Diversity Studies, Certificate (Liberal Arts)

Program Code: DIVSTD_UCT

Program Requirements

To earn an undergraduate certificate in Diversity Studies, a minimum of 12 credits is required.

Prescribed Courses
WMNST 105NLiving in a Diverse World Keystone/General Education Course3
Additional Courses
Select one of the following:3
AFAM 100
Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies Keystone/General Education Course
Representing Women and Gender in Literature, Art and Popular Cultures Keystone/General Education Course
Sex, Gender, and the Body Keystone/General Education Course
Introduction to LGBTQ Studies Keystone/General Education Course
Select 6 credits from the following:6
Racial and Ethnic Inequality in America
Introduction to Contemporary Africa Keystone/General Education Course
Religion in American Life and Thought Keystone/General Education Course
Understanding Humans Keystone/General Education Course
Cultural Diversity: A Global Perspective Keystone/General Education Course
Indigenous North America Keystone/General Education Course
What is Asia? Keystone/General Education Course
Diversity and Health
Gender and Biobehavioral Health
Intercultural Communication Keystone/General Education Course
Communication Ethics
Gender Roles in Communication
Studies in Public Address
World Literatures Keystone/General Education Course
International Cultures: Film and Literature Keystone/General Education Course
Gender, Diversity and the Media Keystone/General Education Course
Presumed Innocent? Social Science of Wrongful Conviction Keystone/General Education Course
Deaf Culture Keystone/General Education Course
France and the French-speaking World Keystone/General Education Course
Adult Development and Aging Keystone/General Education Course
Sexual Identity over the Life Span
Reading Our Lives: Understanding Diversity and Human Development through Memoirs Keystone/General Education Course
Recent American History
History of Imperialism and Nationalism in Africa
Jewish Civilization Keystone/General Education Course
Race, Gender, and Employment Keystone/General Education Course
Employment Strategies for People with Disabilities
History of Work in America
Leadership in a Global Context
Women and Leadership
PLSC 110
Introduction to Disability Culture Keystone/General Education Course
Employment Strategies for People with Disabilities
Introduction to World Religions Keystone/General Education Course
Leisure and Human Behavior Keystone/General Education Course
Sociology of Aging
Race, Ethnicity and Culture Keystone/General Education Course
Gender, Occupations, and Professions
Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorders: Issues and Concerns
Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies Keystone/General Education Course
Representing Women and Gender in Literature, Art and Popular Cultures Keystone/General Education Course
Sex, Gender, and the Body Keystone/General Education Course

Certificate Learning Objectives

  1. Theories of Identity: Apply basic theories of identity, difference, social power and privilege to a wide range of textual and visual materials, and to their own interactions in the context of day-to-day life.
  2. Critical Constructions of Identity: Illustrate how race, gender, sexuality, class, ethnicity, and disability have been constructed in the United States through specific examples from course readings and relevant outside examples.
  3. Transnational Contexts: Compare and contrast transnational dimensions of similar dynamics with those in the United States context.

Academic Advising

The objectives of the university’s academic advising program are to help advisees identify and achieve their academic goals, to promote their intellectual discovery, and to encourage students to take advantage of both in-and out-of class educational opportunities in order that they become self-directed learners and decision makers.

Both advisers and advisees share responsibility for making the advising relationship succeed. By encouraging their advisees to become engaged in their education, to meet their educational goals, and to develop the habit of learning, advisers assume a significant educational role. The advisee’s unit of enrollment will provide each advisee with a primary academic adviser, the information needed to plan the chosen program of study, and referrals to other specialized resources.


University Park

Liberal Arts Academic Advising
Use the Liberal Arts Majors and Minors web page to see the contact information for the specific adviser(s) of this program

Career Paths

Employers today value effective communication, analytical thinking, and teamwork. With its emphasis on how gender, sexuality, race and other forms of diversity impact the experiences of every individual, this curriculum trains its students to recognize the impacts of bias and unequal social power in the social, cultural and political arenas. Graduates enter their post-graduate world sensitive to diverse perspectives that can either facilitate or impede team building, problem solving, and negotiation. Diversity Studies graduates—no matter where their career paths lead—are committed to the kind of institutional and social change that values all voices, and supports social justice.


Diversity Studies graduates from Penn State work in a wide variety of professions and industries. You will find us in the legal profession (one alumna runs her own legal firm, serving lower-income clients and gender-based discrimination cases). Others work in communications, marketing and advertising, business, banking and human resources. Activist students find their way into non-profits, advocacy groups, government, human development, journalism and communications. Women’s health is a dynamic field—medical care, nursing and research positions are out there, as well as health administration. Teaching attracts many of our graduates.

Opportunities for Graduate Studies

The scholarly field of Diversity Studies prepares students to study some of the most complex challenges in a world where gender, race, class, sexuality and power are always intertwined. As an interdisciplinary field, it spans the arts and sciences, the humanities, and policy fields and provides applicable training for students seeking to continue their studies. Our scholars gain experience as researchers and teachers with the innovative tools to prepare them as leaders across the public, private and educational sectors.


Professional Resources


University Park

134 Willard Building
University Park, PA 16802