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Graduate Certificate Program

The graduate certificate in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies is only offered to students currently enrolled in other graduate degree programs at the University of Maryland.

The Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies Graduate Certificate

The graduate certificate in women, gender, and sexuality studies (WGSS) is offered to students enrolled in other graduate degree programs at the University of Maryland. The certificate requires a minimum of 18 credit hours; 6 credit hours of core courses, 6 credits of WGSS electives, and 6 credits of broader electives. This will provide students with an integrative and interdisciplinary academic encounter with the contributions and challenges of feminist inquiry. Elective courses, in consultation with the student’s WGSS graduate advisor, from elective courses that will support the student’s particular research specialty. 

Previously earned credits from UMD may be retroactively applied toward the certificate if approved by the women’s studies graduate advisor. All requirements for the graduate certificate must be completed within a five-year period.

Learn more about UMD Graduate Certificate Program policies

Admission to the certificate program is selective.

We accept application on January 22nd and August 15th. Applications are typically reviewed within the first month of the semester. If you have any questions about the graduate certification requirements and application, please email us at

Download an application.

Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Graduate Certificate

Certificate Program Application

In addition to the application form, your application packet must include the following materials:

  • A filled out copy of our application form
  • A copy of transcripts of work completed to date, both graduate and undergraduate. Unofficial copies of transcripts are acceptable.
  • Brief biographical statement and statement of purpose. Discuss those aspects of your personal history that relate to the development of your interest in women’s studies and explain the relevance of a women’s studies certificate to your intellectual and professional goals
  • Writing sample
  • Two letters of recommendation * Note that letters of recommendation may be submitted by faculty via email to Please place the student’s full name and “letter of recommendation” in the subject heading

When submitting your application, please collate all of your items into one PDF file. The subject line of your email should read: “[Your Name] WGSS Graduate Certificate Application” and you should name your file the same way. Please send to

Required Courses

18 credit hours

  • 6 credits required courses - WGSS 601, WGSS 602
  • 6 credits from WGSS electives
  • 6 credits electives from any department, chosen in consultation w/ advisor

With regard to the sequencing of courses, WGSS 601 DOES NOT have to precede WGSS 602

WGSS 601: “Theoretical Foundations in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies” (3 credits)

A foundational theory seminar which examines fundamental concepts in the interdisciplinary field of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. The course engages intersectionality as a critical analytic and set of responses to structural power and domination. It provides students with a theoretical foundation for understanding gender, race, and sexuality as analytic categories operating in transnational and global contexts and intersecting with other categories of difference. 

WGSS 602: “Methodologies and Epistemologies in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies” (3 credits)

This seminar examines the politics and practice of knowledge production in the interdisciplinary field of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, setting the foundation for students’ emergence as producers of knowledge. It explores how theory is connected to the formation of raced/gendered/sexed bodies, subjectivities, and existences that unsettle Eurocentric genealogies of disciplinary knowledge formation. The course introduces students to methodological and epistemological frameworks for attending to the impact of relations of power and domination on how research and scholarship are created and defined within and across disciplinary boundaries, cultures, and paradigms.


Since 2013, the Women's Studies Graduate Association at the University of Maryland has hosted "Interventions," a biennial graduate symposium featuring innovative, interdiciplinary research in the field.

Biennial Graduate Symposium

Contact Us

Alexis Lothian

Associate Professor, The Harriet Tubman Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies