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University of Tennessee Women's Studies program

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Women's Studies program

Graduate Certificate in Women’s Studies

Students may combine the graduate certificate in Women’s Studies with graduate work in other formal degree programs or may pursue the graduate certificate as a course of study independent of a formal degree program. 
A Graduate Certificate in Women’s Studies draws upon faculty strength across disciplines in the College of Arts and Sciences. The Graduate Certificate builds on those strengths and serves a diverse student body, including graduate students who are enrolled in other graduate programs and who have an interest in adding an interdisciplinary component to their programs, students who wish to further their education in an interdisciplinary area without enrolling in a graduate program, and community members who seek alternate routes to educational enrichment than those offered by existing departmental graduate degree programs. 

Structure of Certificate

Credit hours must be taken from at least two different departments or academic units. For students enrolled in a separate graduate program, no more than two of the certificate courses may be drawn from that program or the department in which the program is housed. Students are encouraged to select from courses at the 500 level and above.  A thesis is not required, but a significant capstone project, such as a scholarly paper, presentation at a professional meeting, or other appropriate project, is required.


The Graduate Certificate in Women’s Studies develops critical thinking about the economic, social, and legal factors influencing women’s roles in contemporary and historical societies, evaluating those roles in the widest possible perspectives. Students may examine representations of women in the arts and the media, evaluate how science and medicine view women as objects of study, and study how women work as practitioners and researchers in these fields. The program is designed to provide a supplementary perspective for students already enrolled in graduate programs, to provide an entry into graduate study for those who are exploring a number of disciplinary approaches, to provide enrichment for members of the community who have a BA or an advanced degree, and to develop skills for professionals in various fields.


Students must be admitted to the Graduate School and have a minimum GPA of 3.0. Students additionally must make a separate application for admission to the graduate certificate program in Women’s Studies. Applications for admission to the graduate certificate program are made to the Chair of Women’s Studies in a written statement of interest in and experience in feminism and women’s issues. The statement should include a tentative plan of study, and an indication of a potential advisor from Women’s Studies faculty having interests in common with the student. The Chair will assign a formal advisor at the time of admission. Applications may be submitted throughout the academic year. 


A minimum of fifteen credit hours is required. Students may apply at any time in their course of study; however, a program advisor from Women’s Studies faculty must approve all courses in the individual’s program of study. A certificate cannot be earned without program approval by the advisor.  Where appropriate, coursework taken to meet requirements in the student’s home department may also be credited toward the certificate program, pending approval by the Women’s Studies advisor.

  • Women’s Studies 510  Special Topics. This should encompass an overview of feminist theory, history, and methods. It typically involves a scholarly review paper that includes analysis and critique that is submitted to the chair of Women’s Studies.

  • Twelve additional hours, drawn from at least two different disciplines.

  • A capstone experience such as presenting research results to a professional group, submitting a work for publication, arranging an exhibit, or presenting a performance to a group approved by the individual advisor and the chair of Women’s Studies.


Contact Information

Dr. Cheryl Travis, Chair
Women’s Studies
Jessie Harris Bldg. rm-310
1215 Cumberland Ave.
University of Tennessee
Knoxville, Tennessee 37996-1930

Phone: (865) 974-2409
Fax:  (865) 974-3330