Post-Graduate Diploma in Gender Studies

A gender studies graduate certificate or diploma program provides students the opportunity to complement their main field of study with courses about gender, feminist research methods, and feminist theory. Graduates can apply their new knowledge in a broad range of careers and research areas. Schools offering Gender Diversity Studies degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

How to Earn a Graduate Degree in Gender Studies

A post-graduate diploma or certificate is a one year program that allows students to develop expertise in gender studies after finishing their bachelor's degree. While postgraduate diplomas are common in the United Kingdom and other commonwealth nations, the equivalent course in the United States is a graduate certificate (earned alongside a separate master's degree program). This program is designed to challenge student's traditional notions of gender and sexuality and help them apply feminist theory in their professional career or main field of study. To apply you need to have a bachelor's degree in any discipline. Gender studies is an interdisciplinary program that includes courses from a range of departments including history, sociology, psychology, and English.

History of Feminism

This class offers a historical overview of the history of feminism from the 18th-21st century. Students learn about the waves of feminist activism in the United States as well as feminism in a global context. The syllabus may include units on feminism and colonialism, feminism and race, and feminism and class. By the end of the course, students should be equipped with an understanding of the roots of feminist thought that they can apply in later arguments, essays, and research projects.

Feminist and Queer Theories

What leads to discrimination based on sexuality or gender? This class employs a seminar approach and/or discussions to allow students to grapple with these complex questions. Students learn about the axes of inequality and other non-traditional methods of answering historical and sociological questions. Students read complex texts, learn the language of the field, and become intimately familiar with both traditional and contemporary feminist scholarship.

Feminist Research Methods

Students who wish to apply feminist theory in their research and careers must know the basic methods for conducting interdisciplinary research. By working on independent research projects, students learn how to apply a feminist lens to the research methods they use in their own discipline. In addition to research practice, this course may include lectures on intersectional feminist methods and feminist social movements that have interacted with academic institutions and scholarship.

Gender in Popular Culture

Representations of sexuality and gender bombard us in our daily lives. In this class, students use their analytical and research skills to analyze popular understandings of gender at the intersection of race, class, and religion. Students may work on their own or in a group with film, fiction, non-fiction, music videos, public art, websites, blogs, magazines, news articles and other forms of popular media.

Gender and Sexuality in Literary Theory

Literature is an important base for feminist theorists and leaders to explore and popularize their ideas. By considering literary texts, students in this class explore how writers can use fiction to reimagine, explore and contest our notions of gender and sexuality.

Careers with a Graduate Certificate in Gender Studies

Manager at a Nonprofit

There are a host of important nonprofits set up to help those who are discriminated against based on their sexual orientation or gender. If you already have business skills and management acumen, a graduate certificate in gender studies might set you apart from a competitive pool of applicants and pursue a career working directly in an organization you believe in.

Human Resources Manager

A human resource manager oversees employee relations in a corporation. A graduate certificate in gender studies provides managers with an understanding of gender dynamics and how gender could affect the employees they work with.

Human Rights Lawyer

Lawyers must have a law degree to be qualified to represent oppressed groups in the courtroom. Lawyers who earn a graduate certificate in gender studies alongside their law school degree are equipped with an understanding of historical precedent and feminist research tools to succeed fighting for women, gay and trans rights. They might help update laws that codify discriminatory practices or bring justice to those who have experienced gender-based violence.

Social Worker

If you want to advocate for those facing discrimination in your community, you may want to consider becoming a social worker. Social workers benefit from the expertise that comes with a graduate certificate in gender studies because they work with individuals affected by systemic discrimination and violence on a regular basis.


A graduate certificate in gender studies is a great way for scholars to explore how feminist or queer theories can complement their own research interests. Students who earn this certificate alongside a Ph.D. program can go on to become academic experts in gender and sexuality, teaching college students and pursuing research interests in a university setting.

Careers with an online MBA Median Pay (2018) Job Outlook (2018-28)
Manager at a Nonprofit$65,32013%
Human Resources Manager $113,300 7%
Lawyer$120,910 6%
Social Worker$49,47011%
Professor $78,47011%

Source: US Bureau of Labor and Statistics

A graduate certificate in gender studies is a flexible program that complements a range of master's degree programs. The skills learned through this program prepare graduates to be passionate advocates for gender equality in whatever profession or field of research they choose to pursue.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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