Online Master of Science in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Leadership

Admission is open!

GCNYC is not accepting applications for Fall 2024. An announcement for admission in 2025 is forthcoming.

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Make an appointment with our admissions team!

Time to Complete Degree

Part-time: 18 – 24 Months

Full-time: 16 – 18 Months

About This Program:

The MS in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Leadership prepares students to meet the increasing demand for DEI professionals who can create inclusive environments in business, non-profit, and educational settings. Studying the challenges to social equity within both the United States and internationally, students will gain skills in leadership strategies to enact meaningful social change. Multiple dimensions of human diversity are addressed through the program’s curriculum, with special attention to (dis)ability, gender/gender identity, language, national origin, race/ethnicity, religion/faith, sexual identity, and socioeconomic class.

Careers in DEI Leadership

The M.S. in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Leadership is designed to meet the increasing demand of employers.

Potential titles for graduates may include:


of graduates advanced in career or pivoted to a career in social impact/sustainability


are employed or starting a business in fashion/social impact/sustainability

Your Professors are Scholars + Practitioners in Their Field

Gardy J. Guiteau


Dr. JeffriAnne Wilder


Dr. Tammy Hodo


Krishanti Dhamaraj


Hear From GCNYC Professors on
the Importance of DEI in Academia

Making Impactful Education Affordable

90% Get Scholarship

Students enrolled in at least two courses per term

33% Less Expensive

Than competitive gradutate programs in NYC.

Alumni Spotlight

We made our programs convenient and affordable so they could be accessible to the busiest and most ambitious students. We’re cultivating a hard-working community that demands excellence from each other as we drive real change.

GCNYC is recognized by Society for HR Management (SHRM) to offer Professional Development Credits (PDCs) for SHRM-CP® or SHRM-SCP® recertification activities.

Course Details

Program Structure

Participating in a research-based curriculum, students in the program will write master’s theses designed to address real-world challenges, collaborating with partner companies and organizations. Thesis partnerships are facilitated by GCNYC’s Center for Social Impact and Innovation, which provides a support network and collaborative research opportunities for students, social entrepreneurs, and leaders in sustainability across industries.




Credits Earned

Courses & Curriculum

Participating in a research-based curriculum, students in the program will write master’s theses designed to address real-world challenges, collaborating with partner companies and organizations. Thesis partnerships are facilitated by GCNYC’s Center for Social Impact and Innovation, which provides a support network and collaborative research opportunities for students, social entrepreneurs, and leaders in sustainability across industries.


The MS in DEI Leadership is a fully online program with a combination of weekly synchronous classes plus independent asynchronous work.

This seminar-based course is designed to document and explore the history and growth of the diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) profession against the backdrop of recent national and global events that have served as a lever for the modern DEI social justice movement.  This course will acquaint students with the foundational concepts of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), [in addition to key terms such as anti-oppression, belonging, and justice] including key classical and contemporary theories influencing DEI leadership, research, and practice.  (3 credits)

This course connects students directly with leading practitioners of DEI research, leadership and administration.  Through guest presentations from a variety of DEI professionals working in the non-profit, private/corporate, K-20 education, and public sectors, students will become acquainted with the range of burgeoning career options available in the DEI space. Students will engage in dynamic discussion, readings, and writing assignments in order to understand the current challenges and promise of working in the DEI field. (1.5 credits)

Students will explore ideas, best practices, and emerging paradigms shaping diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the corporate/business sector. This course provides an intersectional perspective to the study of DEI leadership from a globalized view. Students will examine the necessary tools business leaders need to disrupt inequitable systems and structures that pervade a variety of workplace settings. (3 credits)

This course will address the current debates and controversy surrounding equity across the K-20 educational landscape.  Students will explore a variety of issues, including but not limited to: critical race theory,  measuring culture and climate, recruitment and retention efforts, identity development, diversifying the curriculum, social justice standards, assessing the educational impact of diversity, and current challenges to K-12 and higher education policy. (3 credits)

Moving beyond the core job functions of a Chief Diversity Officer (CDO) or the required steps needed in order to attain this senior-level position, this course provides a critical examination of the nuances and complexities of the CDO occupation. Students will trace the origins and evolution of the position since the 1970s, and explore how the CDO role has emerged as one of the most visible and in-demand roles in many organizations today.  Additionally, students will become acquainted with the challenges and opportunities facing CDO’s today (with guest CDO speakers) and put them in position to conduct strategic diversity plans and other CDO  activities that are critical to business strategy today. (3 credits)

Program evaluation involves a systematic approach to assessing the value and effectiveness of a program or initiative.  This course provides an in-depth examination of the foundations, methods, and relevant issues in the field of evaluation. With an emphasis on an embedded approach, students will learn the basic tools necessary to conduct effective evaluations that foster continual improvement and enable data-based decision making. This course will approach program evaluation from the Equitable Evaluation Initiative’s Equitable Evaluation Framework (EFF). (3 credits)

This course reflects the fact that organizations do not operate in a vacuum: they are both shaped by and themselves also shape the geo-political, economic, social and technological environments in which they operate. Understanding the interaction between organizations and their wider contexts is essential to effective management and responsible leadership. This course is designed to equip students with the information and analytical skills required to critically reflect upon some of the most significant issues which pose challenges to business managers and organizational leaders in the modern world. (3 credits)

 In Values-Based Leadership Skills for an Interconnected World, students will accelerate their leadership by reflecting on their own assets and developmental needs, learn how others perceive them and leverage this new self-awareness to create their own leadership development action plan. Because performance in a leadership role requires more than just knowledge and skills, we will use group experiential activities to help students gain an understanding of the factors that drive effective values-based leadership across the spectrum of contexts affecting their ability to achieve great results. (3 credits)

This course introduces the necessary toolkit for applied research in the sustainability field and takes advantage of the ever-growing volume of data being collected to support decision-making in both the public and private sectors. Students gain practical knowledge on effective data representation, basics of financial accounting and financial metrics to understand the practical language of today’s public and private business, foundational information on national economic statistics, valuation methods for cost-benefit analysis, and statistical techniques for the practical business needs of sustainability. (1.5 credits)

This course sequence aims to develop foundational skills in social science research that are needed for basic and applied research at the master’s level. Students will be introduced to research design, measurement and sampling, methods of data collection and analysis, and research ethics. Students should be able to critically evaluate new concepts, ideas, evidence, and empirical data from a range of sources and transfer their skills into practice. 

Research Methods I: 1.5 credits
Research Methods 2: 1.5 credits
Research Methods 3: 3 credits

The aim of this course is to conduct business research/consultancy and report on the findings. Drawing on the proposal developed in Research Methods, the course focuses on the business research project, which involves an investigation of a substantial business issue or problem. Students are required to demonstrate critical awareness of business practice, relevant theories and research techniques and approaches. The project element of the course in particular offers students the opportunity to apply course concept, theories and techniques, draw on internationally published literature and good practice, and develop and interpret knowledge about management practice in their area of study. (6 credits)

Total 36 credits

Apply to GCNYC

Our Master of Science degrees aim to further your sustainability and social impact career through flexible, rigorous coursework promoting the Common Good.

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