Graduate Certificate in Feminist Studies

Application Form for Graduate Certificate in Feminist Studies


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.

Admission Process and Standards

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 Graduate Program Assistant of Feminist Studies, Catherine Richardson (car945@uw.edu) indicating the name and approval of their certificate advisor. The Graduate Program Assistant will then forward the name of the student and advisor to the Graduate Program Director, Amanda Swarr for final approval.

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 form that includes demographic data, education history and current status as a UW graduate student.
  • A typed 1-page statement of purpose, which includes reasons for pursuing a certificate and how the Graduate Certificate in Feminist Studies will contribute to the student's career goals.
  • Identification of a certificate advisor chosen from among the affiliate faculty, with a written commitment from the advisor (signature on application form).
  • Submission of your curriculum vita (C.V.)

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

  1. Selection of a certificate advisor, preferably a Feminist Studies core faculty member, although an adjunct faculty member can be selected in some cases. The advisor works with the student to select appropriate coursework. The faculty advisor and the department chair give final approval of the certificate once the student completes the coursework.
  2. Complete the Feminist Studies Certificate application form, have it signed by your GWSS Certificate Advisor, and turn in to the Program Coordinator, Catherine Richardson in Padelford B110.
  3. 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)
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Submission of the completed and signed Completion of Requirements for the Graduate Certificate in Feminist Studies form (available from GWSS Program Coordinator). After students' Completion of Requirements for the Graduate Certificate in Feminist Studies form is received by Program Coordinator, Catherine Richardson, she will check your transcripts and submit a "certificate be granted" request to the Graduate School. The Graduate School will then inform Graduation and Academic Records.

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 Problems in 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.


Please send questions to car945@uw.edu

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