Women's and Gender Studies Graduate Certificate Program

The Graduate Certificate in Women’s and Gender Studies is a 15-hour graduate-level certificate designed to integrate knowledge about women, gender, and sexuality into the chosen field of study of SMU graduate students, while also promoting interdisciplinary study and exchange.  It provides an additional credential for students seeking employment in fields where familiarity with feminist scholarship on women, gender and/or sexuality may be an asset. 

Students are encouraged to petition the director of Women’s and Gender Studies for credit for graduate courses in their own departments, including independent studies courses, in which they engage in study appropriate to the intent of the certificate.  Appropriate courses taken during matriculation at SMU, but prior to enrollment in the certificate program, may count toward program hours, but students are advised to enroll in the program early in their graduate study.

Most graduate programs at SMU permit students to take 6 hours outside their own departments.  If you have concerns about exceeding that limit, or about incurring financial liability for these courses, please contact the Director of Graduate Study in your home department for limits in your program. 

Eligibility: The student must be enrolled in a graduate program in Dedman College, the Perkins School of Theology, the Dedman School of Law, or the Art History department of the Meadows School of the Arts. Interested students in other programs should contact the Director of Women’s and Gender Studies.

Academic Requirements:

1. The advanced feminist theory seminar (WGST 6300/TC 8375), which includes “classic” literature from feminist, womanist and mujerista perspectives and addresses current theoretical issues across several disciplines. It is team-taught by faculty associated with Dedman College and the Perkins School of Theology.

2. Four additional courses relevant to the intent of the certificate. They may be courses in the student’s own department with a strong emphasis on material relevant to the program, or they may be chosen from the list of courses pre-approved by the Women’s and Gender Studies Program.  Students are permitted to take six hours of upper-level Dedman or Meadows undergraduate women’s and gender studies courses under the following circumstances: 

  • They arrange a separate syllabus and assignments in conjunction with the professor of record, and hold additional meetings to discuss these.
  • The syllabus and assignments must be approved by the Graduate Certificate Committee of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program. 
  • They register for such courses using the appropriate graduate-level number (WGST 5310 for 3000-level courses and 6310 for 4000-level courses).   WGST 5310 can be taken only once.

3. A major research project or a supervised internship in a setting that addresses issues concerning women, gender, and/or sexuality.  This project should be included in the program plan (see How to Enroll).   For Ph.D and J.D. students, the project normally involves an article-length research paper written for coursework.  Supervised internship settings for Perkins Master of Divinity students will require a learning goal for women's and gender studies articulated in consultation with the Perkins Internship Office. 

How to enroll: Graduate students who are interested in enrolling in the program should contact the WGS affiliate faculty member in their school to discuss if the program is a good fit with your personal course of study. Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences students may contact Joci Caldwell-Ryan at jcryan@smu.edu. Students in the Dedman School of Law should contact Jessica Dixon Weaver at jdweaver@mail.smu.edu. Perkins students should contact Evelyn Parker at eparker@smu.edu. These faculty members can lead students through the appropriate enrollment steps for their program.