The Graduate Certificate in Women’s and Gender Studies is designed for students enrolled in a graduate program in any field who wish to complement their advanced training and scholarly work with an additional specialization in Women’s and Gender Studies.

Research and study in Women's and Gender Studies helps students:

  • identify and assess gender-based assumptions and biases and to recognize their social, cultural and individual consequences;
  • analyze and integrate perspectives and bodies of knowledge across disciplines, and develop your critical thinking skills in ways that will complement and enhance your training in any other field;
  • prepare for careers in non-profit organizations, businesses, the creative arts, education, government and public policy, journalism, law, social work, and more;
  • become empowered to participate in public debate and act for social change.

Admission Requirements 

Application Deadlines

Application deadlines vary by program, please review the application deadline chart for specific programs. Other important dates and deadlines can be found by using the One Stop calendars.

Eligibility and Admission

To pursue this certificate, students must be enrolled in a graduate degree program or already hold a graduate degree. Acceptance to this graduate certificate also requires a minimum 2.75 GPA from the undergraduate degree.


  • Students wishing to obtain this certificate must declare their intention by applying to the program office or director.
  • All graduate certificate applicants—even those already enrolled in a UWM graduate program—must apply to the Graduate School through the Panthera Admission Application.
  • Graduate degree and previously admitted graduate non-degree students who decide to pursue a certificate program must submit the Panthera application before completing 6 credits in the certificate sequence.
  • Applicants must possess a baccalaureate degree and have a minimum 2.75 cumulative undergraduate grade point average to be admitted into a certificate program.

Credits and Courses

The Graduate Certificate in Women’s and Gender Studies requires completion of 15 credits in approved courses with an overall GPA of 3.0. The following are required:

WGS 700Feminist Issues and Scholarship3
WGS 701Feminisms in Global Context3
WGS 710Advanced Feminist Theory3
Select 6 credits from a combination of WGS courses and approved cross-listed Graduate (G) or Undergraduate/Graduate (U/G) courses in other programs and departments6
Total Credits15

No more than 6 credits in U/G courses can apply toward the certificate, and a maximum of 3 credits in independent study may count toward the 15 credits required for the certificate. Thesis and research credits may not be counted toward the certificate. 

Approved Electives outside of WGS

AD LDSP 779Current Topics in Administrative Leadership: (Women Teaching and Leadership in Educational Organizations)1-3
AD LDSP 795Women and Leadership in Education3
AFRIC 700Foundations and Theories in African & African Diaspora Studies3
AFRIC 880Seminar on Issues in African & African Diaspora Studies: (Africana Womanism)3
COMMUN 802Marital and Family Communication3
COMMUN 803Gender and Communication3
COMMUN 860Seminar: Issues in Communication: (Topic: Rhetoric of Marriage and Family)3
COMMUN 874Rhetoric of Women's Rights in the US3
ENGLISH 771Literature of the English Renaissance: (Early Modern Women Writers)3
ENGLISH 776Women Writers: (Gender Anger and Revenge; Early Women Writers; Greatest Hits)3
ENGLISH 780African American Literature: (Sex and Sexuality)3
ENGLISH 784Topics in Transnational Literature (Transnational Fiction: Unsettling and Gender)3
ENGLISH 812Seminar in Theories of Composition and Rhetoric: (Feminist Rhetorics)3
ENGLISH 820Seminar in Advanced Topics in Literary Criticism and Research: (Feminist Theory and Criticism)1-3
ENGLISH 843Seminar in Renaissance Prose and Poetry: (Women Writers)3
ENGLISH 872Seminar in Women Writers:3
ENGLISH 875Seminar in Modern Literature: (Gendered Narratives; Virginia Woolf)3
ENGLISH 876Seminar in Media Studies: (Family Photography; Queer Cinema and Television)3
ENGLISH 878Seminar in Feminist Critical Theory:3
ENGLISH 882Seminar in Nineteenth-Century American Literature: (American Women Writers and the Sentimental)3
ENGLISH 883Seminar in Twentieth-Century American Literature: (Multiculturalism)3
ENGLISH 885Seminar in Critical Theory: (Psychoanalysis, Gender, Sexuality; Queer Theory; Spivac)3
FILMSTD 690Seminar in Contemporary Cinema and Media: (Women Directors)3
FRENCH 733Seminar in French Literature: (French Women Writers)3
HIST 840Colloquium on Global History: (Gender and Imperialism 1830-1940)3
HIST 841Colloquium on Modern Studies: (Queer Theory)3
HIST 900Seminar on U.S. History: (History of Women in America; Women and Reform 19th and 20th Centuries)3
HIST 940Seminar on Global History: (Gender, Religion and Colonization 1450-1850; Slavery and Gender in Early America and the Caribbean)3
HIST 950Seminar on European History: (Christianity and Sexuality from New Testament Times to the Present)3
IND REL 800Current Issues in Industrial Relations: (Family Friendly Work Practices; Sexual Harassment in the Workplace)1-3
JAMS 840Topics in Media Law and Ethics: (Pornography and Hate Speech)3
JAMS 845Topics in Gender, Sexuality, and Media: (Gender and Popular Culture)3
JAMS 860Seminar in Media Studies: (Pornography, Privacy and Hate Speech)3
NURS 763Issues in Women's Health and Development3
NURS 779Special Topics Seminar: (Current Issues in Women Health Development: Health of Older Women)1-5
PH 740Special Topics in Public Health:1-3
PSYCH 711Current Topics in Psychology: (Feminist Perspectives in Psychoanalysis: Etiology and Treatment of Eating Disorders)1-4
SOCIOL 927Seminar in Sociology of Contemporary Institutions: (A Sociology of Welfare; Issues in Family and Gender; Sociology of Gender; The Family and the State)3
SOC WRK 771Development of the Family Over the Life Span3
SOC WRK 791Current Topics in Social Work: (Women, Work and Family; Family Violence: a Cycle to be Broken)1-3
SOC WRK 820Seminar in Social Work Practice: (Intimate Partner Violence)3

Additional Requirements

Transfer Credit

No more than 20% of the required credits may be taken at an institution other than UWM. These courses are subject to Graduate School transfer policy and must be approved by the director of the certificate program.

Grade Point Average Requirement

A minimum cumulative 3.00 grade point average in certificate courses taken at UWM is required.

Articulation with Degree Programs

  1. Credits and courses required for a certificate may double count toward meeting UWM graduate degree requirements subject to the following restrictions:
    • Degree programs must approve the courses from certificates that can double count toward the degree.
    • All credits taken in completion of certificate requirements may count towards a UWM graduate degree as long as they do not contribute more than 90% of the total credits needed to obtain the degree. (Note: Students in PhD programs must still complete the minimum residency requirements)
    • Certificate courses used toward meeting degree requirements must be completed within the time limit for transfer credit.
  2. Courses completed for a degree may be counted toward a subsequent certificate, subject to all certificate policy requirements.
  3. A course may count toward no more than one certificate and one degree.
  4. Students may not earn a certificate subsequent to a concentration in the same area.

Time Limit

Certificate program time limits shall be established as follows:

  • 18 or fewer credits/Three years from initial enrollment in the certificate sequence.
  • 19 or more credits/Four years from initial enrollment in the certificate sequence.

For certificates that are designed as add-ons to degree programs and are awarded concurrent with the degree, the time limit shall be the same as that of the degree program.