Graduate Certificate Program

Graduate Study in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Our graduate certificate program allows students in MA/PhD programs to enhance their disciplinary studies with a concentration in gender studies.

The graduate certificate in women, gender, and sexuality studies requires the completion of five courses, at least two of which must be drawn from 500-level home-based WGSS courses. The additional three required courses must be drawn from a 500-level home-based or cross-listed WGSS course or from other, Department-approved, gender-based courses,  and up to 6 units can double count between your program and the certificate (see the Director for approval). Since a certificate requires three courses beyond those required for a student's home degree, participation in the certificate may require an extra semester of graduate classes. Those not interested in a certificate, but wanting to concentrate on gender within their disciplines to enhance their credentials and enrich their training, may do so by pursuing a graduate minor according to the policies of their individual departments. The minimum grade for coursework to count toward the certificate is a B.

How to Apply

Graduate students interested in the graduate certificate should first apply for admission to the Washington University department in which they wish to obtain an advanced degree. After being admitted, each student should notify his/her department advisor and the WGSS program director of plans to obtain the WGSS certificate. In addition, students should submit an "Application for Admission to Certificate Program" form to the Office of Graduate Studies in Arts and Sciences, with a copy to the WGSS office. The earlier we know who you are, the earlier we can include you in mailings about program activities, lectures, conferences, and other events. Certificate application forms are available at

Application forms and questions should be directed to Professor Rachel Brown.

Opportunities Within the Graduate Certificate Program

The Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program offers graduate certificate students the means of meeting and working with graduate students in other departments. Graduate certificate students are on the program's mailing lists and are invited to participate in a variety of events, including special guest lectures, conferences, faculty searches, and informal gatherings.

In WGSS, graduate certificate students may engage in a teaching pedagogy opportunity if they so wish. The teaching pedagogy opportunity in WGSS takes place over two semesters. During the first semester, students undergo teaching preparation in which they observe the class that they will teach; they are mentored by the instructor, and they attend instructor meetings devoted to examining content and pedagogy. In addition, they develop a syllabus-often in consultation with the WGSS teaching mentor and their department advisor-that is reviewed carefully by WGSS faculty. These students may be undergoing mentored teaching experiences in their own departments during this first semester. During the next semester, students teach the WGSS course, and they are observed by WGSS faculty and, in some cases, by faculty in their own departments. These faculty use a rubric for their assessment that is made available to the student, students receive a written assessment that they then discuss with the observing WGSS faculty member. Sometimes students are observed and assessed more than once. Participation in this program broadens students' teaching experiences and their credentials for future job opportunities.  The following departments are involved in this program: Anthropology, Art History, Education, English, German, History, Philosophy, Political Science, and Romance Languages and Literatures.

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Graduate Certificate Student Chelsey Carter Joins the Faculty at the Yale School of Public Health


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