Women's Studies Certificate Program

Women's Studies is an interdisciplinary program that explores knowledge about women's lives and experiences both historically and in contemporary societies. Women's Studies courses analyze the contributions and importance of women in the development of human societies and bodies of knowledge, and challenge the errors of omission in traditional disciplines. Women's Studies combines an emphasis on intellectual development with practical knowledge that prepares students to use their education to lead effective lives in the world. We define education broadly, to include coursework, internships, and service learning, as well as preparation for further education.

Women's Studies provides students with important background preparation for settings such as counseling, business, communications, public and community service, advocacy work, work for non-profit organizations, public health, and law and futures in domestic abuse or welfare rights advocacy, family counseling, sexual assault counseling, health care, human resources and public relations.

The credit certificate program consists of a cluster of credit courses that are part of the regular curriculum offered at a UW Colleges campus.

The Women's Studies certificate will give students a focus on issues concerning women and gender within a variety of academic disciplines. It can give cohesion to a student's electives within the Associate of Arts and Science degree, lead students to a specialization in the area of women's studies, or prepare them for a major or a minor in Women's Studies at other UW institutions.


The Women's Studies Certificate requires a minimum of 15 credits earned with a grade of C or better. Up to three credits can be transferred from institutions outside the UW Colleges.


Credits for the Certificate must include the following:

  • GSW 101 An Introduction to Women's Studies or
  • GSW 102: Women's Voices, Women's Lives

A combination of 12 additional credits from the cross-listed courses offered in the Women's Studies Program, with at least one course from each of the following categories:

Humanities and Fine Arts (at least one course from this category)

  • GSW 202 Feminist Philosophy (PHI 202)
  • GSW 203 Women in Popular Culture
  • GSW 247 Latin American and Latina Women (SPA 247)
  • GSW 279 Women in Literature (ENG 279)
  • GSW 295 Women in the Arts (ART 290)

Social Sciences

  • GSW 205 Women, Religion and Spirituality
  • GSW 208 Psychology of Gender (PSY 208)
  • GSW 210 Women's Health and Sexuality in Society
  • GSW 218 Women and Sport (HES 218)
  • GSW 231 Sex, Power and Public Policy (POL 231)
  • GSW 238 Sociological Perspectives on Gender Roles (SOC 238)
  • GSW 250 Women in Cross Cultural Perspective (ANT 250)
  • GSW 260 Women and Science
  • GSW 265 Women and Education
  • GSW 270 Women in Business
  • GSW 280 Women in American History (HIS 279)

Additional Courses (credits may be taken from these categories):

  • GSW 130 Biology of Women (BIO 130)
  • GSW 291 Selected Topics in Women's Studies
  • GSW 299 Independent Study in Women's Studies

Selected Courses (credits may be taken from this category):

Courses in any department offered on a one-time basis with the Women's Studies designation. For example,

  • ENG 190 Special Topics with a focus on Feminist Nonfiction, or
  • BUS 297 Special Topics with a focus on Women in Business.

*WOM to GSW effective Fall 2015; updated 8-4-2015