Women’s and Gender Studies

Contact Us:
Dr. Brenda Bethman

(816) 235-1116  
Fax (816) 235-1117

University of Missouri-Kansas City
208 Haag Hall
5100 Rockhill Road
Kansas City, MO 64110

Certificate in Girls’ Studies

The undergraduate Certificate in Girls' Studies enables students to utilize gender and age to examine girls lives and gilrhood from historical, psychological, anthropological, political, religious and rhetorical perspectives.

The Certificate in Girls' Studies is designed to complement any major, minor, or concentration in the Humanities, Social Sciences, and Biological Sciences. The Certificate will increase educational opportunities of students pursuing graduate work and/or professional careers in education, law, social service, medicine, mental health, child advocacy organizations, and businesses that address the needs of girls in the U.S. and abroad. 

The aims of the Girls' Studies Curriculum are:

  • to examine age and generation as forces within past and present cultures and societies;
  • to cultivate new insights into topics and methods of inquiry that view girls as a unique category distinct from women and children;
  • to encourage critical thinking through cross-cultural comparisons of girls across lines of race, class, ethnicity, religion, sexualities, and societies;
  • to examine the continuities and changes between girls' social realities and girlhood as a cultural construction of gendered ideals;
  • to examine how girls accommodate, negotiate, and/or resist prevailing ideals of “girlhood;”
  • to question changing definitions of “girlhood” and the shifting boundaries between girlhood and womanhood over time and place; and
  • to discover ways to empower girls and to diminish the threats they face in their everyday lives.

Requirements for the Certificate

The Certificate in Girls' Studies may be earned in conjunction with BA or BS degrees or as a free-standing credential available to non-matriculated students. Students are required to complete nine credit hours in three different disciplines chosen from the courses listed below. 


  • HIST 368: Children and Youth in American History (3)


  • CJC 390: New Dimensions in Criminal Justice Topic (3)
  • ENG 441: Girls and Print Culture (3)
  • HISTORY 400CW: Critical Issues in Women's and Gender Studies (3) (cluster course listed under History, Sociology, and English departments)
  • SOC 300: (special topics) (3)
  • PSY 490: Directed Individual Research (3)
  • EDU 497: Individual Study (3)

With approval from Dr. Miriam Forman-Brunell, Coordinator of the Girls' Studies Certificate, students pursuing the certificate may also enroll in directed readings courses in order to examine specific subject areas (e.g., eating disorders) not covered in other courses.

Please contact Dr. Forman-Brunell for additional information: (816) 235-5220,