Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Leadership, Master's

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Gain the skills needed to lead and assess institutional efforts of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

The 31-credit MS in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Leadership provides learners with the tools necessary to serve in leadership roles that marshal agency, organizational, and/or institutional efforts to create and maintain environments that go further than supporting the needs of individuals of diverse identities, but center belongingness and the critical examination of policies and practices that disproportionately impact individuals and groups based on their group membership. Diversity, equity, and inclusion practitioners are vital in supporting organizations as they work to optimize and/or re-imagine organizational culture to meet diversity, equity, and inclusion goals. Students will examine critical theories and frameworks that will guide their practice and practical application. The MS in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Leadership will explore race, ethnicity, gender, and culture in the U.S. context, leadership, executive writing, statistics and evaluation, evidence-based practices, and the role of laws and policies. Intercultural and inclusive learning competencies will be addressed as a thread through the curriculum.

Details, Dates & Deadlines

Program Details

Class Format

Online,Full Time,Part Time, Asynchronous

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Program Length

2.5 years

Credits to Complete


Cost/Credit Hour

In State: $750
Out of State: $993

Dates & Deadlines

Fall Deadline: July 1

The MS in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Leadership consists of 11 courses, totaling 31 credits. The instruction occurs online, with a primary focus on asynchronous learning. While asynchronous activities will concentrate on lectures, readings, discussions, and critical reflection, etc., they are several synchronous activities of real-time discussions, small group work, role-playing exercises, and mock facilitation, like the one-credit Intercultural Impact Institute which takes place over two consecutive days during the spring semester.

Program Completion Timeline

  • The degree is designed for completion within 2.5 years academic years, but students are allowed up to five years to complete the program.

  • Participants can start the program in the fall term only.

By the completion of the MS in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Leadership and consistent with the adapted National Association for Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE) standards of practice, students will be able to:

  • Conceptualize the diversity mission of an organization through a broad and inclusive definition of diversity;
  • Articulate in verbal and written form, the importance of equity, inclusion, and diversity;
  • Understand the contexts, cultures, and politics within organizations that impact the implementation and management of effective diversity change efforts;
  • Articulate in verbal and written form, the range of evidence for the benefits that through diversity, inclusion, and equity;
  • Develop innovative ways to utilize professional development efforts to advance the diversity mission of organizations;
  • Develop innovative ways to utilize organizational programming that enhances the diversity mission of organizations;
  • Demonstrate procedural knowledge for responding to bias incidents when they occur;
  • Identify how various forms of organizational data can be used to benchmark and promote accountability for the diversity mission of organizations;
  • Apply climate research in the development and advancement of a positive and inclusive climate for diversity;
  • Analyze current and historical knowledge related to issues of nondiscrimination, access, and equity; and
  • Demonstrate awareness and understanding of the various laws, regulations, and policies related to equity and diversity

The Master of Science in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Leadership will educate current and aspiring DEI leaders at public, private, and government institutions. The curriculum is designed to meet the needs of individuals with backgrounds in healthcare, science, social work, law, community engagement, education, and public safety.

In response to growing internal demands from their employees and external pressure from the public, companies are increasingly committing themselves to diversity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives by hiring DEI professionals. A study from Glassdoor Economic Research (Zhao, 2019) found that between 2018 to 2019, DEI job postings on Glassdoor jumped 30% in the United States to a total of 810 open positions. This job growth continued in 2020 until the economic impact of COVID-19 resulted in a 60% decline of DEI-related job openings between the months of March and June.

The murder of George Floyd sparked passionate calls for racial justice across the country. Many companies responded to these calls by hiring DEI professionals, resulting in a 55% rebound in job openings. Most of these new DEI- related openings are for senior-level positions, such as Director for Diversity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer, which demonstrates employer’s commitment to elevating DEI efforts to senior leadership and their interest in hiring experienced professionals to lead and manage DEI efforts. Comparing data from CNBC Make It, Linked In, and Glassdoor, the salary for a Diversity and Inclusion Manager can range from $88,400 to $97,300, while the salary for a Chief Diversity Officer can reach into the six figures, with an average of $126,000. 

In terms of geographical concentration of DEI job growth, the Glassdoor study (2019) found that Washington, D.C. had the largest number of diversity and inclusion job openings in the country, later followed by the city of Baltimore, which was placed tenth on its list. The most openings for DEI-related roles were in the public services sector and at large companies with 1,000 or more employees. 25% of DEI-related openings were in education while 8% were in healthcare and hospitals and 6% in the government. As companies create more DEI-related positions, job seekers have also been expressing more interest in DEI roles. The number of searches for diversity and inclusion jobs increased by 35% between 2018 and 2019.

Program Contacts


Arielle Faulkner
Admissions Counselor


Dr. Courtney Jones-Carney
Program Director


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