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Women's and Gender Studies

Graduate Certificate


Virginia Tech Blacksburg Campus

Residential/On Campus

Program Overview

By earning a certificate in women's and gender studies, students gain access to an interdisciplinary, cross-cultural study of gender in social structure, history, culture, and technology. The Women's & Gender Studies program at Virginia Tech presents students with new ways of thinking about how race, class, and sexuality shape our society and our experiences in it.


Domestic Application

  • Fall: August 1
  • Spring: January 1

International Application

  • Fall: August 1
  • Spring: January 1

Sharon P. Johnson, Director of Women's and Gender Studies
317 Major Williams Hall 

Shannon Bell, Director of Graduate Studies 
Sociology Department
674 McBryde Hall

Tish Glosh, Graduate Coordinator
560 McBryde Hall

Why choose this program?

  • We support the research of scholar-activists, who connect with communities in need and provide research that can help them to shape policies and solve problems.
  • The research and scholarly interests of our faculty cross a wide range of disciplinary boundaries.
  • Best fit for students interested in full-time graduate study on the campus of Virginia’s largest research university. 
  • The graduate program in Sociology at Virginia Tech prepares students to be productive and publicly-engaged scholars, advancing research. 
  • Our graduates have gone on to earn doctorates in sociology and related fields here at Virginia Tech and in universities around the world, or to direct and coordinate women’s centers, diversity programs, and research at such institutions as the Police Executive Research Forum in Washington DC, and the DisAbility Law Center of Virginia.
  • All classes are taught in small seminars and offer personal interaction with faculty and peers. 

What You'll Study

The WGS Graduate Certificate requires 9 hours of coursework, including WGS 5914 Feminist Theory and WGS 5924 Feminist Research Methodologies.  Other courses must be either WGS courses or WGS-approved from other disciplines.  Thesis or dissertation must address gender or sexuality and have at least one WGS faculty member or affiliate faculty member from other departments on the committee.

The Graduate Certificate in Women's and Gender Studies extends graduate students' work in other disciplines by exploring feminist theoretical perspectives and analyzing the structural and interpersonal dimensions of race, ethnicity, class, gender, and sexuality. Students complete nine hours of coursework together with a thesis or dissertation addressing an issue of gender or sexuality in a significant way.

Core Courses 

WGS 5914 Feminist Theory

WGS 5924 Feminist Research Methodologies

Elective Course 

Women's and Gender Studies Elective 

Faculty Experts In Women's and Gender Studies

Sociology Faculty 

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