Gender, Feminism, and Environmental Justice | Philosophy & Religion

Gender, Feminism, and Environmental Justice

This Graduate Academic Certificate is primarily intended for:

  • Graduate students in Women's and Gender Studies, Philosophy, and other programs who wish to develop a competency at the intersections of feminism and gender studies and environmental ethics and justice.

Who Needs this Certificate?

Potential and practicing professionals who are or foresee working at the intersections of feminism and gender studies and environmental ethics and justice.


There are no particular prerequisites for this GAC. However, courses listed under the GAC may have prerequisites that need to be satisfied. Students should consult the instructors prior to taking the individual courses.

Course Requirements

This is a 12-credit hour certificate. Courses listed in each category are examples; other options can be chosen with approval of the student's adviser and the GAC coordinator.

  • Four courses in total are required

Choose one of the following:

  • PHIL 5150. Feminist Philosophy. 3 hours. A critical examination of traditional philosophical themes from diverse feminist perspectives, theories, and lived experiences. An intersectional and transnational approach to topics such as language, embodiment, identity, power, and the environment (including ecofeminism) as well as the history of the women's movement and ongoing dialogues about feminist theories, methods, and practices.
  • PHIL 6710. Ecofeminism. 3 hours. Examines the merger of feminism with environmental ethics and its subsequent evolution. Subject matter includes the analysis of patriarchy, gender issues and multicultural perspectives within the larger framework of ethical and philosophical responses to ecocrises.
  • PHIL 6750. Environmental Justice. 3 hours. This course represents an effort to critically engage the Environmental Justice Movement (broadly construed) by studying its histories, the terms and concepts evolving from the movement, the philosophical implications of the movement, and the struggles of people shaping the movement. Examines the underlying notions of environmental goods and harms, the perspectives of environmental law and policy, and the politics of environmental identities.

Choose one of the following:

  • PHIL 5000. Environmental Ethics. 3 hours. An examination of the philosophical origins of environmental philosophy and the basic positions in the field of environmental ethics. Key authors in environmental philosophy are surveyed, as well as topical considerations of a variety of schools of thought with emphasis on theories of environmental value, legal and moral rights for nature, animal liberation and Western philosophical and religious traditions.
  • PHIL 5700. Environmental Philosophy. 3 hours. An intensive analysis of new positions in environmental philosophy with special emphasis on their theoretical value as a contribution to contemporary philosophy and their practical value with regard to environmental policy and decision making.
  • PHIL 5800. Philosophies of Climate Change. 3 hours. Critical examination of the philosophical, social-political, cultural and ethical dimensions of climate change through the use of normative and conceptual theories. Explores interdisciplinary issues such as climate justice, uncertainty and risk, individual and collective responsibilities, and the role of science, technology, and policy.
  • PHIL 6650. Philosophy of Water Issues. 3 hours. An examination of water issues at the interface of science, policy, philosophy, art and culture. Philosophical approaches include ethics, aesthetics and ontology of water, epistemological analyses of water conflicts, local and global governance theories.
  • PHIL 6720. Religion and Ecology. 3 hours. An exploration of resources for environmental philosophy in non-Western traditions, focusing on South and East Asian traditions.
  • PHIL 6730. Christianity and the Environment. 3 hours. A historic and contemporary overview of Christian philosophy and theology concerning the environment.

Choose two of the following:

  • WGST 5100. Feminist Theory. Historical overview and key concepts of feminist theory in social and political contexts. Current and emerging bodies of feminist theory are used to define contemporary issues and debates in feminist terms, and to initiate discussion on wide-ranging social, political and global issues from a variety of feminist perspectives.
  • WGST 5400. Gender & Human Trafficking. Exploration of the rise of contemporary human trafficking internationally, nationally and locally. Cultural and historical components; effects of gender, class, race, ethnicity; role of technology; and how trafficking patterns vary in different parts of the world. The complex challenges governmental institutions, faith-based entities, law enforcement, and non-governmental agencies face in addressing these issues.
  • WGST 5800. Seminar in Women's Studies. Interdisciplinary study of a major topic focusing on women's issues, feminism, and/or the women's movement. Seminar extends the scope of course offerings in specific disciplines.