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Social Theory Graduate Certificate

Graduate Certificate in Social Theory

Course Requirements for the Certificate: 

Graduate Students participating in Committee activities have the opportunity to earn a Graduate Certificate in Social Theory. This Certificate offers students systematic multidisciplinary training in social theory. It augments, and is pursued concurrently with, the regular M.A and Ph.D. degree programs of participating departments. To receive the certificate, a student must take four courses:

  1. ST 500: Introduction to Social Theory, providing students with a broad survey of social theoretical issues spanning the humanities and social sciences;
  2. ST 600: Multidisciplinary Perspectives in Social Theory, a topical, team-taught seminar conjoined with a public lecture series;
  3. ST 610: disClosure Editorial Collective, offering professional editorial and research experience; and
  4. Either an elective theory course from outside the student's home discipline selected from Committee on Social Theory members' offerings, or when offered, ST 690, a topical seminar jointly taught by faculty members from the humanities and social sciences

*Substitutions are available for ST 500 and ST 690; please contact the certificate director Shui-yin Sharon Yam at if you would like to suggest a substitution for one of these courses.*

In total, the certificate requires ten hours of course work, can be pursued in tandem with regular degree programs, and is open to all graduate students at the University of Kentucky. Undergraduates can take the courses (with permission of the instructor) but only graduate students may receive an official certificate for their transcript.

Your progress to the Social Theory certificate will be administered through the audit process, see below. 

The awarding of a Graduate Certificate in Social Theory is a two-step process: 

1) Admission - please contact your admissions officer to be admitted to the certificate: 

Admissions Officers are assigned by applicant's last name as follows: 

2) Application - once you have completed the certificate, you will need to apply for the certificate in MyUK (this is the same process as when students apply for degrees). This can be done at Click on "Student Services," then "myRecords," then "Graduate Degree Application." To begin this process, please submit an admission application at 

  • The deadline for a May OR an August certificate is April 1st
  • The deadline for a December certificate is November 1st

Graduate students should contact their respective admission advisor if they are unable to submit the admission application, and once a student has successfully submitted the admission application, please notify the Social Theory program director Shui-yin Sharon Yam at and ask for your application to be approved. 

*The UK audit system will verify graduate certificates and automatically add them to your transcript. Audits may be accessed via myUK. If you have questions (or require a substitution), please contact the Social Theory graduate certificate director Shui-yin Sharon Yam at*

Topics of ST 600 have been:

  • Debilities and After/Alterlives (2023)
  • Reproductive Justice (2022)
  • Queer Theory (2021)
  • Animal (2020)
  • Populism (2019)
  • Affect (2018)
  • Archives (2017)
  • Justice (2016)
  • Transnational Lives (2015)
  • Market Failures, Famine and Crises (2014)
  • Mapping (2013)
  • Security (2012)
  • Self/Story (2011)
  • Law, Sex, Family (2010)
  • Consuming Cultures (2009)
  • War (2008)
  • Migrations, Displacements, and Mobilities (2007)
  • Emotion (2006)
  • Intimacy (2005)
  • Religion & Identity (2004)
  • Localizing Globalization (2003)
  • Civic Practice/Civil Societies (2002)
  • Metropolis (2001)
  • Children at the Millennium (2000)
  • Masculinity and the Male Body (1999)
  • Nation Theory (1998)
  • Whiteness (1997)
  • Revisioning Ecological-Social Justice (1996)
  • Representing Reason (1995)
  • Disciplining Boundaries (1994)
  • Contemporary Democratic Theory and Democracy (1993)
  • The Social and Political Body (1992)
  • Objectivity and its Other (1991)
  • Reassessing Modernity and Postmodernity (1990)
  • Multidisciplinary Perspectives in Social Theory (1989)

The Committee on Social Theory is also a supportive environment where students readily meet faculty from numerous fields who are enthusiastic about and willing to serve on multidisciplinary thesis and dissertation committees.


The certificate is limited to graduate students currently enrolled at the University of Kentucky. Students interested in the Committee should apply for regular admission to one of the participating departments, indicating their interest in earning a Certificate. The Committee encourages prospective students to contact the director when applying for admission and to indicate their interest in the program when initially contacting the Director of Graduate Studies of the relevant department. Each year the Committee offers one student a half research assistantship and actively sustains student fellowship support for social theory teaching and research in concert with allied departments. 

For more information, or to request a certificate upon completion of the program, write to: 

Dr. Shui-yin Sharon Yam
Director,  The Committee on Social Theory
University of Kentucky
Lexington, KY 40506-0027