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

Background Information

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 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 Tacoma and Bothell branch campuses) to acquire skills and competencies in three general areas:

  1. Scope and history of feminist, women, and gender studies
  2. Interdisciplinary feminist theory
  3. Competence in feminist methods in a specific field

Any matriculating student in a graduate or professional program at the University of Washington is eligible to apply for the Graduate Certificate in Feminist Studies program. If you’re interested in applying, please review the steps toward successful program completion below prior to submitting your completed application to the GWSS Program Coordinator in-person (PDL B110) or via email (

Steps to Successful Program Completion


  1. Review the certificate requirements outlined in this document below
  2. Identify a GWSS core or adjunct faculty member who will advise you throughout the certificate program
  3. Complete and submit a program application along with your Curriculum Vita (CV)
    *Once your application has been submitted and reviewed, the certificate program will be added to your MyGrad profile

Program Progress

Please note: a minimum grade of 3.0 is required in each course taken toward the certificate
 4. Completion of three core graduate courses in Feminist Studies (GWSS 500, 501, 502, 503, 504, 506). (5 credits each, 15 credits total)
 5. Complete at least two other 400/500 level courses related to Feminist Studies (min. 10 credits total)

  • Courses at the 400/500 level from your home department with heavy emphasis on feminist analysis are eligible
  • Independent study course work does not satisfy this requirement
  • Courses must be taken for a grade or C/NC, not S/NS
  • Courses must be approved by either your certificate advisor or submission of the Special Topics Request Form
  1. Complete a 1-credit capstone course in which you will write a 5000-word essay developing a framework that ties together two papers you wrote for any two of your required courses, re-write or re-submit two essays from those courses, and reflect on what you have learned from the graduate certificate and how it has changed/impacted your thinking and/or career goals.
    *To register for the capstone, complete the Capstone Registration Request form and email it to the GWSS Program Coordinator ( prior to the start of the quarter

Program Completion

  1. Submit the Completion of Feminist Certificate Requirements form before the last day of the quarter in which you intend to complete the certificate program
    *Once your completed form has been received and verified, your certificate will be awarded in MyGrad

Course Descriptions

Please note: a couple of our *new* courses are still being finalized. If it's not listed below, additional details to come...

GWSS 500 Feminist Social Theory (5 credits)
Interdisciplinary feminist critiques of modern social theory's gendered, racialized, and sexed presumptions. Deconstructs social theory's liberal and Marxist traditions to address global and transnational feminist agendas. Considers Marxist feminism, feminist psychoanalysis, affect studies, decolonial and anti-colonial feminisms, queer theory; Indigenous, Black, Latinx, and women of color feminisms. 

GWSS 501 Feminist Formations (5 credits)
Examines the relationship among: (1) feminist thought, as it emerges in everyday spaces and grassroots movements; (2) feminism as an intellectual formation; and (3) Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies as an institutional site. Focuses on locations and conjunctures at which this relationship emerges, as well as how feminist knowledge travels and is transformed over time.

GWSS 502 Cross Disciplinary Feminist Theory (5 credits)
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 credits)
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.