Graduate Programs

Graduate Programs

The University of Michigan Women’s Studies Department offers four joint interdisciplinary PhD options and two graduate certificate program options. It offers no stand alone PhD program.

The certificate programs are open only to current graduate students already enrolled in a terminal masters or doctoral degree program at the University of Michigan. There is no terminal Women’s Studies Master’s degree.

PhD Programs

The available joint PhD programs are in:

By choosing one of our joint PhD degrees, students benefit from:

  • Opportunities for interdisciplinary research and mentoring with a diverse faculty
  • An active cohort of students involved in both Women’s Studies and another discipline
  • A community dedicated to excellence
  • The resources of a major research university

The joint degree is unique in that it combines grounding in one of four disciplines, training in feminist theories and methodologies, and interdisciplinary coursework in Women’s Studies. Students fulfill requirements and pass a preliminary examination in two units. In some cases, the dissertation project will be centrally located in the discipline and informed by feminist theory and/or methodology; in other cases, the project will be a truly interdisciplinary endeavor at the intersection of the discipline and Women’s Studies.

All joint PhD students are fully funded via a combination of fellowships and teaching or research assistantships for five years. Upon completion of the dual PhD degree, students will be qualified to seek positions in both their discipline and Women’s Studies programs.

For more information on how to apply to one of the PhD programs, please click here.

Certificate Programs

Graduate certificates enable students who are pursuing a doctoral, terminal masters, or professional degree to supplement their disciplinary training with concentrated inquiry in a specific field. Long before doctoral programs in Women’s Studies became available, Women’s Studies at U-M offered a graduate certificate to allow students to focus on women and/or gender issues in their home discipline, whether sociology, nursing, mathematics, French literature, or the law.

Even as the study of women and gender has been integrated into the disciplines, the Graduate Certificate in Women’s Studies provides students with rigorous interdisciplinary training, connecting their disciplinary gender research to conversations taking place within a broader intellectual community. In 2006, Women’s Studies began offering a graduate certificate in LGBTQ Studies in an effort to build connections among students and faculty, foster interdisciplinary research, and provide support to students in the traditional disciplines and professional schools.

Graduate Certificate in Women’s Studies

Designed for students already enrolled in a terminal degree program at the University of Michigan, the Certificate in Women’s Studies consists of graduate course work totaling 15 credit hours. The Certificate, which can be combined with either a masters or a doctoral degree, aims to provide:

  • Analyses of contemporary feminist theoretical frameworks and methodologies, and their implications for academic disciplines and professional practices
  • An inclusive approach that examines the intersection of gender and other social identities and categories of analysis
  • An opportunity to broaden and enrich analytical skills in one or more disciplines while drawing on the interdisciplinary perspectives of Women’s Studies
  • A challenge to the traditional separation of academic theory from political and professional practice

Coursework for the Certificate in Women’s Studies (established in 1982) involves core courses in feminist theory and methodology and advanced courses on women and gender in the discipline. It culminates in an advanced research project designed to incorporate a feminist perspective.

For more information on applying for the Graduate Certificate in Women's Studies, please click here.

Graduate Certificate in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Studies

Designed for students already enrolled in a terminal degree program at the University of Michigan, the Certificate in LGBTQ Studies consists of graduate course work totaling 15 credit hours. The Certificate, which can be combined with either a masters or a doctoral degree, aims to:

  • Provide an interdisciplinary analysis of the function of sexuality, and particularly sexual identity, in the construction of individuals, as a form of minority discourse, as a signifier of cultural representations, and as a site of power
  • Examine the processes by which sexual desires, identities, and practices are produced, represented, regulated, and resisted, in the U.S. and globally, both in the past and in the present
  • Address sexuality in a way that consistently demonstrates its interconnections to gender, race, ethnicity, and class

Coursework for the Certificate in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Studies involves one core course, Introduction to LGBTQ Studies; one additional course in Women’s Studies on sexuality; and two courses, including one outside the discipline, on sexuality or LGBTQ topics. It culminates in an advanced research project designed to incorporate a LGBTQ perspective.

For more information on applying for the Graduate Certificate in LGBTQ Studies, please click here.