General Info

  • Faculty working with students: 100 affiliated with Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies
  • Students: 50 enrolled
Online Application


Gabriel Rosenberg
Director of Graduate Studies
Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies
Duke University
Box 90760
Durham, NC 27708-0760



Program Description

The Program in Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies (GSF) at Duke is a focal point within the University for the study of women, gender, and feminist theories. GSF has, since its inception, been an interdisciplinary field that allows graduate students to address complex issues beyond their traditional disciplinary and classroom boundaries and to explore problems in ways that connect theories and approaches of different disciplines.  GSF students gain the opportunity to understand how social, historical, and psychological forces, organized by the central concept of gender, shape the world, and become conversant in critical and analytical skills of women's, feminist, and/or gender and sexuality studies broadly conceived.

Two primary intellectual impulses structure the Certificate in Feminist Studies:  the genealogy of GSF as an interdiscipline that marshals multiple disciplinary approaches to examine the constitution of gender and feminist critical practices; and the emergence of feminist theory as a field of inquiry that critically engages the project of knowledge production itself.  In order to train students to engage the most sophisticated scholarship, the Certificate in Feminist Studies is organized around three major components:  a foundations course serves as a prerequisite to work in the certificate; a requirement that the majority of courses originate in GSF; and that a member of the GSF Graduate Faculty serve on the student's preliminary and dissertation committees.  The intellectual range and depth of the Certificate helps students articulate the core knowledge project of the field as a discrete academic enterprise, and link the study of women, gender, sexuality, race, and feminism in the disciplines together.  Although all students are welcome to take GSF graduate courses, the certificate is a formal statement of the interdisciplinary coursework a student has completed and is a useful professional credential for students seeking positions after graduation. Students who have earned the certificate have priority for the teaching and research assistant positions available through GSF and are credentialed by the Program for academic appointments in Women's, Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies departments.

Duke has a large and distinguished faculty in feminist scholarship, with particular strengths in literature, history, English, sociology, political theory, romance studies, cultural anthropology, and religion. Because Duke employs a full-time archivist in women's studies, graduate students have remarkable assistance in their research. Graduate students can earn a Certificate in Feminist Studies (requirements below), become members of the Graduate Scholars Colloquium, a scholarly society that deepens their knowledge of the field of Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist studies and provides a cohesive, supportive community, and are encouraged to teach introductory or special topics courses.  GSF offers graduate students opportunities for teaching and research assistantships, travel and research awards, and dissertation fellowships.

Professional students and doctoral candidates may join the Graduate Scholars Colloquium and our Graduate Scholars listserv.  All affiliated students on this listserv receive newsletters, lecture notices, invitations to special events, conference, and job announcements.  For additional information, visit the program website at:

Requirements for the Graduate Certificate in Feminist Studies

(Note:  Audited courses do not count toward the certificate; nor does previously taken MA coursework at Duke or elsewhere.)

  • One required course:  GSF 701 - Foundations in Feminist Theory
  • Two additional (600-level or above) graduate-level courses in or cross-listed with GSF at Duke (tutorials do not fulfill this requirement).
  • A fourth graduate-level course or tutorial (500-level or above) offered by GSF or another academic unit focusing on women, gender, or an intersectional approach to the study of race and/or sexuality. (Courses must be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies.)
  • Women, gender, sexuality, or feminism must be a significant aspect of the preliminary examination or dissertation project.
  • A member of the Gender, Sexuality & Feminist Studies Core or Secondary faculty (or another member of the Duke Graduate Faculty approved by the DGS) on the preliminary examination and dissertation committees.