Why study women, gender, and sexuality studies?

WGSS was built out of the dual goals of examining inequalities resulting from gender, race, sexual orientation and class using an interdisciplinary lens, and translating this research into meaningful, tangible knowledge that contributes to the betterment of communities. Our interdisciplinary faculty members are engaged in research that examines many of the cutting edge issues vexing contemporary times, both domestically and globally, such as discrimination, violence, human trafficking, health and inequality, and migration, to name a few. The common thread throughout these different areas of research is the focus on investigating the factors that create and contribute to vulnerability across time and geography.

Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies is one aspect of feminism, one where academic discussion and learning go on. WGSS students learn about the ways in which people's roles in society have been constructed and the ways in which these roles have changed and continue to change. WGSS courses will make you informed about, and sensitive to issues of gender in relation to education, lifestyle, social roles and status, sexuality, legal status and equity. You will face these issues at work; WGSS courses will help you to deal with them in an informed, responsible, and just manner.

What will women, gender, & sexuality studies give me?

  • Awareness of the issues facing women, men, and non-binary people -- and the world -- today.
  • Knowledge of many different academic fields.
  • Critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
  • Strong writing and researching abilities.
  • A solid base on which to enter the workforce, pursue further education and have an impact in the world.
  • Graduates of WGSS go on to do many different things, and the possibilities are endless.

Admission to Graduate Studies

An applicant seeking to pursue graduate study in the College may be admitted as either a degree-seeking or non-degree seeking student. Policies and procedures of Graduate Studies govern the process of Graduate admission. These may be found in the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog.

Please consult the Departments & Programs section of the online catalog for information regarding program-specific admissions criteria and requirements. Special admissions requirements pertain to Interdisciplinary Studies degrees, which may be found in the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog.

Graduate Admission

Any applicant seeking to pursue a graduate certificate in Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies must submit an application at https://graduate.ku.edu/apply. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

New Applicants

Applicants who are not already enrolled in a KU graduate program must have completed a bachelor’s degree with a 3.0 or higher GPA. These applicants should include the following materials in their application to the certificate program.

  • Statement of purpose (no longer than one page, single spaced)
  • Copy of official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended
  • Two letters of recommendation

Non-native speakers of English must meet English proficiency requirements as described here.

Current KU Graduate Students

Applicants already in a KU graduate program must be in good standing with their home department to be eligible for admission the certificate program. Current KU graduate students must provide the following materials in their online application.

  • Statement of purpose (no longer than one page, single spaced)
  • Letter of support from home academic department
  • Current KU advising report


Visit the Department of Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies website for detailed information about graduate certificate admissions requirements

Graduate Certificate Requirements

The Graduate Certificate in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies requires completion of 12 credit hours of graduate work, including:

Certificate students must complete two of the following three core courses:6
History of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies
Feminist Theory
Feminist Methodologies
Certificate students must also complete two electives chosen from the department's list of recommended graduate courses or courses approved by the department's Director of Graduate Studies.6
Total Hours12