Pembroke Center

Graduate Certificate Program

The graduate certificate program enables graduate students already enrolled in PhD programs at Brown to develop methodological and theoretical expertise in the interdisciplinary field of gender and sexuality studies. Students earn the credential while fulfilling the graduate requirements of their degree-granting department.

The graduate certificate program in Gender and Sexuality Studies (GNSS) provides specialized professional training in critical methods informed by feminist, queer, trans, and intersectional approaches to difference. The program fosters a community of scholars dedicated to advancing current conversations in GNSS and developing theoretical frameworks drawing from traditional disciplines as well as from such interdisciplinary fields such as critical legal studies, critical race theory, digital humanities, disability studies, ethnic studies, media theory, new materialisms, performance studies, poetics, poststructuralism, psychoanalytic theory, public health, religious studies, science and technology studies, theories of embodiment, and transnational and postcolonial studies. In monthly meetings, students gather to share readings, discuss research and pedagogy, and workshop manuscripts.

In recent years, the GNSS graduate certificate cohort has ranged from 12 to 18 doctoral candidates working in more than a dozen disciplines, including American studies, anthropology, comparative literature, English, French studies, German studies, history, Italian studies, modern culture and media, music, philosophy, public health, religious studies, and sociology.

Admission to the graduate certificate program is rolling and primarily requires that students articulate a clear research agenda related to the study of gender and sexuality and a course plan.

The GNSS certificate program at the Pembroke Center allows for a truly interdisciplinary conversation focused on questions of gender and sexuality. I learned a great deal in the workshop series in particular, from graduate students writing and publishing in fields like history and city planning, public health, and film and media studies. I was forced to articulate the stakes of my project to broader audiences, which was invaluable when just starting to write the dissertation.

Claire Grandy PhD English '21 with Graduate Certificate in GNSS, 2021-22 Dean’s Faculty Fellow, and Visiting Assistant Professor of Gender and Sexuality Studies
Claire Grandy

Certificate Requirements

The requirements for the Certificate Program include coursework, teaching or TAing a course relevant to gender and sexuality studies, regular participation in a reading and research group, and the presentation of a substantial piece of research.

  1. Courses (4 total)
    Courses must be completed with at least a grade of B in each course and include:
    • GNSS 2000 – Method, Evidence, Critique: Gender and Sexuality Studies across the Disciplines (currently offered once per year)
    • Three approved relevant electives (1000- or 2000-level) from across the University curriculum
  2.  Reading and Research Group Participation
    Four semesters of regular participation in a working group that meets 3 times per semester (semesters need not be consecutive), culminating in the presentation of an article-length paper or dissertation chapter draft.

  3. Additional Experience: Teaching or Proctorship
    The teaching requirement can be met in one of two ways:
    Students can serve as a teaching assistant for “Introduction to Gender and Sexuality Studies” or another approved course; or
    They may teach their own class on a theme related to GNSS or using a relevant critical approach.
    Alternatively, upon approval, students may fulfill this requirement with a proctorship relevant to their intellectual and professional interests.

    For students whose funding precludes their serving as teaching assistants, instructors, or proctors, appropriate accommodations will be made.


Please apply to the GNSS Graduate Certificate Program using UFunds.

To access the application, log in to UFunds and select "Doctoral Certificates," then select "Gender and Sexuality Studies."

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

More Information

Please contact Denise Davis, Director of the Gender and Sexuality Studies Graduate Program, to learn more about the graduate certificate.