Women's and Gender Studies

Women's and Gender Studies is a discipline that critically examines gender and women's issues from an interdisciplinary perspective and challenges many traditional assumptions and theories. It examines the practice and expression of gender in different societies and at different historical moments.

Regardless of your gender, Women's and Gender Studies is crucial and relevant for anyone interested in working in criminal justice, social work, the non-profit sector, the arts, politics, business, and more. Students learn to look at the world and history through different perspectives and think about how gender and our perceptions of it impact culture, society, and daily interactions. It is a traditional liberal arts discipline where the knowledge and skills developed in the program can be applied to all types of career paths. Work experiences during college through internships, part-time jobs, and volunteer positions often shape career paths after graduation.

In 1974, the Office of Women's Studies opened its doors at UWM, becoming the first university in Wisconsin to establish a Women's Studies program. Today, undergraduate students at UWM can pursue a Women's and Gender Studies major or minor, and graduate students can choose from among three different Women's and Gender Studies MA options or a certificate to complement a different graduate degree program. Undergraduates benefit from the MA program's strength by working with and learning from graduate students and taking classes with the same exceptional faculty.

Students in Women's & Gender Studies master critical thinking, problem analysis, and communication through both classroom studies and service learning opportunities. Download our fact sheet to the right to learn more about the Women's & Gender Studies major and coursework.

Certificate Requirements

Total Credits Required

15 credits required

Required Courses (9 credits)

WGS 401 – Global Feminism, 3 credits
(Students who have previously earned undergraduate credit in this course will substitute, with approval of the DGS, a graduate course with a focus on globalization and women.)

WGS 700 – Feminist Issues and Scholarship, 3 credits

WGS 710 – Advanced Feminist Theory, 3 credits

Electives (6 credits)

Selected from a combination of WGS and approved cross-listed Graduate (G) or Undergraduate/Graduate (U/G) courses in other programs and departments.

Additional Information

No more than 6 credits in U/G courses can apply toward the certificate, and a maximum of three credits in independent study may count toward the 15 credits required for the certificate. At least three credits must be taken outside of Women’s & Gender Studies and the student’s home department or discipline (i.e., the program in which the student currently is enrolled as a graduate degree candidate or in which the student has received an advanced degree). Thesis and research credits may not be counted toward the Certificate.

Transfer Credits

No more than 20% of the required credits may be taken at an institution other than UWM. These courses are subject to Graduate School transfer policy and must be approved by the director of the certificate program.

GPA Requirements

A minimum cumulative 3.00 grade point average in certificate courses taken at UWM is required.