Graduate Certificate in Women’s Studies

The Graduate Certificate in Women’s Studies is offered to students enrolled in other graduate degree programs at the University of Maryland. The Certificate requires a minimum of 18 credit hours, including a core requirement of 9 credit hours of Women’s Studies courses. This will provide students with an integrative and interdisciplinary academic encounter with the contributions and challenges of feminist inquiry. The remaining nine credits will be chosen, in consultation with the student’s Women’s Studies graduate advisor, from elective courses that will support the student’s particular research specialty.

Previously earned credits from UMD may be retroactively applied toward the Certificate if approved by the Women’s Studies graduate advisor. All requirements for the graduate certificate must be completed within a five-year period. Learn more about UMD Graduate Certificate Program policies. Admission to the Certificate Program is selective.

Applications for the certificate program are considered twice per year: for fall admission, applications must be received by April 15; for spring admission, applications must be received by November 15. Download an application here. Applications are also available in the Women’s Studies Department 2101 Woods Hall, University of Maryland College Park, MD 20742-7415.

Certificate Program Application

In addition to the application form, your application packet must include the following materials:

  • A copy of transcripts of work completed to date, both graduate and undergraduate. Unofficial copies of transcripts are acceptable.
  • Brief biographical statement and statement of purpose. Discuss those aspects of your personal history that relate to the development of your interest in Women’s Studies and explain the relevance of a Women’s Studies Certificate to your intellectual and professional goals
  • Writing sample
  • Two letters of recommendation * Note that letters of recommendation may be submitted by faculty via email to Please place the student’s full name and “letter of recommendation” in the subject heading

When submitting your application, please collate all of your items into one PDF file. The subject line of your email should read: “[Your Name] WMST Graduate Certificate Application” and you should name your file the same way. Please send to


Required Courses for the Graduate Certificate in Women’s Studies:

18 credit hours

  • 9 credits from WMST 601, WMST 602 and WMST 621
  • 9 credits from electives, chosen in consultation w/ advisor

With regard to the sequencing of courses, WMST 601 DOES NOT have to precede WMST 602 or WMST 621.

WMST601 Approaches to Women’s Studies I; (3 credits)

This course examines two fundamental concepts in women’s studies: intersectionality and interdisciplinarity. Looks at how feminisms have shaped and been shaped by knowledge-production within and across disciplinary boundaries, cultures, and paradigms. Develops an appreciation of intersectional theory as a critical research tool and as a set of responses to issues of power, domination, oppression and other loci of difference.

WMST602 Approaches to Women’s Studies II; (3 credits)

Continued examination of intersectionality and interdisciplinarity with emphasis on the politics of knowledge production and identity.

WMST621 Feminist Theories and Women’s Movements: Genealogies; (3 credits)

This course examines theories to explain the matrix of domination from the nineteenth century to the present. Students learn the key debates that produced new insights and shifted the ground of subsequent feminist theorizing within multi-racial feminisms. Examines those debates within global perspectives. Examines how dominant theoretical frameworks have been developed at specific historical moments.

Elective Courses