Graduate Certificate

The Graduate Certificate in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies is designed to enrich students' traditional disciplinary training and broaden their perspectives on the study of gender and sexuality. The Graduate Certificate provides students with opportunities to think in an integrated fashion about the relationship between their scholarship and the study of gender and sexuality. It facilitates learning from a variety of methodological approaches including critical feminist, race, and legal theory, cultural studies, and psychoanalytic theory, as well as traditional disciplinary methodologies.

Requirements:

1- Coursework 

Four graduate-level seminars (numbered 500 or above) with a significant focus on GSWS topics, issues, theories, methods, or research. In order for a course to count toward the certificate, it should meet at least one of the specified criteria:

  • a) it is offered by or cross-listed with GSWS;
  • b) it contains significant GSWS content; a syllabus should be submitted to the Curriculum Committee for approval to count courses that are not cross-listed but have this content;
  • c) the student’s final research project or paper is significantly focused on GSWS topics, even if the course is not; the paper must be submitted to the student’s GSWS Faculty Advisor for approval.
  • d) undergraduate GSWS courses may count toward the certificate if the student works out a plan with the professor for a graduate-level component and has permission to register for the course as a graduate level independent study.

2- Professional Development

Students should participate in four GSWS-sponsored activities, such as:

  • a) attending GSWS Graduate Research Colloquia;
  • b) attending GSWS Pedagogy Seminars;
  • c) presenting a paper at one of the workshops or colloquia offered by GSWS (counts for two);
  • d) working with a GSWS Graduate Working Group to organize a GSWS event of interest, such as a conference, lecture, or roundtable (this may count for two of the four required activities, depending on degree of involvement). Working groups are periodically formed for upcoming initiatives or events at the behest of the GSWS Director or Associate Director. As a student, you may reach out at any time to the Graduate Associate if you would like to become more involved.

3- Research Paper

Students should submit an article, essay, or dissertation chapter that engages substantially with GSWS topics, methods, or theories. The paper will be reviewed by the student’s GSWS Faculty Advisor for approval.

4- Syllabus or Project Description

As a practicum to cap the work students have done toward both their degree and the certificate, students can either create their own syllabus for a GSWS course or write a two-page post-degree project proposal.

Procedures

Students should:

  • Obtain a GSWS Graduate Certificate Application Form.
  • Write a ONE PAGE statement about why they wish to obtain a Certificate. The statement should include a discussion of how the Certificate Program relates to the student’s scholarly interests.
  • Submit the statement and the Graduate Certificate Application form to Luz Marin at lmarin@sas.upenn.edu.

Final Approval

  • The student must submit the Grad Certificate Approval Form, signed by the student’s faculty advisor, to the Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies for final approval. 
  • After final approval for the Certificate, a notation that the student has successfully completed the program will be placed on the student's transcript and the student will receive the Graduate Certificate in Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies.

Please contact Program Coordinator Luz Marin with any questions (lmarin@sas.upenn.edu).