Graduate Certificate Program in WGSS

Director of Graduate Studies:

Greta LaFleur (
WLH Rm 322

General Information

The Certificate (previously known as the Qualification) in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies is open to students already enrolled in a Ph.D. program at Yale. Interested students are strongly encouraged to register for the certificate by meeting with the director of graduate studies (DGS) and submitting the application below during their first year. The application may be accessed repeatedly to add information as requirements are completed. Students who wish to receive the certificate must (1) complete a graduate course on the theory of gender and sexuality; (2) complete two electives, including one course from the WGSS curriculum; (3) complete one term of WGSS 900, the WGSS Certificate Workshop; (4) demonstrate the capacity to pursue independent, interdisciplinary research in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies by presenting a qualifying paper at a meeting of the WGSS Colloquium; and (5) fulfill a teaching requirement.  Each of these requirements must be met in consultation with the DGS and the individual WGSS graduate adviser. Students who fulfill these expectations will receive a letter from the DGS, indicating that they have completed the work for the certificate.

Requirements for the Certificate

In consultation with the DGS in Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies, with the DGS and academic advisor in the degree program, and with an advisor from the Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies graduate faculty, a student who intends to complete the certificate should work out a plan for meeting the requirements of the certificate along with her or his degree requirements. 

I. Theory Course: Each student takes one course on theories of gender and sexuality. Multiple courses fulfilling the theory requirement will be designated as such in the Graduate School Bulletin and in online course descriptions. The theory course must be taken for a grade. If the theory course is double-listed in another department or program, the student may enroll in the course under either the WGSS course number or another department’s or program’s course number. Substitutions are permissible in consultation with the DGS of WGSS and with the WGSS advisor.

II. Two Electives: Each student takes two elective courses. One of those courses must have a WGSS number attached to it. One directed reading course may count as an elective. Electives are normally courses focusing entirely or substantially on women, gender, and/or sexuality.

III. WGSS 900: The student must complete one term of WGSS 900, the WGSS Certificate Workshop.
IV. Qualifying Paper: Each student demonstrates the capacity to pursue independent, interdisciplinary research in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies by presenting a qualifying paper at a meeting of the WGSS Colloquium.
V. Teaching: There are several ways for a student to fulfill the teaching requirement, including teaching her or his own seminar on women/gender/sexuality or serving as T.F. for a Yale College course with a WGSS number attached to it. Other options are available to the student if appropriate courses are not available. Such options must be determined by the WGSS advisor and DGS.

To apply for the WGSS Certificate, click here.

For graduate course offerings for the current academic year, click here.