Certificate in Gender Studies: Program Information

Essential Information

A gender and women's studies certificate program allows students to explore gender relations and perception through core courses. Many programs require students to complete a capstone course and accompanying project focused on community work, and some feature internships. Graduates can apply that knowledge towards a variety of professional fields, including social work, education, psychology, writing, counseling and communication. Graduates might also enroll in a doctoral program and apply their knowledge towards an eventual professorship or research position.

Certificate in Gender and Women's Studies

Certificate programs are typically interdisciplinary and can feature interwoven topics in sociology, philosophy, psychology, history and literature. Students can study social constructions of gender roles, relationships between men and women, feminism and gender politics. Diversity issues are also a major focus area in many programs. Since certificate programs in gender studies are typically offered at the graduate level, students are required to have a bachelor's degree for admission. Some schools may accept students who are currently enrolled in one of their bachelor's degree programs. A specific major may not be necessary, but GPA requirements commonly apply. Certificate programs in gender studies typically feature core coursework in feminist theory and gender roles. Electives may be drawn from areas such as anthropology, history and communications, which could give students both theoretical and practical perspectives on gender studies. Common topics include:

  • Feminist theory
  • Gender roles
  • Communication and gender
  • Gender and social institutions
  • Women in U.S. history

Popular Career Options

A certificate in gender studies can enhance a student's fitness for professions in social work and in contexts requiring a thorough understanding of diversity issues. In combination with other training, including separate degree programs, licensure and certification, possible positions that could be enhanced by a gender studies graduate certificate include:

  • Diversity trainer
  • Criminal justice counselor
  • Social worker
  • Teacher

Continuing Education Info

Students who obtain a graduate certificate in gender studies may go on to complete a related Master of Arts (M.A.) in Gender Studies. Some M.A. programs are combined with Master of Social Work programs. Students interested in careers in research or higher education may pursue the terminal Doctor of Philosophy in Gender Studies.

A Certificate in Gender and Women's Studies allows students to explore gender relations, gender roles and gender politics. This knowledge can enhance graduates' careers and/or provide a foundation for a master's program in gender studies.

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