The ISSG Graduate Certificate in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies is typically completed by PhD students in Arts and Sciences. With the permission of the Director of Graduate Studies, students from other Columbia schools and students pursuing MA degrees may complete the certificate.
The Institute encourages those students who may be interested in completing the Graduate Certificate to declare their intention to do so early in their academic career, in order to receive proper advisement on how to complete the certificate in conjunction with other degree requirements. Please use the link “ISSG Graduate Certificate Declaration” in the sidebar to express your intent to pursue the certificate. A member of the staff will follow up with your request and provide more information.
General and logistical questions about the Graduate Certificate may be sent via email to [email protected]. Questions about course substitutions and examination waivers may be sent via email to the ISSG Director of Graduate Studies.
Verification of the completion of the requirements for the Graduate Certificate is made through submission of a completed ISSG Graduate Certificate Milestone Form. Completed milestone forms should be emailed to [email protected]. Once the DGS reviews that the requirements have been met, the certificate can be conferred.
The following outlines the requirements for the completion of the ISSG Graduate Certificate. The writing requirement applies only to students who declare intent to pursue the certificate on or after July 1, 2021:
All certificate students must complete the following courses. Graduate Certificate courses must be taken for a letter grade of B+ or higher; R credit will not be accepted.
- WMST GU4000: Genealogies of Feminism OR WMST GR6001: Theoretical Paradigms in Feminist Scholarship
- An advanced (4000-level and above) WMST elective.
- With permission of the ISSG Director of Graduate Studies, an advanced course (4000-level and above) in another department with a specific emphasis on gender, sexuality, and feminist scholarship and/or a methodological perspective influenced by feminist thought may be substituted for this requirement. A sampling of courses that have met this requirement in the past can be found here: Approved Advanced Course Substitutions
Completion of the certificate requires the submission of a 25pp. essay or chapter in the student’s field that demonstrates expertise in theories of WGSS. The submission will be reviewed by the ISSG Director of Graduate Studies and an additional reader from the ISSG Executive Committee who is from the student’s department or close to their field. Submissions can be pieces used for other requirements, including seminar papers, published articles, or dissertation chapters. Essays should be submitted to [email protected] for review by the DGS and additional reader.
In addition to the Foundational Courses listed above, completion of Option 1 for the Graduate Certificate requires the following:
- An oral examination based on a reading list composed in consultation with an examining committee
The examining committee will be composed of two faculty members: one from the student’s home department and one affiliated with the Institute who is outside the student’s home department and has no role in the student’s departmental examination. Selection of the faculty committee is made by the student in consultation with, and subject to the approval of, the ISSG Director of Graduate Studies.
- Reading lists may include literature related to the student’s research field, but should predominantly emphasize a broad spectrum of theoretical literature central to feminist scholarship. It should reflect ISSG's transnational and interdisciplinary commitments. The reading list should be filed with the ISSG Director of Graduate Studies at least two months before the scheduled exam. All reading lists are subject to the approval of the ISSG Director of Graduate Studies.
- Reading lists consist of approximately 25 texts chosen in consultation with both of the student’s examiners.
- Students may use the bibliography for an original course syllabus developed in the Feminist Pedagogy seminar, WMST GR8001, as the basis for the reading list.
- The oral examination (lasting 45 minutes to one hour) may not be taken before completion of all other course requirements. The examination is administered by the Institute at a time and place suitable to all concerned, but normally not more than six months from the date of the departmental exam. The results will be communicated to the ISSG Director of Graduate Studies.
- With the approval of the ISSG Director of Graduate Studies and the agreement of the examiners, students may elect to take the oral examination concurrently with the departmental exam.
Students whose departmental exam includes a substantial gender/sexuality/feminist component may apply for a waiver of the exam requirement with the ISSG Director of Graduate Studies. In some cases, upon review of the waiver request, the ISSG Director of Graduate Studies may instead ask the student to supplement the departmental reading list with additional texts that will be subject to examination by two examiners.
In addition to the Foundational Courses listed above, completion of Option 2 for the Graduate Certificate requires the following:
- Completion of the course WMST GR8001 Feminist Pedagogy
- Submission of a course syllabus, rationale, and annotated bibliography
In addition to the course syllabus, students must also compose a written rationale of approximately 500-750 words outlining how the course reflects methodologies in Gender & Sexuality Studies, accompanied by annotations of ca. 20 works that are either in their course syllabus, or texts read in preparation for teaching the course. At least five of the annotated texts should address theoretical issues in Gender & Sexuality Studies.
The syllabus and rationale will be reviewed by the ISSG Director and ISSG Director of Graduate Studies and are subject to their approval.