Women's and Gender Studies


Program Description

The Graduate Certificate in Women’s and Gender Studies is available to any student admitted to a graduate degree program at West Virginia University. The graduate certificate consists of fifteen hours of graduate-level work in women’s and gender studies, using courses approved as primary or component courses by the Women’s and Gender Studies Curriculum Committee.  The certificate offers students interdisciplinary perspectives on gender and its intersection with race, class, ethnicity, and sexuality. The breadth of the curriculum provides dynamic courses in theory and methods that help students understand the complex social, cultural, economic, political, and historical dimensions of men's and women's lives.    

In pursuing a Graduate Certificate in Women's and Gender Studies, students make connections between their primary field of study and issues surrounding gender, race, class, culture, and sexuality. By applying multifaceted problem solving and critical thinking skills learned in women’s and gender studies courses to their primary field of study, students bring a broader base of experience and perspectives to their future careers.

Financial Aid is Available

Women’s & Gender Studies students are eligible to apply for graduate teaching assistantships (GTAs) in Women’s & Gender Studies. The Center for Women’s & Gender Studies has five GTA positions available each year. GTAs work with the lead instructor and teach two sections of the course or assist with other courses. Students can apply for GTA positions each winter, usually in early February. Salaries include tuition waivers for the academic year and subsequent summer. GTAs must be enrolled as full-time students (at least nine hours).

For further information about GTA positions, please contact the Center for Women’s & Gender Studies. Students may be eligible for GTA positions in the Academic Advising Center and should contact that center directly for more information. 

Graduate Certificate in Women’s & Gender Studies

certificate code - cg30

The Graduate Certificate in Women's and Gender Studies consists of 15 credit hours of course work that can complement any graduate degree program.  

Course Requirements (15 hours):

No more that two 400-level course may be counted toward certificate. 

In lieu of an exam at the end of the graduate certificate program, students may also make a presentation in the seminar course at the end of the semester in which they take that course.

Required Courses
Choose one of the following:3
Feminist Theory
Choose one of the following:3
Independent Study
Independent Study
Independent Study
WGST Electives *9
Total Hours15

To enroll in the Graduate Certificate in Women's & Gender Studies, contact either the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies at their location, 325 Willey Street, or by phone at (304) 293-2339 or contact Cari Carpenter, the Interim Director of the Center for Women's & Gender Studies, by phone at (304) 293-2063 or via e-mail at cari.carpenter@mail.wvu.edu for an appointment to discuss your program.

Check in at least once a semester with the center to update your progress toward completion of the certificate.

Per WVU policies, students can complete this certificate while completing the requirements for a graduate degree, as 12 of the 15 credit hours can count for both the degree and certificate.

Major Learning Outcomes

Women's and Gender Studies

In completing a graduate certificate in Women’s and Gender Studies, students will be able to:

  • Use the lens of feminist and gender theory to analyze manifestations of human endeavor
  • Integrate key terms and concepts related to women’s and gender studies in an interdisciplinary approach to their primary discipline
  • Engage in discourse addressing how gender, class, race, ethnicity, age, sexualities and sexual identities shape experience and reflect societal constructs
  • Analyze, dissect, and criticize arguments to demonstrate an understanding of the scholarship and theoretical underpinning of the field of women’s and gender studies


WGST 530. Feminist Theory. 3 Hours.

Explores feminist theory through works of diverse scholars, focusing on questions of essentialism, difference, sexuality, bodies, language, power, economic and ecological justice; intersections of race, class, and gender, as well as global social justice struggles.

WGST 592. Directed Study. 1-6 Hours.

Directed study, reading, and/or research.

WGST 593A-C. Special Topics. 1-6 Hours.

A study of contemporary topics selected from recent developments in the field.

WGST 595. Independent Study. 1-6 Hours.

Faculty supervised study of topics not available through regular course offerings.

WGST 693A-B. Special Topics. 1-6 Hours.

A study of contemporary topics selected from recent developments in the field.

WGST 694. Seminar. 1-6 Hours.

Seminars arranged for advanced graduate students.

WGST 790. Teaching Practicum. 1-3 Hours.

PR: Consent. Supervised practice in college teaching of women's studies. Note: This course is intended to insure that graduate assistants are adequately prepared and supervised when they are given college teaching responsibility. It will also present a mechanism for students not on assistantships to gain teaching experience. (Grading will be S/U.).

WGST 791. Advanced Topics. 1-6 Hours.

PR: Consent. Investigation of advanced topics not covered in regularly scheduled courses.

WGST 792A-Z. Directed Study. 1-6 Hours.

PR: Consent. Directed study, reading and/or research.

WGST 793A-Z. Special Topics. 1-6 Hours.

A study of contemporary topics selected from recent developments in the field.

WGST 794A-B. Seminars. 1-6 Hours.

PR: Consent. Seminars arranged for advanced graduate students.

WGST 795. Independent Study. 1-9 Hours.

Faculty supervised study of topics not available through regular course offerings.

WGST 796. Graduate Seminar. 1 Hour.

PR: Consent. Each graduate student will present at least one seminar to the assembled faculty and graduate student body of his or her program.

WGST 797. Research. 1-15 Hours.

PR: Consent. Research activities leading to thesis, problem report, research paper or equivalent scholarly project, or a dissertation. (Grading may be S/U.).

WGST 798. Thesis or Dissertation. 1-6 Hours.

PR: Consent. This is an optional course for programs that wish to provide formal supervision during the writing of student reports (698), or dissertations (798). Grading is normal.

WGST 799. Graduate Colloquium. 1-6 Hours.

PR: Consent. For graduate students not seeking coursework credit but who wish to meet residency requirements, use of the University's facilities, and participate in its academic and cultural programs. Note: Graduate students who are not actively involved in coursework or research are entitled, through enrollment in their department's 699/799 Graduate Colloquium to consult with graduate faculty, participate in both formal and informal academic activities sponsored by their program, and retain all of the rights and privileges of duly enrolled students. Grading is P/F; colloquium credit may not be counted against credit requirements for masters programs. Registration for one credit of 699/799 graduate colloquium satisfies the University requirement of registration in the semester in which graduation occurs.


Interim Director

  • Cari Carpenter - Ph.D. (University of Michigan)

Associate Professor

  • Jennifer Kasi Jackson - Ph.D. (University of Kentucky)

Associate professor

  • Cynthia Gorman - Ph.D. (Rutgers University)


  • Cris Mayo - Ph.D. (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign)


  • Jorge Castillo
  • Kristiina Riivald

Adjunct professor

  • Allyson Perry