Women's Studies Certificate in Women in Public Policy

Sponsored by the Department of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy

Despite the many legal, political and programmatic changes that have taken place over the past few decades, women continue to experience conflicting expectations about their roles, their status, and the legitimacy of their demands in the political process. Questions of gender are often entangled with issues such as race, class, sexuality, nationality and ethnicity. Players in the policy process - whether in political, bureaucratic, research or advocacy positions - require in-depth understanding of the complexity of these issues. The Women and Public Policy Certificate Program was introduced by a group of Women's Studies faculty in the early 1980s to respond to a critical need for analysts and practitioners in public affairs to understand public policy’s differential impacts on women. Today, we continue to offer a relevant and exciting certificate program that analyzes the intersections of gender, race, class, and nation; integrates interdisciplinary approaches; and focuses on achieving social justice in collaboration with community members and organizations.
The University at Albany Certificate Program on Women and Public Policy is well-suited for:
  1. Students enrolled in public policy-related graduate programs such as women's studies, criminal justice, education, health policy and management, political science, public administration, public policy, social work and sociology; and
  2. Practitioners, such as lobbyists, policy analysts, members of advocacy groups, community organizers, and administrators.
The Certificate can be taken as a separate program of study, or in conjunction with an existing graduate-level degree. The goals of the program include: providing students with the tools and skills necessary to enhance the status of women in our society through the public policy process, increasing familiarity with feminist theory, and learning how to apply feminist theory in practice.


Program of Study (15 credits, minimum)

  1. Two core seminars:
    • A Wss 525/E Epl 525/R Pad 525/R Pos 525Q Feminist Thought and Public Policy;
    • A Wss 565 Feminist Theory;
    • A Wss/R Pad/R Pos 604 Inequality and Public Policy;
    • R Pad 603/R Pos 509 Citizen Participation;
    • R Pad 675 Topics in Women's Leadership; must consult with advisor to approve topic, or
    • R Ssw 732 Special Areas of Social Policy and Social Welfare; must consult with advisor to approve topic.
  2. One graduate course on public policy issues and their impact on women.
  3. One graduate course on skills effecting the public policy process.
  4. One graduate policy reasoning course.

To meet requirements 2 through 4, students may choose from a variety of courses; please see the Women and Public Policy Certificate program co-directors for a list of possible courses.