This is the preliminary (or launch) version of the 2020-21 VCU Bulletin. This edition includes all programs and courses approved by the publication deadline; however we may receive notification of additional program approvals after the launch. The final edition and full PDF version will include these updates and will be available in August prior to the beginning of the fall semester.

Program goal

The Department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies is devoted to the interdisciplinary, multicultural study of the achievements, contributions, perspectives, experiences, roles and status of women encompassing the intersectionality of race, class, age, ethnicity, disability status, nationality and sexual identity.

Student learning outcomes

  1. Have a firm grasp of the feminist paradigm, including feminist theories and the theoretical frameworks that inform the analysis of social, cultural, historical, economic and political forces that shape the experiences of women
  2. Demonstrate facility for problem-solving and critical-thinking
  3. Demonstrate facility for intersectional analysis as it relates to diversity
  4. Be grounded in and understand the linkages between the liberal arts and sciences including commonalities, differences and contributions of each to the field of gender, sexuality and women’s studies

VCU Graduate Bulletin, VCU Graduate School and general academic policies and regulations for all graduate students in all graduate programs

The VCU Graduate Bulletin website documents the official admission and academic rules and regulations that govern graduate education for all graduate programs at the university. These policies are established by the graduate faculty of the university through their elected representatives to the University Graduate Council.

It is the responsibility of all graduate students, both on- and off-campus, to be familiar with the VCU Graduate Bulletin as well as the Graduate School website and academic regulations in individual school and department publications and on program websites. However, in all cases, the official policies and procedures of the University Graduate Council, as published on the VCU Graduate Bulletin and Graduate School websites, take precedence over individual program policies and guidelines.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on academic regulations for graduate students.

Graduation requirements

As graduate students approach the end of their academic programs and the final semester of matriculation, they must make formal application to graduate. No degrees will be conferred until the application to graduate has been finalized.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following graduation requirements as published in the Graduate Bulletin for a complete list of instructions and a graduation checklist.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on graduation requirements.


Apply online at

Admission requirements

Admission requirements
Degree:Semester(s) of entry:Deadline dates:Test requirements:
CertificateFallJul 30
SpringNov 30

Special requirements

  • Fall semester entrance is required for students without prior course work in gender, sexuality or women’s studies (graduate or undergraduate).

In addition to the general admission requirements of the VCU Graduate School, the following requirements represent the minimum acceptable standards for admission: Students possessing a B.A. or B.S. degree are eligible for admission into this certificate program.

Degree requirements

In addition to the VCU Graduate School graduation requirements, students are required to complete course work in core and elective courses.

  1. Credit hour requirements: Students in the Certificate in Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies program are required to earn a minimum of 15 graduate-level credit hours beyond the baccalaureate.
  2. Grade requirements: An overall GPA of 3.0 is required for award of the certificate, and no more than three credit hours of C may be earned in the certificate program curriculum.

Curriculum requirements

Required courses
GSWS 501Feminist Theory3
GSWS 602Feminist Research Epistemology and Methods3
GSWS 620Theorizing Sexuality3
Recommended electives
Select two of the following: 16
Women and Public Policy
Gender and Cultural Production
Topics in Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies
Independent Study (hours variable)
HIST (500- and 600-level)
PSYC (500- and 600-level)
SOCY (500- and 600-level)
Total Hours15

Courses outside departmental GSWS offerings required prior approval.

The minimum total of graduate credit hours required for this certificate is 15.

Kimberly N. Brown, Ph.D.
Chair, Department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies
(804) 828-3893

Program website: