Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies
Graduate Certificate in Advanced Feminist Studies


Admission to the Certificate Program is contingent upon, (1) prior admission to the Graduate School of the University into a graduate degree-granting department, or (2) after prior completion of a graduate degree and acceptance as a non-degree student.

The candidate should demonstrate a commitment to, and evidence of, research or organizational experience in feminist concerns. A general knowledge of feminist scholarship is expected, and a background in feminist theory and/or activism with women's issues is preferred, but an undergraduate major in the field is not required as prerequisite for admission to the program.

Students interested in admission to the Certificate Program should meet with Nancy Patteson, Graduate Program Coordinator and Advisor in the main office, 208 Bartlett Hall or call (413) 545-1922.  Scroll down for an application or pick one up at the Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies office.  Applications should be submitted directly to the Graduate Admissions office in 530 Goodell or emailed to gradadm@grad.umass.edu by March 1.  Non-degree students should contact the Graduate Admissions office, 530 Goodell for a non-degree student application.

Application for Admission and Proposed Final Research Project Form

Guidelines for Proposed Final Reserach Project

Upon admission to the certificate program each student will meet with both the graduate program coordinator and the graduate certificate program director to plan their program of study. A list of affiliate faculty mentors is available for student's committee support. Successful completion of the required course work will constitute a certificate in Advanced Feminist Studies.


The program consists of the following requirements to fulfill the minimum 15 credits.

Two core approved graduate courses:

WOMENSST 691B - Issues in Feminist Research: A Three credit methods seminar with course content that explores an integrative analysis and may examine selected paradigms in feminist theory.

WOMENSST 791B - Feminist Theory: A background in theory is required for admission and, in addition, this course is both a foundational core requirement and prerequisite for the Issues in Feminist Research Seminar. Course content explores an integrative perspective* and may examine selected paradigms in feminist theories.

Two interdisciplinary approved electives from the following categories:

Feminist Disciplinary and Interdisciplinary Approaches: This elective exposes the students to disciplinary coursework that focuses on women, gender, and/or sexuality, and is guided by feminist analysis.

Transnational/Critical Race Feminisms: This requirement ensures that students understand the critical importance of the anti-racist politics of racial justice movements and women of color to feminism, and further accommodates the inclusion of transnationalism, critical race studies and sexuality studies into the field of inquiry.

WOMENSST 793A - A final research project

A Committee of two must be named and a final research project proposal submitted for admission into the Certificate and project confirmation is required prior to scheduling WOMENSST 793A.  Certificate students work independently with their committee members while the project is supervised by the Graduate Certificate Program Director.  A formal presentation of the research is expected during the final semester in the Certificate.

Research project options include but are not limited to a master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation; a publishable research paper or project of outstanding quality; a book chapter; a performance or multimedia presentation. Whatever the field of study, the research paper must focus on an analysis of the intersection of race, class, gender and sexuality. It can be developed from 1) a paper submitted to meet one of the core requirements; 2) prior research; 3) a practicum or other project.  Committee members and the Graduate Certificate Program Director will evaluate the project for final approval.  A digital copy of the research project is to be left with the Graduate Program Coordinator in the Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies office.

Courses will be offered and coordinated by core, adjunct and associated graduate faculty and will be published in the Five College Course Guide every semester.  The Graduate Program Director is available for advising and provides supervision of research.  For further information, contact the Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies Program, 208 Bartlett Hall, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA. 01003 (413)545-1922.