Graduate Certificate

WGS Graduate Certificate in Gender and Sexuality Studies

The Department of Women, Gender & Sexuality (WGS) is pleased to offer a Graduate Certificate in Gender and Sexuality Studies.  This certificate program is open to doctoral students in any department of UVA’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. It is designed to provide expertise in gender and sexuality studies, access to a network of graduate students and faculty with similar interests, and a professional qualification that – upon completion - can expand a student’s opportunities in academic job markets.

The program requires successful completion of four courses (3 credits each, for a total of 12 credits).  There is one required foundational course, Fundamentals of Gender & Sexuality Studies (WGS 7500; 3 credits), which is generally offered in the Fall Semester.  In addition, the student selects three elective courses at the 5000-level or above (3 credits each), drawn from a list of approved courses. At least one of the elective courses must be taken in a department other than the student’s home department.  In addition, each student will select from among the WGS core faculty a principal advisor to guide his or her work on the certificate, and will consult with this advisor on a regular basis throughout his/her graduate training.

Requirements:
The program is open to doctoral students in good standing in a department of the UVA Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, and the requirements are as follows:

  • Successful completion of WGS 7500, Fundamentals of Gender & Sexuality Studies (3 credits)
  • Successful completion of three additional graduate courses relevant to gender and sexuality, at the 5000-level and above (3 credits each), drawn from the Department’s list of approved courses; at least one of these must be taken in a department other than the student’s home department.
  • Each student selects from among the WGS core faculty a graduate advisor for the certificate program.
  • Each student consults regularly with his/her WGS faculty advisor about course selection and other matters relevant to graduate training.

Procedures:
A student will normally declare an intention to pursue the certificate program in his or her 2nd or 3rd year as a graduate student in a doctoral program in UVA’s Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. 

To declare an intention to pursue the certificate program, a student enrolls in WGS 7500 and explains his or her interest in the graduate certificate to the instructor.  With the instructor’s help, the student selects an advisor for the certificate program from among the core WGS faculty.  In discussion with his/her advisor, the student selects and successfully completes both required and elective courses (taken from the Department’s “approved list”).  For purposes of the graduate certificate program, “successful completion” means finishing a course with a grade of B- or better.

The Graduate Certificate in Gender and Sexuality Studies is not a free-standing degree program, but is an added credential that can be awarded with the Ph.D. Regardless of when requirements may have been completed, the Graduate Certificate in Gender and Sexuality Studies is not awarded until the student has also finished his or her Ph.D. degree.

If a student wishes to enroll for credit toward the certificate in a class that is not already on the Department’s list of approved courses, the student may submit a petition to the WGS Department Chair. Such petitions will be heard by a committee of WGS faculty members, who may request additional information before reaching a decision. If a course is approved by the committee, it will be added to the approved list.  Any instructors whose course(s) is/are listed in error should notify the WGS Department Chair to ask that their course(s) be removed.