Advanced Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (AdWGSS) Graduate Certificate

I. The AdWGSS graduate certificate guides students to:

  • Examine the factors that affect the status of women across cultures and through time.
  • Critique and analyze theories and assumptions about women in various disciplines.
  • Contribute to the reformulation of social knowledge.
  • Explore institutionalizing social change that highlights and supports the achievements of women locally and internationally.
  • Understand the usefulness of gender as an analytical tool in many fields.
  • Apply feminist methodologies, analyses, and problem-solving to their academic fields.
  • Integrate the rigors of the scholarship on gender into their chosen professions as a means of enhancing their professional lives and opportunities for advancement.

II. The AdWGSS graduate certificate studies are focused in four broad areas under gender studies:

  1. Feminist methods of inquiry and theoretical analysis: Explore sex and gender as analytical categories. What do they mean? What purposes are served by prevailing binary notions of gender? How is gender constituted in past, current, and future social, biological, cultural, and economic contexts?
  2. Feminist knowledge: Learn about the pervasive impact of gender relations on thoughts, actions, and prevailing constructions of reality. Become acquainted with an array of feminist theories and arguments about issues such as political action, reproduction, and sexual orientation.
  3. Sex and gender and social-political categories of power and privilege: Examine the interaction of sex and gender with race/ethnicity, class, sexuality, and other primary vectors of power and privilege as relevant to nearly all domains of human experience. Explore the dynamics of these interactions with emphasis on the evolving multicultural milieu of Hawaiʻi and the Asia Pacific region.
  4. Sources of sex and gender differences: Examine both the empirical and philosophical debates concerning sameness and difference as these relate to the topic of gender. Consider the sources of gender and sex differences as well as the significance of these.

Certificate Requirements

The AdWGSS Graduate Certificate requires 18 credit hours, twelve of which must be 600-level or higher, including:

  • WS 610: Faculty Seminar Series (1) - Introduces students to the faculty and affiliates of the certificate program who present their ongoing research in weekly meetings of this seminar series.
  • WS 613: Feminist Research and Methods of Inquiry (3) - Explores feminist research methodologies and focuses on how similar objects of study are constituted in different disciplines for feminist scholars.
  • WS 615: Interdisciplinary Feminist Theory (3) - Examines selected ideas from contemporary feminist theory concerning power, knowledge, and the constitution of women.
  • WS 650: Research in Feminist Studies: Capstone Experience (2) - In lieu of a comprehensive exam, students design, develop, and complete a research and/or community involvement project to culminate in a publishable quality work or comparable product, and a professional quality seminar presentation. The capstone (WS 650) is taken in the student's final semester in the program.

The nine remaining credits are chosen from a list of courses approved by the women's studies graduate advisor, and should best support the student's academic and professional goals and objectives. Up to six credits of approved courses may be earned in the student's home department.