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Graduate Certificate in Feminist Studies

Certificate Application Form
Certificate Registration for Capstone Form
Certificate Request for Special Topic Form
Certificate Completion Form

Application to the certificate program is required. A GWSS or affiliate faculty advisor is required to complete this program.

Admission Requirements

Any currently enrolled graduate or professional student at the University of Washington is eligible to work toward this certificate. Admission requirements are as follows:

  • A completed Application Form Graduate Certificate in Feminist Studies.
  • Complete the Feminist Studies Certificate application form, have it signed by your GWSS Certificate Advisor, and turn in to the Program Coordinator at or in the GWSS main office PDL B110.
  • Submission of your curriculum vita (C.V.) with your application form.
  • Submission of the completed and signed Completion of Requirements for the Graduate Certificate in Feminist Studies form. After students' Completion of Requirements for the Graduate Certificate in Feminist Studies form is received by Program Coordinator,  they will check your transcripts and submit a "certificate be granted" request through MyGrad to the Graduate School.

Any matriculating student in a graduate or professional program of the University of Washington is eligible to work toward the certificate. Students need to declare their intent to work toward the certificate to the GWSS Program Coordinator ( indicating the name and approval of their certificate advisor. The GWSS Program Coordinator will then forward the name of the student and advisor to the Graduate Certificate Program Director, Chandan Reddy for final approval.

Minimum Standards for Successful Completion of the Certificate Program: A minimum grade of 3.0 is required in each course taken toward the certificate.

Certificate Requirements

Complete the Feminist Studies Certificate application form, have it signed by your GWSS Certificate Advisor, and turn in to the Program Coordinator at or in the GWSS main office PDL B110.

  • Completion of the three quarter sequence of core graduate courses in Feminist Studies (GWSS 501, 502 and 503). (5 credits each for 15 credits total). These courses must be taken in sequence.
  • Completion of at least two other 400 or 500 level courses related to Feminist Studies (total: 10 credits minimum). Courses at the 400 or 500 level from within the student's home department with heavy emphasis on feminist analysis are eligible. Feminist Studies graduate students are not eligible for the certificate and there is a maximum overlap of 6 credits between a student’s degree program and the certificate program. According to graduate certificate guidelines these 6 credits must be electives in each program. Independent study course work will not satisfy this requirement, and courses must be taken for a grade or C/NC, not S/NS. Courses must be approved by the student’s certificate advisor.
  • Completion of a 1-credit capstone course. Students will write a 5000-word essay in which they develop a framework that ties together two papers they wrote for any two of their required courses, re-write or re-submit two essays from those courses, and reflect on what they have learned from the Grad Certificate and how it has changed/impacted their thinking/career.

Course Descriptions

GWSS 501 History of Feminism (5cr)

Study of feminism from the 18th through the 20th centuries in the national, international, and intranational world system, with a focus on imperialism, colonialism, nationalism, and modernity. Surveys the literature in a global context, supplemented by critical essays and historiographic reviews.

GWSS 502 Cross Disciplinary Feminist Theory (5 cr)

Raises questions about how feminism becomes theory and what the relation of feminist theory is to conventional disciplines. Readings exemplify current crises in feminism (e.g., the emergence of neo-materialism; critical race theory; citizenship; identity; transnational and migrancy and questions of post-colonialism) to consider disciplinization.

GWSS 503 Feminist Research and Methods of Inquiry (5 cr)

Explores appropriate research methodologies for interdisciplinary work. Asks how scholarship is related to feminism as a social movement and to the institutions in which we work. Focuses on how similar objects of study are constituted in different disciplines for feminist scholars.

Definition and Purpose of the Graduate Certificate in Feminist Studies

Beginning in 1992, the Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies Department has offered a graduate certificate in order to recognize substantial Feminist Studies coursework completed by students matriculating through graduate programs at the University of Washington. Students from graduate and professional programs all over campus have sought out this training as a way to document their advanced knowledge and skills in the interdisciplinary field of gender and women’s studies. Since 2009 this certificate has been officially recognized by the Graduate School and recorded on recipients’ transcripts. The goal of the certificate program is to enable graduate and professional students from across the University of Washington (including the branch campuses of Tacoma and Bothell) to acquire skills and competencies in three general areas:

  1. Scope and history of Feminist, Women’s and Gender Studies
  2. Interdisciplinary feminist theory
  3. Competence in feminist methods in a specific field

The purpose of this certificate is to provide foundational understandings of feminist theory and analysis for graduate and professional students in programs and departments across our campuses. The Feminist Studies Certificate is a graduate-level initiative for students in master's, J.D., and doctoral programs by providing students in graduate and professional programs across the University of Washington the opportunity to integrate gender, women’s, and feminist studies with coursework in their respective disciplines/departments. Through this certificate program, students develop knowledge in historical and contemporary approaches to the advanced study of gender, women’s, and feminist from a range of disciplinary perspectives.

Please send questions to

GWSS Dept., Box 354345, Padelford Hall B110, Program Coordinator, 206-543-6900.