Interdisciplinary Graduate Certificate Requirements

Certificates offered with BU graduate programs.

Law students can pursue interdisciplinary graduate certificates through programs offered in collaboration with other BU schools and colleges. These certificates include:

Public Health

The Graduate Certificate in Public Health, which is offered by the School of Public Health, is a 16-credit certificate comprised of four required graduate courses in public health. This certificate is helpful for law students with an interest in the public health field or a career in health law.

Women’s, Gender & Sexuality (WGS) Studies Graduate Certificate Requirements

Across the nation, gender and sexuality are increasingly being integrated into all disciplines and departments. Jointly administered by the School of Law and the Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies Program in the College of Arts & Sciences, the WGS graduate certificate enables students enrolled in graduate programs across the University to pursue comprehensive study in these vibrant, interdisciplinary fields and receive institutional acknowledgment of their work. Pursuing this certificate will prepare students for work in legal advocacy, policy development, and other fields, as well as refine research, writing, communication, and presentation skills.

The Graduate Certificate expects students to complete three requirements focused on women, gender, and/or sexuality:

1. GRS WGS 801: Theories and Methods in Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies – This course examines interdisciplinary theories and methods that inform gender studies and gender-focused activism, including feminist and queer theories, approaches to the science of sexuality, and the sociology of sex and gender.

2. Two courses centrally concerned with women, gender, and/or sexuality from offerings in LAW or graduate programs across the University. The following LAW courses are approved for WGS graduate credit but may not be offered every semester.

  • JD 731: Critical Race Theory
  • JD 775: Reproductive Justice
  • JD 798: Gender, Violence, and the Law
  • JD 966: Gender, Law and Policy Colloquium
  • JD 814: Family Law
  • JD 853: Employment Discrimination
  • JD 865: Employment Discrimination and Employment Law
  • JD 947: Sex Crimes
  • JD 957: Law and Sexual Minorities
  • JD 990: Feminist Jurisprudence

New seminars are frequently designed, so please write to or Professor Linda McClain at if you are interested in a course not on this list.

For a list of approved courses across the University, visit the WGS Studies page. Alternately, JD students can take one course from MIT’s Graduate Consortium in Women’s Studies to fulfill this requirement.

3. Participation in a clinic or externship related to women, gender, and/or sexuality. Examples of experiential learning opportunities for law students pursuing the WGS certificate include:


  • Civil Litigation Program – Housing, Employment, Family & Disability Clinic
  • Civil Litigation Program – Employment Rights Clinic
  • Human Trafficking & Immigrants Rights’ Program
  • International Human Rights Clinic

Externships (sample placements*)

  • AIDS Action Committee
  • Boston Area Rape Crisis Center
  • Gay and Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD)
  • Greater Boston Legal Services
  • Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office – Civil Rights Division
  • Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination
  • Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
  • Middlesex Probate and Family Court
  • US Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights
  • Victim’s Rights Law Center


  • Sex Crimes Practicum

Semester-in-Practice (sample placements*)

  • Center for Constitutional Rights (New York)
  • Legal Advocates for Children and Youth (San Jose)
  • New York Legal Aid (New York)

* The list of example placements is not exhaustive. Interested students should contact Steph Holding, associate director of clinical & experiential programs (, to discuss what externship organizations might be the best fit, and for help in arranging a placement.

WGS Symposium Series

The WGS Program sponsors a monthly Graduate Symposium Series ranging in topics and formats. Students have workshopped seminar papers and dissertation chapters, given practice job talks and conference presentations, and discussed films, lectures, and readings. Participation in the series is voluntary.

Pedagogical Workshop

Certificate candidates may participate in an annual pedagogical workshop to be organized by the director of Graduate Studies. This workshop supplements the pedagogical training graduate students receive in their home departments by focusing on the specific challenges and opportunities graduate students face when incorporating gender analysis into their teaching.

The workshop lasts approximately three hours, and topics vary yearly. It is useful for students interested in an academic career and in other forms of teaching about WGS issues.

For questions about the WGS certificate program, please contact Professor Linda McClain at To apply for the certificate, students must complete the online Enrollment Form.