Gender-Based Violence Certificate



Gender-Based Violence


The Graduate Certificate in Gender-Based Violence provides students with an advanced framework for understanding the root causes of gender-based violence (GBV), as well as training in applying this knowledge to advance the well-being, equality, and human rights of those most impacted. 

Students will have the opportunity to engage with activists, attorneys, and other stakeholders through videoconferences, internships, class projects, mentorships, and capstone projects.

Potential Students  

The Certificate Program will appeal to:

  1. practitioners who work in organizations focused on supporting survivors of gender-based violence, including domestic violence shelters, confidential survivor advocacy programs, Title IX programs, sexual and domestic violence prevention non-profits, and so on;
  2. practitioners interested in integrating an intersectional and social justice framework into their work;
  3. professionals who work with a large number of victims of gender-based crimes, such as law enforcement officers and medical professionals, and who want to learn trauma-informed and survivor-informed approaches;
  4. students with, or seeking a master’s degree in another field (social work, nursing) who want to enhance their skills and knowledge regarding domestic and sexual violence;
  5. students graduating from UA Bachelors or Masters programs such as Public Health, Anthropology, Sociology, or Psychology who want to pursue a specialization or new career track in a gender-based violence-related field (and who would otherwise leave UA for other higher education institutions).

We anticipate that some students who finish this Certificate will stay in the program and pursue our 30 credit MA in Human Rights Practice. 


This certificate is a partnership between the Human Rights Practice Program and the UA Consortium on Gender-Based Violence, whose advisory board is comprised of renowned gender-based violence scholars, activists, and filmmakers.  The UA is also home to an exemplary pool of educators and scholars who engage in significant research on gender-based violence. Students will have the opportunity to work with expert faculty who operate in a broad range of disciplines and research worldwide issues.  Key faculty supporting this certificate include:

  • Amalia Mora, Manager, Consortium on Gender-Based Violence
  • Negar Katirai, Director, Domestic Violence Law Clinic; Associate Clinical Professor of Law
  • William Paul Simmons, Professor of Gender & Women’s Studies and Director the Human Rights Practice Program
  • Elise C. Lopez, Director, Consortium on Gender-Based Violence, Assistant Professor of Practice, Public Health
  • Anna Ochoa O’Leary, Professor and Department Head, Mexican-American Studies
  • Michelle Téllez, Assistant Professor, Mexican American Studies Benjamin Lawrance, Professor of African History
  • Mary A. Koss, Professor, Public Health, Regents Professor
  • Nicole Yuan, Associate Professor, Public Health
  • Sally Stevens, Professor, Gender & Women’s Studies
  • Domale Keys, Adjunct Professor, Gender & Women’s Studies

Core Courses

12 credits of core courses will be required: 

HRTS 521 Community-Based Participatory Action Research for Gender-Based Violence Work (3 Credits): This course focuses on how to implement community-based action research projects relevant to protecting and advancing the rights to be free from violence, and preventing violence against women and LGBTQ+ communities. Building off of themes from the introductory course, we will consider how to integrate intersectional frameworks into methodological practice so that the research and work itself does not cause further harm, trauma, and community disenfranchisement. Community ownership and/or access to data as an empowerment tool will be examined. Students will learn how community members participate in developing research questions, choosing and implementing data collection methods, interpreting findings, and sharing/presenting of results. Case studies of community research that resulted in empowerment and enfranchisement will be presented. Students will work hand-in-hand with faculty and community members in designing and running two community-based action research projects.
HRTS 530 Understanding Gender-Based Violence (3 Credits): This course introduces students to the nature and scope of gender-based violence, in the US and globally, providing students with an overview on demographics, legal policies and advocacy efforts, and strategies for prevention and response. Through an intersectional framework, students will learn about the psychology and root causes of gender-based violence and will be introduced to trauma- and healing- informed prevention and response approaches and techniques. Examples from a range of cultural/geographical contexts will highlight the need for culturally sensitive and specific work.
HRTS 531 Femicide/Feminicide (3 Credits): In this course, students examine one of the most widespread and yet understudied forms of gender-based violence, femicide/feminicide, or the targeted killing of women and girls because they are female, often enabled through state complicity. Students learn about scholarship, activism, and legal policies related to femicide/feminicide, with particular focus on missing and murdered Indigenous women in North and South America. Root causes and psychologies of femicide/feminicide are explored as well as compounding forms of violence that often lead to the death of women and girls, especially intimate partner violence, but also forced sterilization, forced motherhood, and sexual violence.
HRTS 598B Gender-Based Violence Project (3 Credits): Students will complete a project approved by their faculty advisor that addresses gender-based violence, and could take such forms as a community arts project and its documentation, a documentary film, a more traditional thesis or master’s paper, a research project completed with community members, or other substantial output for public dissemination. The Project should account for the social, political, cultural, and structural causes of gender-based violence. The project should evidence the student’s consideration of theoretical, socio-political, and ethical issues in working with marginalized groups and engaging communities. Students may choose to expand upon a project that has been initially undertaken in another course. This is a three-credit course offered by the faculty advisor(s) whose students are working on the Project. Students will meet online during the “class” to get feedback while the project is underway.

Elective Course

3 Elective Credits from courses related to the students’ interests. These may be from courses offered in the HRTS program, but courses from other departments can be taken with approval from the director of the HRTS program. Independent studies with faculty within or outside of the department can also fulfill the elective requirement upon approval.