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Graduate Certificate in Sexuality & Queer Studies

Application for Grad Certificate in Sexuality & Queer Studies Form
Registration Request for Capstone - Grad Certificate in Sexuality & Queer Studies Form
Special Topics Request for Grad Certificate in Sexuality & Queer Studies Form
Completion of Requirements for Grad Certificate in Sexuality & Queer Studies Form

Application to this certificate program is required. A GWSS or affiliated 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 Sexuality & Queer Studies Application 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.
  • Selection of a certificate advisor, a GWSS core faculty member or a GWSS adjunct faculty member, is required. A written commitment from the advisor as indicated via the advisor's signature on the application form.
  • 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 Sexuality & Queer Studies Application Form at least 2 quarters before the quarter in which the student intends to complete the certificate program.
  • Receipt of the Completion of Requirements for Grad Certificate in Sexuality & Queer Studies Form before the last day of the quarter in which the student intends to complete the certificate program.
  • Successful completion of Core Course - GWSS 464/564 with a minimum 3.0 grade.
  • Completion of at least 20 credit hours in courses numbered at the 400 - 500 levels from the list of approved courses (At least 15 of these credits must be from graded courses and at least 9 of the credits must be at the 500 level or above).  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 Capstone - Grad Certificate in Sexuality & Queer Studies Form to the GWSS Program Coordinator at gwss@uw.edu.
    • Capstone Course: Public capstone presentation at the completion of the certificate, completed in consultation with your advisor. (Please note: The student may also discuss the option of writing a 5000-word essay, in which the student develops a framework that ties together two papers the student 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, with their certificate advisor.)

Completion Requirements – Granting the Certificate

  • Submission of the completed and signed Completion of Requirements for Grad Certificate in Sexuality & Queer Studies Form before the last day of the quarter in which the student intends to complete the certificate. After the student’s completion of requirements 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.

Core Course

GWSS 464/564 Queer Desires, will serve as the primary core course along with a Capstone presentation. Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies will offer this course yearly. This course explores desire and the politics of sexuality as gendered, raced, classed, and does so within a transnational analytic framework.

Electives

Courses that will serve as electives are listed as Approved Courses. These courses range from a wide variety of disciplines, including Social Sciences departments such as Communication, Geography, and Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies, Humanities departments such as English and Comparative Literature, other A&S departments such as Psychology, and other UW schools and colleges such as Law, Public Affairs, Social Work, and UWB and UWT. 

Students may submit a Special Topics Request for Grad Certificate in Sexuality & Queer Studies Form to the GWSS Program Coordinator in PDL B110 or to gwss@uw.edu asking for course approval of special topics with an emphasis on sexuality and queer studies.

ABOUT THE GRADUATE CERTIFICATE PROGRAM IN SEXUALITY & QUEER STUDIES

This graduate certificate provides training in queer methods of social and cultural inquiry. It helps students gain critical knowledge and skills needed for developing theoretically innovative and socially engaged projects that address the challenges of studying sexual communities within disciplines and institutional protocols. 

Sexuality is a domain of study in a wide variety of traditional academic disciplines, ranging from Sociology, Psychology, Biology, Statistics and Anthropology to English, Philosophy, the Arts, and History, as well as for many professional fields (e.g. Law, Social Work, Public Health, and Medicine). Indeed, significant aspects of foundational knowledges and methods have been interrogated and reconceptualized through research on sexuality, as that term is understood among and within  particular fields.

At the same time, these disciplines of knowledge and professional training have historically naturalized normative forms of (hetero) sexuality, even as they have sought to study sexuality more broadly. This has led to the near impossibility of work within disciplinary formations to represent, query, or queer  conceptions and experiences of sex and sexuality without recourse to a comparison to heterosexuality. By contrast, interdisciplinary Queer Studies denaturalizes heterosexuality and interrogates analyses of sexual normativity. It names the emergent body of cutting-edge scholarship as a critical area of inquiry with important methodological, theoretical, and practical contributions. 

Over the past three decades, innovative scholarship has forced a reappraisal of the ‘sexual.’ Pursuing a  graduate certificate in Sexuality and Queer Studies will prepare students to participate in this critical and generative scholarship at the University of Washington.

Why should you pursue a graduate certificate in SQS?

Students will learn the multiple genealogies of queer scholarship and political practice through courses centered on the foundational work of queer scholars and scholars of queer studies.

Students will be able to interrogate and analyze the complex intersections of sexualities with other dimensions of societal power. In order to promote this goal, the certificate curriculum will include courses that address sexuality, race, political economy, and other dimensions of inequality.

  1. Students will learn skills of effective communication about sexualities and queer studies through both writing and speaking.
  2. Students will develop skills in collaboration through the provision of opportunities for cross‐disciplinary teaching, student projects, and coalitional community projects.
  3. Each student will work with an advisor associated with the certificate to help plan a program of study that is both intellectually coherent and linked to that student’s research. In addition, the Advisor will work with each student at the end of their program to develop a short public presentation (capstone) linking the learning goals, courses and the student’s research.
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