Gender and Women's Studies has transformed scholarship and challenged fundamental assumptions in the humanities, social and natural sciences, and the professions. Our curriculum can be tailored to students’ individual research interests., and students may enroll in the stand-alone graduate certificate program, or add the certificate to a master’s degree in another department. The certificate can be earned by completing 15 graduate credits. Students who are pursuing a degree in another department will be able to apply some of their courses for both the degree and the certificate.

Why a Graduate Certificate in Gender and Women's Studies?

  • Our program encourages critical thinking about gender difference and sexuality at local, national and global levels through courses and programming that challenge sex-biased generalizations and stereotypes.
  • The curriculum stresses the exploration of theoretical and practical concepts of power, as applied to gender and sexuality and to all forms of oppression through a genuinely interdisciplinary approach.
  • We seek to empower students by developing the skills needed to reason and argue competently, thus giving them a voice and sense of identity to work for change.


Students not already enrolled in a Villanova graduate degree program who are applying for the certificate must review the application details and apply through the Office of Graduate Studies.

Graduate students already enrolled at Villanova may apply through an internal application and a review of their graduate transcripts. Up to two courses may double-count toward both a graduate degree and the GWS graduate certificate.

The GWS graduate certificate requires 15 credit hours (five three-credit courses) including Critical Perspectives on Gender (GWS 8000) and four graduate courses with the GWS attribute.

The GWS curriculum is always evolving, and faculty from many disciplines frequently teach new graduate courses. Recent courses that qualify for the GWS attribute include: 

  • CHR 7155: Human Sexuality
  • COM 8005: Gender and Communication
  • EDU 8678: Multiculturalism, Gender in Schools
  • ENG 8260: Revenge Tragedy
  • ENG 9530: Sex before Sexology
  • ENG 9640: Emotion and American Fiction
  • ENG 9640: Queer Theory and American Literature
  • ENG 9730: Modernist Sexualities
  • ENG 9720: Feminist Fiction and Feminist Theory
  • GWS 8000: Critical Perspectives on Gender
  • HIS 8002: Gender and the Civil War
  • HIST 8207: Women and Gender in Europe 400-1650
  • HIS 8290: Women and Gender in Modern Europe
  • HIS 8436: Women and Gender in the Middle East
  • HIST 8800: Gender History
  • LAW 6255: Sexuality and the Law
  • LAW 7060: Feminist Legal Theory
  • LAW 7148: Human Trafficking
  • LST 7301: Women in America
  • LST 7303: Social Justice
  • PHI 8540: Feminist Theories
  • PHI 8710: Embodied Epistemologies
  • PHI 8720: Politics of the Affects
  • PSC 8000: Global Feminism
  • PSC 8775: Global Inequality
  • PSY 8900: Intimate Relationships
  • PSY 8900: Gender and Sexuality
  • SPA 7449: Women’s Voices in Latin America
  • THE 8200: Gender, Politics, and Performance

Gender and Women's Studies
Villanova University, SAC 488
800 Lancaster Avenue
Villanova, PA 19085
Certificate Program Director: 
Dr. Travis Foster



Fall: Rolling until August 1

Spring: Rolling until December 1

Summer: Rolling until May 1

If you have missed a deadline, please contact Dr. Travis Foster to discuss your options.

Begin your application.