Gender and Women’s Studies (Certificate)

Gender and Women’s Studies (Certificate)

Apply Now Print Page

The Graduate Certificate in Gender and Women’s Studies (GWS) promotes interdisciplinary and intersectional research and scholarship centered on the study of women, gender, and sexuality. The Certificate is a part of the curricular offerings of the Gender and Women’s Studies Program, which is housed in the School of Interdisciplinary Programs and Community Engagement.

The Certificate can enrich the academic curriculum and knowledge of students from various disciplines including (but not limited to) Anthropology, Art, Biology, Criminal Justice, Economics, Engineering, Health Services, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, Social Work, and Sociology. Through fostering interdisciplinary analysis and dialogue, the Certificate enables students to effect social change in their communities, and poises them for careers in business, education, health care, international development, journalism, medicine, and computer science within local, national, and international job markets.

Students will need to complete a total of three courses for the nine credit hours necessary for the certificate.

Admission Requirements

Step #1: Submit a UTRGV Graduate Application at There is no application fee.

Step #2: Request your official transcripts to be sent electronically to or mailed to:

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
The Graduate College
Marialice Shary Shivers Bldg. 1.158
1201 W. University Drive
Edinburg, TX 78539-2999

*Please Note: If you are a graduate of UTPA, UTB/TSC, or UTRGV you do not need to request an official transcript to be sent to the Graduate College.

Review and submit all Program Requirements:

  • Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution in the United States or a recognized international equivalent in a similar or related field.
  • Undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0.
  • Official transcripts from each institution attended (must be submitted directly to UTRGV).

Students whose native  language is not English  or  who studied at a University outside the U.S.:

  • TOEFL or IELTS Language Proficiency Test with minimum scores: 550 on paper-based, 213 on computer based, or 79 on Internet-based for the TOEFL; 6.5 for the IELTS. TOEFL and IELTS scores are valid for 2 years. For additional information, visit the English Proficiency Exam section of our website.
  • Certified English translation of educational records.


  • SEVP regulations prohibit the issuance of a Form I-20 based on conditional admission, effective July 13, 2016. University officials can only issue a Form I-20 when students have met all standards for admission for the program of study listed on the Form I-20. These standards for admission include any English proficiency requirements.

Program Contact

Program Coordinator: Dr. Friederike Bruehoefener

Phone: (956) 665-2323

Office: Edinburg Campus, ELABS 346A



Program Coordinator: Dr. Cathryn Merla-Watson

Phone: (956) 665-3422

Office: Edinburg Campus, EEDUC 1628




Applications will be accepted year round and prospective students are encouraged to apply at least 2 months before classes start to ensure a timely application review.  Applying early will also give prospective students the best opportunity to be considered for scholarships and other possible funding opportunities.


  • This program only admits applicants during Fall and Spring semesters.
  • Students admitted only to a Certificate Program are not eligible to obtain a Student Visa from UTRGV.

Tuition Estimate

Residency Per 3-Credit Hour Course Semester (9-Credit Hours) Total Estimated Cost
Texas Resident $1,481.39 $3,894.17 $4,444.17
Non-Resident/International $2,708.39 $7,575.17 $8,125.17

*We estimate that tuition and fees will closely approximate the rates shown above; however, rates are subject to change. Please note that the rates above are estimated for on-campus students and those enrolled in 16-week online programs. The rate is different for Accelerated Online Programs (AOP). Visit the tuition and fees page for detailed information.

Course Requirements

Required Courses (Choose 3)
ANTH 6309: Anth of Sex & Gender 3
ENGL 6308: Studies in Mexican American Literature 3
ENGL 6310: Studies in Ethnic Literature 3
ENGL 6311: Studies in Gender and Literature 3
HIST 5370: Readings in Women’s History 3
MASC 6330: Chicana/Liatina Fem Epist 3
MASC 6355: Gloria Anzaldua 3
MUSI 6372: Studies in Music and Gender 3
SOCI 6354: Family and Society 3
SOCI 6364: Gender 3
SPAN 6325: Women Writers in Hispanic Literature 3
SPAN 6381: Latina/o Contemp Writers 3
PHAS 5129: Women’s Health Module 3
Total hours required for completion: 9

Any Graduate course containing 50% or more of gender and women’s studies content (including sexuality) may be substituted for no more than two of the above courses with the prior approval of the Program Director.

Course Descriptions:

ANTH 6309: Anth of Sex & Gender [3‐0]
This course is concerned with anthropological studies of sex, sexuality and gender, exploring the intersection of biological and social discourses in various anthropological themes. It uses cross-cultural studies to focus on sex, gender and sexuality in various aspects of social life and encourages critical assessment of contemporary debates.

ENGL 6308: Studies in Mexican American Literature               [3‐0]
Advanced study of the literature by and about Mexican Americans, with emphasis on the literary techniques and the cultural reflections in this literature. May be repeated for credit when the topic varies.

ENGL 6310: Studies in Ethnic Literature              [3‐0]
Focuses on the literature of specific ethnic groups with special attention to critical race theory, cultural theory, and the cultural productions of traditionally underrepresented minority groups. May be repeated for credit when the topic varies.

ENGL 6311: Studies in Gender and Literature              [3‐0]
A study of literature and culture in relation to the question of gender identity, with special emphasis on feminist, gender, and queer theory as well as the literary conventions, movements, and histories that inform gender identity. May be repeated for credit when the topic varies.

HIST 5370: Readings in Women’s History [3‐0]
The course analyzes the roles of women in history, including their contributions to the development of the family, the economy, politics, warfare, urbanization, and recreation, among many others. Specific topics, including regions and periods, vary according to the availability and the research interests of faculty. Course can be repeated as topic changes.

MASC 6330: Chicana/Liatina Fem Epist [3‐0]
Students will examine the epistemological and methodological contributions of Chicana feminist scholars. A particular, focus on the lived experiences of brown bodies and the intersectionality nature of Chicana feminism will be foregrounded. Students will examine how Chicana feminist epistemology is a potential framework for transformation research, teaching and community practice.

MASC 6355: Gloria Anzaldua [3‐0]
The purpose of this course is to engage in readings, discussions and deeper investigation of the transformative and decolonizing work of Valley native and Pan American College graduate Gloria Anzaldua. Anzaldua is undeniably the most influential figure in Chicana/Latina feminism. Her work has had far reaching implications not only for Chicana/Latina feminist theory and borderlands studies, but also for women's, queer, and postcolonial studies. The course will focus on Anzaldua's major theoretical concepts as lenses to embody and use as a way to analyze, rethink, and reimagine the world within oneself and the outer world.

MUSI 6372: Studies in Music and Gender [3‐0]
This course brings together work in cultural theory, ethnomusicology, musicology feminism/queer theory, and music interpretation to explore connections between music, sexuality, and gender. Students will examine readings that seek to expand our knowledge of the musical activities of women, examine how concepts of gender and sexuality shape are shaped by musical practices and discourses, and investigate the construction of desire and sexuality through music. Discussions will be organized around particular topics (rather than chronology) and in relation to musical works, critical readings, and music from western classical, folk and popular traditions to non-western genres. Prerequisite: Graduate Standing in Music.

SOCI 6354: Family and Society  [3‐0]
The course examines the institution of the family from a cross-cultural perspective, concentrating on problems such as gender inequality, poverty and discrimination.

SOCI 6364: Gender [3‐0]
This course develops the sociological analysis of gender systems in contemporary American society and worldwide.

SPAN 6325: Women Writers in Hispanic Literature [3‐0]
Critical study of major works of Hispanic women literary writers from various periods and regions.

SPAN 6381: Latina/o Contemp Writers [3‐0]
An approach to contemporary literary production by U.S. Latina/o authors in the United States from 1960 to the present. Students analyze issues of race and ethnicity, language, identity, gender, sexuality, politics, and immigration.

PHAS 5129: Women’s Health Module  [3‐0]
This course explores the spectrum of female reproduction, conception, fetal growth and development, prenatal and antenatal care, and reproductive endocrinology. Students will review the anatomy of the female genitourinary tract as well as gynecologic oncology, its natural course, diagnosis, and treatment. Gynecologic infections, and sexual assault diagnosis and management will also be covered. Diseases and disorders of the breast are an integral part of this course. Emphasis will be placed upon history taking, gynecologic examination, counseling, testing, and disease prevention. Prerequisite Admission into the Physician Assistant Studies Program.

program page footer