Gender and Women’s Studies Program


Gender and Women’s Studies Certificate

The post-baccalaureate certificate sponsored by the Gender and Women’s Studies Program provides students with a coherent and interdisciplinary grounding in current gender and women’s studies scholarship. It offers a range of intellectual skills useful in many disciplines and professions. The program can be readily adapted to a variety of career paths in business, education, psychology, public policy, public service and sociology in regional, national and international contexts. The Gender and Women’s Studies Program is a community of scholars dedicated to the study of gender and its intersection with such issues as race, ethnicity, class and sexuality. The scholars are committed to giving students tools to help meet the needs of a diverse workforce and world.

Students must complete four gender and women’s studies courses: two core courses that focus on feminist theories and research practice and two electives from a list of cross-listed courses within related humanities and social science departments. Both elective courses may be taken in the same department in which the student completes a master’s or doctoral degree. Only one course can be an independent study course.

The certificate may be completed in conjunction with graduate work in a master’s or doctoral program, or it can be completed by itself. Please refer to the application chapter for more information on how to apply for admission.

For more information, please contact the Gender and Women’s Studies Office at 410-455-2001 or e-mail gwstudies@umbc.edu

Course Descriptions

Core Courses:


GWST 680
Theories of Feminism [3]

This course examines the major theories of feminism through the study of works by central feminist thinkers, considered in their social, historical, and intellectual contexts. Such topics as reproduction and sexuality, the sexual division of labor, political rights, identity and subjectivity and the intersection of class, race, nation, sexual orientation and gender will be explored from the dominant theoretical perspectives of feminism. Note: Also listed as LLC 680.

GWST 695
Research Seminar in Women’s Studies [3]

The seminar will focus on the topic of feminist research methodologies. The seminar includes discussion of methodological issues central to conducting research about gender within the social sciences and humanities fields. The seminar will evaluate these debates through review of specific case studies. In addition, students will develop strategies for evaluating research and methodologies used by other disciplines in terms of their appropriateness for gender and women’s studies scholarship.

Elective Courses:

GWST 601
Directed Independent Study [1-3]

Independent readings under faculty supervision. Note: Intended for students who desire to study independently an aspect of gender and women’s studies not covered by regular course work. May be taken for one to three credits.

GWST 613
Language, Gender and Culture [3]

In Language, Gender and Culture, students gain an in-depth understanding of how gender and language are integrated into the fabric of cultures and societies and how sociocultural contexts give meaning to linguistic practices and to gender categories. Students will examine and evaluate a diverse body of literature and scholarship from the fields of linguistics, anthropology, gender studies, and sociology that bear on these issues. Critical attention will be paid to understanding the roles of language and gender in the U.S. context, especially with regard to the U.S. social institutions of education and the media; we will also explore relationships between language and gender in a range of other Western and non-Western cultures. Students will apply what they have learned in the course to final projects that may be research-based or outreach-based.

GWST 633
Gender, Work and Family in Cross- Cultural Perspective [3]

This course examines the intersection of work and family as affected by gender stratification in various countries. The topics covered include the separation and interdependence of work and family, gender wage differences, occupational gender segregation, division of household labor and childcare, dual-earner families and the impact of national policies (childcare, parental leave and affirmative action) on women and men. Cross-listed as SOCY 633.

GWST 690
Advanced Topics in Women’s Studies [3]

An intensive study of a specialized topic or problem involving gender and/or women’s studies using interdisciplinary methodologies. Topics to be announced each semester offered.