Gender and Women’s Studies (Certificate)

Gender and Women’s Studies (Certificate)

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The Graduate Certificate in Gender and Women’s Studies is designed for English graduate students who wish to demonstrate a concentration In Gender and Women's Studies.

Gender and Women's Studies is a particular emphasis in the English Department with many courses offered in this area. Students interested in this area will gain a competitive advantage in applying to PhD programs, since there are very few institutions that offer this concentration at the MA level in spite of the fact that it is a rapidly growing area in PhDs and the profession.

Graduate students from other disciplines and interdisciplinary programs will similarly benefit since academic interest in Gender and Women's Studies is blossoming in disciplines like Anthropology, Art, Economics, Geography, History, Political Science, Spanish, and Sociology. Similar interdisciplinary majors in Latin American Studies and Mexican American Studies at UTRGV will benefit by demonstrating an expertise in Gender and Women's Studies.

Students interested in professional school, the non-profit sector, and other students pursuing careers in education, public health, law, medicine, journalism, international development, business, or the non-profit sector would benefit by demonstrating their ability to navigate the philosophical worldviews of gender and sexuality. This is a particularly valuable skill given recent Title IX and other legal initiatives related to sexual harassment and equality in the workplace.

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


  • Deadlines


    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 $1,359.29 $3,563.87 $3,563.87
    Non-Resident/International $2,625.29 $7,361.87 $7,361.87

    *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 9
    ENGL 6308: Studies in Mexican American Literature 3
    ENGL 6310: Studies in Ethnic Literature 3
    ENGL 6311: Studies in Gender and Literature 3
    Total hours required for completion: 9

    Any graduate course containing 50% or more of gender and women’s studies content may be substituted for one of the above courses with the approval of the Director.

    Course Descriptions:

    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.

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