grad Certificate

By Ariana Stone

The Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program (WGSS) has begun offering a graduate certificate in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. This interdisciplinary certificate serves as a complement to graduate degrees in a variety of disciplines, such as history, economics, and anthropology.

“The certificate adds perspective and depth to the work in a student’s traditional discipline because they can get some systematic training in both theory and feminist research,” says Gay Young, sociology and WGSS professor and the program’s director. “Students get recognition on their transcript, but the certificate also has some implications for the kinds of things people can do with their degrees.” For instance, PhD students will develop credentials to lead WGSS-focused courses in both their home disciplines and a WGSS program. For Master’s students, the certificate will broaden their professional opportunities to include organizations or positions that focus on women’s or gender issues.

Created in part to respond to student interest, the certificate codifies a possibility long available through the WGSS program: that graduate-level coursework in WGSS theory and research can be combined readily with study in other disciplines.

Students pursuing the 15 credit hour certificate will take two WGSS core courses of 3 credit hours each (Feminist and Gender Theory and Current Issues and Research in WGSS). For the remaining hours, students can either take 9 hours of WGSS-related coursework in their home department, or 6 hours in the home department plus a 3-hour WGSS internship. At least 6 of the total 15 credit hours must be at the 600-level.

Courses from 15 departments are offered as part of the certificate: anthropology, art history, communications, economics, education, government, health and fitness, history, international relations, justice, law, and society, literature, management, philosophy, psychology, and sociology. Approved courses taken for the student’s graduate degree program count toward the certificate.

The university offers two other graduate certificates that focus on gender in specific disciplines: Gender Analysis in Economics in the Department of Economics and Women, Policy, and Political Leadership in SPA’s Department of Government.