Graduate Certificate

We welcome your interest in our GWS PhD program and our interdisciplinary GWS certificate program. Our PhD program is enjoying its fifth year of existence and our GWS certificate is over twenty years old. Students in our PhD program and GWS certificate program have a wide range of professional goals and research interests. The PhD program in Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of Kentucky aims to train cutting-edge scholars of feminist, gender, and sexuality studies. We are deeply committed to the academic innovations in both women’s studies, in which lived experiences of women worldwide are honored and used to expand traditional disciplinary knowledges, and gender studies, which examines how we ascribe gendered meanings to everyday objects, experiences, and relationships across space and time. Our curriculum is shaped by an intellectually and culturally diverse faculty whose areas of expertise complement each other in ways to ensure that students gain a variety of knowledge and skills. These include the areas of transnational perspectives, critical theory, affect theory, social justice frameworks, and interdisciplinary methodologies. Our faculty actively publish and teach across a broad range of topical areas including studies of violence, social movements and activism, the law, reproductive justice, education, disability, masculinities, migration, body, popular culture, sexualities, queer theory, science and health. In addition to offering required courses in feminist theory, the history of feminist thought, and feminist research methodologies, we offer a broad range of GWS topical seminars and crossed listed courses including “Gendered Migration,” “Gender and Science,” “Gender, the Courts, and Law,” “Queer Theory and Identity,” “Bodies, Representations, and Histories,” “Queer of Color in the Global Context,” “Women and Gender in Lain America,” “Feminist Pedagogies,” “Pregnancy and Prisons in Literature and Law,” “Diaspora and Gender Performance,” “Black Feminist Theory,” and “Ferguson and Race in a Historical Perspective” among others (See the link to graduate courses on this website for further information about course offerings). We also offer graduate seminars through the Social Theory Program (“Transnational Lives,” “Justice,” and “Affect”); cross-listed courses with affiliated GWS faculty; and programming in conjunction with the African American and Africana Studies Program, and the Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino/a Studies Program.

The department offers a Graduate Certificate in Gender and Women's Studies. Students may complete the certificate as a complement to a graduate disciplinary degree program or as a stand-alone curriculum. The aim of the Graduate Certificate curriculum is to provide a coherent, graduate-level interdisciplinary grounding in Gender and Women's Studies scholarship and to create an intellectual community among faculty and graduate students who share a scholarly interest in Gender and Women's Studies.

Students who are currently enrolled as a graduate student in a department at the University of Kentucky are encouraged to apply for the Gender and Women's Studies Graduate Certificate program early in their graduate studies. Courses counting toward fulfillment of the Graduate Certificate curriculum must be taken after admission to the program.

Information about the graduate certificate, the requirements for application and admission, and the requirements for the certificate are available on this website. If you have questions about the program after reading these materials, please contact Michelle Del Toro, GWS Department Manager at and/or Dr. Jenn Hunt, Director of Graduate Studies at 

We look forward to hearing from you!

Jenn Hunt,  Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Gender and Women's Studies

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