The University of Kansas has created a new graduate degree program aimed to help students acquire the skills to lead and develop diversity efforts in their workplace and other organizations.
A new master’s degree in leadership in diversity and inclusion is being offered through the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. The program is designed to offer graduate students and working professionals the tools and techniques to better navigate leadership opportunities within the context of social diversity and equity in the United States.
The new program is designed for recent graduates seeking to round out their skill set before they enter the workforce, mid-career professionals who want to augment their existing skills, university staffers who want to pursue higher degrees to complement their work, and community organizers who work and build knowledge outside the traditional workplace.
The degree will require 30 graduate-level credit hours, with coursework consisting of both face-to-face and online classes. To graduate, students must pass a final oral exam, and defend a final semester “capstone” project that allows them to demonstrate how they have integrated and synthesized the knowledge gained during the program.
To foster diversity, equity and inclusion among degree-seekers, the university will use a “holistic” admissions approach with broader acceptance parameters than most university graduate programs. Amy Leyerzapf, director of graduate studies at the College’s Institute of Leadership Studies, stated that “we don’t require GREs. We’ll take students with GPAs lower than the 3.0 threshold. We look at the potential success, passion for the process, written and oral expression.”