Women's Studies Graduate Certificate

Bowling Green State University offers a Graduate Certificate in Women's Studies. Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies is an interdisciplinary field offering a unified approach to the study of fundamental issues in sex and gender.

The Graduate Certificate in Women's Studies brings together scholars and graduate students across the University actively engaged in interdisciplinary feminist scholarship. The certificate offers an official acknowledgement of training and expertise in the field of women's, gender, and sexuality studies. Students examine how sex and gender have been reflected in culture across time; how they shape institutions as well as personal experience; how they interact with issues such as race, ethnicity, sexuality, and socioeconomic class; and how new ways of thinking about gender challenge the processes by which knowledge about human beings and our behavior is acquired, interpreted, and transmitted.

The graduate certificate supplements professional training in a wide variety of fields. As a stand-alone credential, the certificate is designed for individuals working in fields related to advocacy for women (legal and social services professions), women's health care and well being (battered women's shelters and women's clinics), and elementary, high school, and community college teachers. This option is designed for returning, non-traditional students.

The certificate may be pursued as a major or minor area of concentration within established graduate degree programs at BGSU.

On this page, you will be able to find information about admission requirements for the graduate certificate in Women's Studies, the application process, and the requirements for completing the certificate.  Be sure to also check out the course descriptions for the graduate certificate to learn more about the courses you can take to complete the certificate.  If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Sarah Rainey-Smithback the Director of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.

Admission Requirements

Students who wish to be admitted to the Graduate Certificate Program in Women's Studies must meet at least one of the following requirements:

  •  Be enrolled in a graduate program at BGSU

Or, for the stand-alone certificate:

  • Hold a bachelor degree with a 3.0 minimum grade point average
  • Have completed a graduate degree in any area.

Application Process

Students must apply to the Graduate College at BGSU for general admission.  Apply Now

The application for admission to the Graduate College should be submitted along with the following materials:

  • Two letters of recommendation from recent instructors, employers, or other individuals qualified to evaluate probable success in the program. (Students currently enrolled in another BGSU graduate program may use their letters of recommendation already on file - when listing your recommenders, use this same email address ccs@bgsu.edu with each of your previous recommender names. The letters on file will then be uploaded for you.)
  • A personal statement of intent delineating the purpose for enrolling in the program and outlining career goals (no more than 3 pages).

Careful attention is given to these materials.

Paul D. Coverdell Peace Corps Fellows Program Eligibility

Certificate Requirements

To earn the certificate you must complete 16 credit hours, including:

  • WS 6200: Contemporary Feminist Theory
    • All students who do not have substantial undergraduate or graduate course work in Women’s Studies or Feminist Studies should take WS 6100 before taking WS 6200.  If you have any questions about your qualifications, please contact the Women’s. Gender, and Sexuality Studies Graduate Coordinator. WS 6100 does count as one of the 3-credit elective courses required for the certificate.
  • 4 3-credit elective courses, approved by WS graduate coordinator.
  • WS 7860: Independent Study in Women's Studies (This is the 1 credit hour capstone project that is completed toward the end of your certificate.  It involves working one-on-one with a faculty advisor.)


The capstone project may be an empirical or conceptual research study, a review of the feminist literature on a topic of interest, or a practical project (e.g., development of teaching portfolio, curriculum, or workshop). The student and her or his capstone advisor will agree on the topic, structure, and criteria for the capstone project. All students must file a final version of the Capstone in the Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Department before receiving the Certificate. 

Prerequisites for Capstone:

  • Formal admittance into the Certificate program
  • WS 6200 Contemporary Feminist Theory
  • Completion of 4 additional courses toward the WS Certificate
  • Completion of Capstone Application Form 

Updated: 01/19/2024 11:35AM