Diversity and Inclusion Leadership

In the interdisciplinary Diversity and Inclusion Leadership program, you will learn to lead, create, and assess inclusive organizational change. Recently featured on CNN Money, this degree program prepares students for careers in a variety of industries and professional sectors.

The program is available both full-time and in a part-time format designed for working professionals. 

Illustration of a network of diverse people.
  • Program Overview
  • Full-time and Part-time Tracks
  • Faculty
  • Application Requirements
  • Contact Information

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Office of Graduate Admissions
Bendetson Hall
Medford, MA 02155
(617) 627-3395

M.A. in Diversity and Inclusion Leadership

In the Diversity and Inclusion Leadership program, you will learn the scholarly theories and practical tools to implement institutional changes that promote diversity and foster inclusivity. To be an effective leader in diversity and inclusion, you must understand the social contexts and psychological processes that result in implicit bias, discrimination, and marginalization. Illustration of diverse people with talk bubbles.

Organizations are increasingly creating roles such as chief diversity officers, diversity managers, consultants, educational administrators, human resources, and/or college admissions professionals that can transform their communities. At Tufts, you’ll become the strong, informed, skilled leader that can help create more inclusive organizations.

You will join students from a variety of backgrounds and scholarly fields, all united in their desire to explore diversity in interdisciplinary contexts. Upon completion of the Diversity and Inclusion Leadership master’s program, you will be capable of:

  • Engaging in organizational observation using appropriate methods
  • Implementing necessary changes to enhance equality and prevent marginalization
  • Prioritizing these changes based on the culture and needs of the organization
  • Designing and evaluating programs to enact these changes
  • Leading organizations through sustainable transformation

Our Approach

Since this program is truly interdisciplinary in nature, you may choose from a suite of courses designed and inspired in part from the suggested training goals of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE).

Students may complete the program in between 12 months and two years of full-time study, depending on academic and summer course load. Students may also enroll on a part-time basis with a schedule designed for working professionals. 

Two-year plan – Individuals in the standard track of the program take two courses per semester and have the opportunity to write a thesis in the second year of this track.

12-14 month plan – Individuals in this track should have several years of work experience before attempting the program. Students will need to take to an average of three courses per semester (including summer) and take an internship, practicum, or civic engagement project over the summer.

Part-time plan – Individuals working in a full-time position while enrolled in this program take one or two courses per semester during the academic year and the summer. Courses are offered in the evenings, on the weekends, and online to accommodate the schedules of working professionals. Students have the opportunity to write a thesis or engage in a capstone project at the end of their studies. 

Visit the Diversity and Inclusion Leadership program website


Full-Time Track

Students in the full-time track of the Diversity and Inclusion Leadership M.A. are required to take 11 total courses across four core curricular areas. Full-time students typically complete the program in 12 months to two years, depending on academic and summer course loads.

Pathways to Tufts: Part-Time Track for Working Professionals

Using a trimester format for graduate coursework, the part-time M.A. in Diversity and Inclusion Leadership allows working professionals to work full-time while attending courses in the evening, on the weekend, and online, allowing completion of the program in less than 2 years. Requirements are the same as the full-time track; students are required to take 11 total courses across four core curricular areas. 

Sample Part-Time Schedule*

Summer Session DLS 206: Critical Histories of U.S. Education Evening
Fall Semester DLS 205: Anthropology and Sociology of the School

Core Seminar

Spring Semester DLS 265: Program Evaluation

Core Seminar

Summer Session 1 UEP: Negotiations & Conflict Resolution Evening
Summer Session 2 Elective Evening, Weekend, Online
Fall Semester UEP: Quantitative Reasoning


Evening, Weekend, Online
Spring Semester Teaching for Democracy

Equity and Inclusion

Capstone Project




*This is a sample schedule. Course offerings and schedule are subject to change. 


Julian Agyeman
Ph.D. , University of London
Sustainability policy and planning, environmental and food justice, intercultural cities
Jennifer Allen
Jennifer Allen
Professor and Chair
Sc.D., MPH, MSN, RN , Harvard School of Public Health
Community Health, Community-based interventions to promote health in underserved populations, with an ultimate goal of reducing health disparities
Linda Beardsley
Senior Lecturer
M.Ed. , Tufts University
Teacher Education
Steven Cohen
Senior Lecturer
Ph.D. , Brandeis University
High school history; Director of Undergraduate Education
Robert Cook
Professor, Dean of Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
Ph.D. , University of California, Berkeley
Animal Cognition and Learning
Peter Levine
Peter Levine
Associate Dean for Research and Lincoln Filene Professor of Citizenship & Public Affairs
Ph.D. , University of Oxford
Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life
Penn Loh
Senior Lecturer and Director of the M.P.P. Program and Community Practice
M.S. , University of California, Berkeley
Environmental justice, solidarity and new economy, community organizing
Ellen Pinderhughes
Ellen E. Pinderhughes
Professor and Graduate Program Director (Ph.D.)
Ph.D. , Yale University
Adoption and foster care and Influences on family socialization processes among families with children at risk for problematic outcomes
Sarah Pinto
Sarah Pinto
Associate Professor
Ph.D. , Princeton University
Medical anthropology, gender, mental health, reproduction, cultures of biomedicine, kinship, global feminism, history of the body
Erin Seaton
Senior Lecturer
Ed.D. , Harvard Graduate School of Education
School Psychology

Application Deadline

Fall: February 15
Spring: October 15

Fall Pathways Part-time Track: August 1
Spring Pathways Part-time Track: December 1

Application Requirements: 

> Application fee
> Resume/CV
> Personal statement
> In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on the availability of standardized testing, GRE scores are currently waived for students applying to this program.
> Official TOEFL or IELTS, if applicable
> Transcripts
> Three letters of recommendation 

View all general application requirements

For a program overview and application information, please email gradadmissions@tufts.edu. To connect with faculty and current students, please email diversity.gradprogram@tufts.edu.

Students interested in part-time study should contact pathwaysgsas@tufts.edu.

For questions about your application, contact the Office of Graduate Admissions at 617.627.3395 or gradadmissions@tufts.edu.