Shelf of books written by UW-Madison's Gender and Sexuality Studies faculty

The Gender and Women’s Studies (GWS) curriculum provides a platform for students to study how equity and social justice are connected to gender, sexuality, and identity. Gender and Women's Studies students explore the field through traditional disciplines, such as literature, history, anthropology, sociology, public health, education, law, biology, psychology, political science, and the visual arts.

The certificate program requires 15 credits of coursework in gender and women's studies. Students can tailor the certificate to reflect their interests, complement their major or plan for graduate or professional school. 

How to Get in

Intent to pursue the certificate can be declared by meeting with the Department of Gender and Women's Studies undergraduate advisor or completing this online declaration form. Declaring the certificate as early as possible allows students to best align certificate coursework with their interests.

Students declared in the Gender and Women's Studies major are not eligible to declare the Certificate in Gender and Women's Studies at the Undergraduate Level.



15 credits of which at least 12 credits are in GEN&WS courses, to include: 1


Complete one from:3
Gender, Women, and Cultural Representation 2
Introduction to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer+ Studies
Women in Russian Literature in Translation
Introduction to Black Women's Studies
Introduction to Black Women Writers
Feminist Approach to Research and Writing
Chicana and Latina History
Women in Ethnic American Literature
Women in Literature
German Women Writers in Translation
Women, Gender and Religion
Special Topics in Gender, Women and the Humanities
Gender, Race and Colonialism
Gender and Communication
Study Abroad Special Topic: Gender, Women and the Humanities
Black Women in America: Reconstruction to the Present
Race and Gender in Post-World War II U.S. Society
Topics in Gender/Class/Race/Ethnicity (Humanities)
Latinas: Self Identity and Social Change
Topics in LGBTQ Sexuality
Transgender Studies
Queer Bodies
Bi/Pan/Asexuality: Community & Representation
Trans/Gender in Historical Perspective
Special Topics in Gender & Literature
Women and Gender in the Classical World
Women and Gender in the U.S. to 1870
Visionary and Speculative Fiction: Social Justice Approaches
Sex and Power in Greece and Rome
Art and Visual Culture: Women of the African Diaspora and Africa
Topics in Gender and Disability
Disability and Gender in Film
Visualizing Bodies
Gender & the Cultural Politics of Illness
Race, Sex, and Texts (How to do things with writing)
Special Topics in Gender and Visual Culture
Contemporary Queer Art and Visual Culture
Introduction to Contemporary Feminist Theatre and Criticism
Gender, Sexuality, and the Media
Gender and Expressive Culture
American Indian Women
Sexual Politics in Scandinavia
Contemporary Feminist Theories
The Body in Theory
Special Topics in Feminist Theory
Brazillian Women Writers
Carmen Miranda
Race and Sexuality in American Literature
Asian American Women Writers
Feminism, Folklore and Comparative Literature
Sexuality, Modernity and Social Change
The History of the (American) Body
Feminist Theory and Women's Writing in English
Theorizing Intersectionality
African American Women's Activism (19th & 20th Centuries)
Gender, Race and the Civil Rights Movement
Critical and Theoretical Perspectives in Black Women's Writings
Visual Culture, Gender and Critical Race Theory
Feminism, Folklore and Comparative Literature
Topics in LGBT History
Total Credits3

Social Science

Complete one from:3
Gender, Women, and Society in Global Perspective 2
Gender, Sexuality, and Global Health
Introduction to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer+ Studies
Feminist Approach to Research and Writing
Special Topics in Gender, Women and Society
Gender, Race and Class: Women in U.S. History
Study Abroad Special Topic: Gender, Women in Society
Topics in Gender/Class/Race/Ethnicity (Social Sciences)
Latinas: Self Identity and Social Change
Black Feminisms
Topics in LGBTQ Sexuality
Bi/Pan/Asexuality: Community & Representation
Women and Gender in the U.S. to 1870
Women and Gender in the U.S. Since 1870
Women and Gender in Modern Europe
Gender, Sexuality, and the Media
Women in Cross-Societal Perspective
Women and the Law
The Female Body in the World: Gender and Contemporary Body Politics in Cross Cultural Perspective
Crime, Gender and Justice
Gender and Politics in Comparative Perspective
Politics of Gender and Women's Rights in the Middle East
Contemporary Feminist Theories
Anthropology by Women
Queer of Color Critique
Special Topics in Feminist Theory
Women and Politics
Feminist Geography: Theoretical Approaches
Psychology of Women and Gender
Framing Fatness: Gender, Size, Constructing Health
Race, Gender, Health, and Medicine
Gender and Global Health in Critical Perspective
The Environment of the Womb: Epigenetics and Parent/Child Health
Sexuality and Science
Gender, Sexuality, and Reproduction: Public Health Perspectives
Queering Sexuality Education
Childbirth in the United States
Special Topics in LGBTQ+ Health
Special Topics in Gender and Health
Gender and Education
Gender, Science and Technology
Total Credits3

Natural and Biological Science

Complete one from:3
Gender, Women, Bodies, and Health
Sexuality and Science
Biology and Gender
Women and Health in American History
Special Topics in Gender and Biology
Women's Global Health and Human Rights
Total Credits3


Additional courses in GENWS to reach 15 credits for the certificate6
Total Credits6



Students cannot take courses pass/fail for credit in the certificate.


Students may not take both GEN&WS 101 and GEN&WS 102 for the certificate.

Residence and Quality of Work

  • 2.000 GPA in all certificate credits
  • 9 credits at the intermediate or advanced level
  • 8 credits in residence

Undergraduate/Special Student Certificates

This certificate may be completed within the context of an undergraduate degree or as a Special student after an undergraduate degree has been awarded from any institution. The certificate may be completed in its entirety while enrolled as a Special student. Candidates are encouraged to contact the certificate coordinator to discuss course enrollment and the sequencing of certificate requirements. 

Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate interdisciplinary understanding of core concepts and debates in Gender and Women's Studies.
  2. Demonstrate the practical skills related to Gender and Women's Studies, such as critical thinking and analysis, inquiry, and written and oral communication.
  3. Understand the interdisciplinary nature of Gender and Women's Studies research and connect this scholarship to the institutions that shape everyday life.
  4. Develop Gender and Women's Studies knowledge, skills, and social engagement and demonstrate how these ideas can be applied to new settings, ideas, and understandings.

Advising and Careers

Connecting and working with the undergraduate advisor in Gender and Women's Studies as early as possible helps you create a meaningful course plan and stay on track as you complete the certificate requirements.

The undergraduate advisor is available to consult on a variety of topics, including declaring the certificate, course selection, study abroad, volunteer and internship opportunities on campus and in the community, applying to graduate programs, and preparing for the job market after graduation.

L&S Career Resources

Every L&S major opens a world of possibilities.  SuccessWorks at the College of Letters & Science helps students turn the academic skills learned in their major, certificates, and other coursework into fulfilling lives after graduation, whether that means jobs, public service, graduate school or other career pursuits.

In addition to providing basic support like resume reviews and interview practice, SuccessWorks offers ways to explore interests and build career skills from their very first semester/term at UW all the way through graduation and beyond.

Students can explore careers in one-on-one advising, try out different career paths, complete internships, prepare for the job search and/or graduate school applications, and connect with supportive alumni and even employers in the fields that inspire them.


Faculty & Staff

GWS Faculty

GWS Staff