Graduate Catalog
Policies, Procedures, Academic Programs
Inclusion and Diversity
Graduate Life Center, 155 Otey Street
Blacksburg, VA 24061
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Certificate Overview:

Description of Certificate:
The Graduate Certificate in Inclusion and Diversity extends graduate students' work in other disciplines by critically exploring the contemporary and historical foundations of diversity, equity, social justice, and inclusion within multiple fields. It explores biases, strategies for developing inclusive climates, fostering inclusion, and engagement to address diversity management, opportunities, and challenges. This certificate is for students seeking advanced skills, knowledge, and tools for effectively implementing formal and informal learning through pedagogy, programs, practices, and policies in a variety of settings. Students complete nine hours of coursework.
Target Audience:
This certificate program is open to all graduate students at Virginia Tech and external applicants who are seeking additional study in Inclusion and Diversity.
How to Apply:
Fill out the online application for participation in the certificate program.
Upon processing of the application, you will be contacted
with information about the submission of additional
required materials. Thank you for your interest.

Admission Requirements:

Graduate students wishing to earn the graduate certificate in Inclusion and Diversity may be currently enrolled as masters or doctoral students in any discipline or major. Individuals must have satisfied all admissions requirements for their graduate degree and must remain in good academic standing. Graduate students submit the Graduate Certificate Application form to the Graduate School to formally enroll in the certificate program. Certificate credits may be used to meet degree requirements if they are appropriate for inclusion on the degree Plan of Study as determined by the student’s faculty committee.
Individuals who wish to enroll at Virginia Tech to earn the Inclusion and Diversity graduate certificate without enrolling in a degree program may do so by submitting an online graduate certificate admission application. The Graduate School requires completion of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution for admission.
When all certificate requirements have been satisfied, students must submit the Application for Degree or Certificate Conferral form to the Graduate School to authorize the issuing of the diploma and posting of the graduate certificate on the student’s transcript.

Course Requirements:

Graduate students must complete a minimum of nine graduate credits, six of which must be graded graduate credit with a grade of C- or better. Transfer credits are not permitted.
Required core course (3 credit hours):
  • GRAD 5214 Diversity and Inclusion in a Global Society
Elective courses (6 credit hours) selected from an approved list of courses covering a range of inclusion and diversity topics. The two elective courses selected must be from two different groupings:
  • Education - EDCO 5244, EDCI 5134, EDCI 5914, EDEL 5064, LS 5464, LS 5454
  • Identity Development - HIST 5224, HIST 5934, HD 5344, HD 5424, PSCI5384/WGS 5424, WGS 5124, SOC 5624, SOC 5714, WGS 5914, WGS 6004, SOC 5984/ RLCL 5004, SOC 5614, SOC 5624
  • Social -ENGL 5624, GIA 5274, SOC 5324, SOC 5414, SOC 5614, SOC 5034,UAP 5244, HD 5254, LS 5554, AFST 5364

The graduate certificate will be housed in the Graduate School and managed by the Dean for Graduate Education at Virginia Tech. All involved instructional faculty have doctoral degrees in related fields. The lead instructional faculty include:
Dr. Karen P. DePauw, Vice President and Dean for Graduate Education
Dr. Shernita Lee, Director of Recruitment, Diversity and Inclusion
Dr. Justin Grimes, Assistant Director of Recruitment, Diversity and Inclusion

Course Delivery Format:
Some courses are classroom-based, located on the Virginia Tech campuses in Blacksburg and the National Capital Region. Some courses are delivered via distance learning from Blacksburg to extended campus sites. Virginia Tech has advanced infrastructure and active support for online curricular delivery through Technology-enhanced Learning and Online Strategies (TLOS;

Virginia Tech has the resources required to offer and sustain this certificate program. These include such resources as student support services (e.g., enrollment, help desk, library, etc.); faculty support services (e.g., copying, contracts, etc.); and general administration (e.g., budgeting and forecasting, facility maintenance, etc.).
Gainful Employment:
This certificate program will not come under gainful employment regulations.

Approved Elective Courses
  • EDCO 5244    Counseling Diverse Populations    Examination and application of counseling strategies for special client populations including the exceptional; economically disadvantaged; culturally, racially and ethnically different; those with different life styles. Emphasis on the range of human characteristics.    3 credit hours
  • EDCI 5134    Gender and Education    Introduction to gender in the context of education. This course is intended to raise awareness of how gender is implicated in teaching and learning in K-12 schooling and higher education. School policy as it relates to gender equality and sex education. Theoretical frameworks for gender analysis in education.    3 credit hours
  • EDCI 5914    Diversity & Multicultural Educ in the Teaching of Engl Language Learners    Issues in diversity and multicultural education applied to teaching, PK-12 and adult English language learners. Reflections and articulation of personal cultural perspectives. Principles for developing classrooms that foster equity and access to academic success for all students. Integration of interdisciplinary planning and teaching of core content lessons for English language learners    3 credit hours
  • EDEL 5064    Contemporary Issues in Special Education    Current issues in special education confronting school personnel and the effect of the standards and accountability movement on students with disabilities and special education programs. Impact of diversity, including ability, cultural and environmental diversity, on education programming. Models, practices and services in spec ed.     3 credit hours
  • ENGL 5624    Intercultural Communication    Examination of theoretical and practical issues pertaining to writing and designing for intercultural and/or international audiences.    3 credit hours
  • GIA 5274    Comparative Social Movements    This course will investigate the forms of public protest that occur all over the world, with special attention to activism in poor nations and to the recent emergence of transnational movements. Also examines why and when governments repress social movements. Explores movements that are grounded in collective identities based in class, race/ethnicity, gender, religion, and culture    3 credit hours
  • HIST 5224    Readings in African History    Variable topics readings course focusing on historiographical trends on particular themes in African history.     3 credit hours
  • HIST 5934    Gender in U.S. History    Theoretical approaches to understanding the role of gender in political, economic and social life and in popular culture. Survey of major themes and developments since the seventeenth century. Concentration on the development of biological and sociological explanations of gender differences and similarities, and on the evolution of gendered politics and work and family relationships. Emphasis given to class, race, ethnic differences and differences in sexual orientation.    3 credit hours
  • HD 5254 Epidemiology and Health Inequities Social determinants of health through the life-course. Relationship of social injustice to public health. Interplay of major social factors such as poverty, race and gender to influence health domestically and globally. Application of social epidemiology to a range of health outcomes. Inform effective solutions to health inequities.  3 credit hours
  • HD 5344    Perspectives on Human Sexuality    Interdisciplinary historical consideration of writings, research, theory, and application of knowledge related to human sexuality.    3 credit hours
  • HD 5424    Life Span Human Development    Stages of individual development as they occur in the context of the family life course. Overview of current developmental theories. Impact of race, gender, and class on cultural views of developmental norms.    3 credit hours
  • LS 5464 Leadership in a Global Society Identification and definition of leadership in formal and non-formal education settings, communities, & organizations. 3 credit hours
  • LS 5454 Leadership in Diverse Contexts Identification and development of the personal and professional competencies required for effective leadership in an increasingly global, diverse and multicultural society. 3 credit hours
  • LS 5554 Leading Social Change Theories, processes and strategies employed to facilitate social and organizational change. Roles of change agents with respect to institutional structures, adaption, innovation, and the progression of change. Theoretical perspectives of managing change as applied to the systems and structures associated with society and how organizations operate within these systems and structures. Problem solving, social entrepreneurship, organizational change, and contemporary issues.  3 credit hours 
  • PSCI 5384/ WGS5424    Identity Migration and Place    Place-based identities and intersectional inequalities. Influence of these interrelated dimensions on the study of forced and voluntary migrations within and across national borders, and such discourses as home, belonging, nationhood, and citizenship.    3 credit hours
  • SOC 5034    Social Inequality    Perspectives on the sources and consequences of social inequality. Comparative analyses of the dynamic social construction of differentiation based on such markers as class, race, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, and sexual orientation, and the opportunities and constraints for life chances afforded by these processes.    3 credit hours
  • SOC 5324    Theorizing the African Diaspora    African diaspora theories and their historical foundations. Intersections of diaspora with race, gender, and national identities. Influence of theories of modernity, postcolonial studies, transnationalism, and globalization on contemporary debates about the African diaspora. Application of diaspora theories to different geographic sites in the African diaspora including Europe, the Americas, and Africa.    3 credit hours
  • SOC 5414    Crime, Control, and Social Inequality    Dimensions of crime and systems of social control within a framework of social inequality; examines issues of social inequality, such as discrimination, relative to race and ethnicity, social class, and gender, in crime and systems of social control; international scope.    3 credit hours
  • SOC 5614    Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities    Racial and ethnic health disparities in the United States. Contributions of social factors to inequality in medical care and health for minorities. Current and potential impacts of health care policies on health disparities.    3 credit hours
  • SOC 5624    Women and Work    The analysis of the economic activities of women in contemporary society. The past and present relationship between women's domestic and market labor is examined, followed by an in-depth investigation of women's labor force experiences. Competing sociological explanations are examined, providing the basis for exploring occupational segregation, inequalities of outcomes and comparable worth.    3 credit hours
  • SOC 5714    Aging in Social Context    Social, political, and economic environments of aging in a variety of cultures with emphasis on aging problems in American society. Evaluation of the major social theories of aging, their roles in defining problems of the elderly, and focusing on current social policy.    3 credit hours
  • SOC 5984/ RLCL 5004 Foundation Appalachian Studies Interdisciplinary study of Appalachia. Historiographical debates and theoretical frameworks that inform contemporary scholarship in Appalachian studies, especially as they relate to race, class, gender, and place. Regional history and demographics. Cultural representations of Appalachia. Current social, economic, and environmental issues. Application of theoretical and historical considerations to the construction of research projects. 3 credit hours
  • UAP 5244    Multicultural    Examines the growing ethnic and demographic diversity of urban United States. Stresses theories and techniques that can be used to bring about more inclusive planning and public policies at all levels of government.    3 credit hours
  • WGS 5124 Gender, Bodies, and Technology Intersections of gender, bodies, and technologies in multiple contexts and across disciplines. Technology in individual lives and the gendered discourses surrounding bodies and technologies. Feminist and queer theories of technoscience and the impact of technologies on gendered bodies. 3 credit hours