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The Department of Women’s and Gender Studies is pleased to offer a Graduate Certificate in Women’s and Gender Studies. This interdisciplinary certificate is designed to meet the needs and interests of students across the university, including those enrolled in PhD, MA, and professional programs. The certificate is also open to members of the North Carolina public interested in this course of study.


A certificate in WGST has many benefits, including:

  • A credential for academic positions requiring training or expertise in WGST
  • Advising and mentorship opportunities within the WGST community at UNC
  • Opportunities to connect with graduate students from across the university who are interested/working in WGST


Students wishing to enroll in the certificate program should submit a cover letter and c.v. to the Director of the Certificate Program, Dr. Ariana Vigil (  The cover letter should outline the student’s background and interest in feminist research and teaching. Students should submit these materials within one year of enrolling in courses that they hope to use toward completing the certificate. Students who are currently enrolled and have already completed some of the requirements for the certificate will be evaluated on an ad hoc basis. Based on the application, particularly the statement of interest, the program coordinator will recommend a faculty advisor for the prospective applicant. The applicant will be expected to meet with the advisor to discuss their specific interests.

Applicant materials will be reviewed by an Advisory Panel every semester and students will be notified once they have been accepted into the program. The Advisory Panel consists of:

Ariana Vigil, Director of Certificate Program, Professor and Chair, Women’s and Gender Studies

Jes Boon, Associate Professor, Religious Studies

Karen Booth, Associate Professor, Women’s and Gender Studies

Lydia Boyd, Associate Professor, African, African American and Diaspora Studies

Barbara Friedman, Associate Professor, Hussman School of Journalism and Media

Sharon James, Professor, Classics

Jacob Lau, Assistant Professor, Women’s and Gender Studies

Katherine Turk, Associate Professor, History


Requirements for earning the certificate include:

  • The completion of 9 hours of coursework (earning a grade of H or P)
    • One required course: WGST 790
    • Two additional courses (3 hours each); we highly encourage students to take at least one course outside of their home department
  • Participation/contribution to Department events and teaching. Examples of ways to fulfill this requirement include:
    • Attending WGST-sponsored events
    • Participation in a presentation of original research in a Department event and/or class
    • TA-ing for WGST 101


For a list of courses that may count toward the certificate requirements, look here.

For answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the certificate program, look here.

For any additional information please contact Dr. Ariana Vigil