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Graduate Programs in Women's Studies

Women's Studies offers two options to graduate students--a graduate certificate in Women's Studies, and a graduate certificate in Law & Women's Studies. Students may pursue a graduate certificate in conjunction with any graduate degree or as students-at-large.

Students in our interdisciplinary graduate certificate programs:

  • Explore the meaning of gender in diverse societies;
  • Discover the contributions and status of women in society;
  • Analyze theory related to the impact of gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, and social class on women's and men's experiences;
  • Develop skills in multiple research methods.

Student Funding

Women's Studies offers a limited number of graduate teaching assistantships each year. We also offer two scholarships--The Austin Sawicki Memorial Scholarship, and the Mothers Memorial Scholarship.

Getting Involved

Women's Studies supports two student organizations. The Women's and Gender Studies Graduate Student Association (WAGSA) is open to all NIU graduate students. The group offers networking and programming opportunities for graduate students interested in any area of women's, gender, sexuality and/or queer studies.

Open to all students, the NIU Women's Rights Alliance promotes the success of women and girls and raises awareness of sexual assault, domestic abuse, and gender discrimination.

WOMS Faculty

In addition to faculty on joint appointment in Women's Studies, more than 30 carefully selected Faculty Associates across the university teach courses that count for credit in Women's Studies. These individuals include recipients of major grants and university awards for research and teaching. Faculty Associates also provide mentorship to students in all fields and supervise research projects, independent studies and internships.


Graduates who have combined their certificate studies with appropriate degree work have succeeded in many fields, including: university teaching, law, human resources, business, nonprofit management, program planning, and psychology. Contact us for more information about what you can do with your certificate.

Former graduate student from Egypt