Women, Gender, and Leadership Certificate

Women, Gender, and Leadership Certificate

Professors: Donna Decker, Melinda Jetté, Mary C. Kelly, Phyllis Zrzavy
Associate Professors: Jessica Landis (Certificate Coordinator), Jean Dawson, Verna DeLauer
Assistant Professor: Leslie Buddington

The mission of the interdisciplinary Women, Gender, and Leadership Certificate program is to develop students’ knowledge of women’s and gender issues, including the interconnections among gender, race, class, sexuality, power, and transnational issues. As critical terms of inquiry, gender and sexuality are examined as social constructs and analyzed for their impact on culture(s). The program includes courses that engage current scholarship in women’s and/or gender studies, including embracing intersectionality, welcoming the LGBTQIA+ community, and eschewing biological essentialism. 

A Certificate is offered in Women, Gender, and in Leadership for traditional students.


The Women, Gender, and Leadership Certificate that offers an integrative approach to learning about the interconnections among gender, race, class, sexuality, and transnational issues. The program aims to build a supportive environment for women, trans, and gender non-binary students to assist them in the development of leadership skills through a program that integrates theory and practice. To meet this goal, the program combines academic study with participation in internships both on and off campus.

The program and the resulting certificate will credential students as theoretically and materially knowledgeable in women’s and gender issues and thus qualify them for leadership positions requiring such expertise. The program complements the needs of professionals in fields including: education, law, social services, counseling, business, health services, public administration, public relations, media, sports and recreation, criminal justice, journalism, and politics.

Students intending to complete the Women, Gender, and Leadership Certificate are expected to complete 13 credits of course and internship work. Of these credits, WL115 Introduction to Women, Gender, and Leadership (3 credits), WL490 The Women in Leadership Seminar (1 credit), and a three credit internship in the student’s major area or in Women in Leadership (WL491) are required. Two additional courses (6 credits) must be chosen from the courses listed below. Students are advised to link the courses they take with the Internship work they choose to do. Goals and objectives are contracted prior to registration and designed to complement or directly relate to a student’s major area of study. Internships require a minimum of 40 hours (per credit), which includes on-the-job work and documentation procedures.

Program Courses