You are here

Graduate Certificate in Feminist Studies

Application for Graduate Certificate in Feminist Studies Form
Registration Request Feminist Certificate Capstone Form
Feminist Certificate Special Topics Request Form
Completion of Feminist Certificate Requirements Form

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


Any matriculating student in a graduate or professional program of the University of Washington is eligible to work toward the certificate. Students are required to declare their intent to work toward earning the certificate by submitting a completed application indicating the name and approval of the student’s certificate advisor to the GWSS Program Coordinator in the GWSS Main Office PDL B110 or by emailing the application to gwss@uw.edu at least 2 quarters before the quarter in which the student intends to complete the certificate program. Once the application is received and approved, the GWSS Program Coordinator will request the Graduate School to add the certificate program to the student’s MyGrad Program.

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

Admission Requirements

  • A completed Application for Graduate Certificate in Feminist Studies Form. The application must be received by the GWSS Program Coordinator in the GWSS Main Office PDL B110 or by email at gwss@uw.edu at least 2 quarters before the quarter in which you intend to complete the certificate program.
  • Submission of the student’s curriculum vita (C.V.) with the application form.

Certificate Requirements

Selection of a certificate advisor, a GWSS core faculty member or a GWSS adjunct faculty member, is required. The advisor works with the student to select appropriate coursework. The faculty advisor gives the final approval to grant the certificate once the student completes all required coursework.

  • Receipt of the Application for Graduate Certificate in Feminist Studies Form at least 2 quarters before the quarter in which the student intends to complete the certificate program.
  • Receipt of the Completion of Feminist Certificate Requirements Form before the last day of the quarter in which the student intends to complete the certificate program.
  • Completion of the three-quarter sequence of core graduate courses in Feminist Studies (GWSS 501, GWSS 502 and GWSS 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 of 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. Students may submit a Feminist Certificate Special Topics Request Form to the GWSS Program Coordinator in PDL B110 or to gwss@uw.edu asking for course approval of special topics. 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. 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 must register for the capstone course by submitting a Registration Request for the Feminist Certificate Capstone Form to the GWSS Program Coordinator at gwss@uw.edu. 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 and/or career goals.

Completion Requirements – Granting the Certificate

  • Submission of the completed and signed Completion of Feminist Certificate Requirements Form before the last day of the quarter in which the student intends to complete the certificate. After the student’s completion of requirement form is received, the GWSS Program Coordinator will submit a petition to “Request to award certificate’ in the student’s MyGrad Program thus notifying the Graduate School to process and grant the certificate.

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@uw.edu.
Share