Certificate Program in Diversity in Community

School of Behavioral Sciences and Education

The Diversity in Community Certificate program is designed for both students and professionals seeking to understand the increasing heterogeneity of U.S. society. Misconceptions and apprehension arising from differences in class and ethnic background, gender, language, mental ability, physical ability, race, religion, and sexuality often accompany such rapid social change and are impediments to healthy community and personal relations. The certificate program is intended to equip students and professionals with knowledge and understanding needed to devise strategies for building good personal, working, and community relations.

Who Should Enroll

The program should appeal to working professionals, concerned individuals, and students who feel under- or ill-prepared to work in diverse settings and/or who desire to explore a new, more critical approach toward questions of justice, power, and diversity. Specifically, the program will benefit business and government leaders and employees, teachers and administrators, social and human service providers, and health care professionals along with students – both undergraduate and graduate. Most of the courses in the program can be taken as part of the elective credits in the graduate program in Community Psychology and Social Change and in the undergraduate Sociology and Applied Behavioral Science majors.

Courses in the Certificate Program

This Certificate requires a total of 15 credits.

Category A: Race and Ethnicity

Take one of the following courses. 3 credits

  • SOC 409 (AAA S) Racial and Ethnic Inequality in America (US)
  • SOC 411 (HD FS 416) Racial and Ethnic Diversity and the American Family (US)

Category B: Gender/Sexuality

Take one of the following courses. 3 credits

  • BESC 464/WMNST 464 (US) Feminine /Masculine
  • R SOC 420/WMNST 420 (IL) Women in Developing Countries
  • SOC 456/WMNST 456 (US) Gender, Occupations and Professions
  • HDFS 250/WMNST 250 (US) Sexual identity over the Life Span (undergraduate students only)

Category C: Class and Age

Take one of the following courses. 3 credits

  • SOC 435 (HDFS 434) Perspectives on Aging
  • SOC 428 Homelessness in America
  • SOC 429 Social Stratification

Category D: Social Science Program Elective

Take one of the following courses from among the following social sciences courses or one of the courses not taken in Categories, A B, or C. 3 credits

  • SOC 408 Urban Ecology
  • SOC 416/EDTHP 416 (US) Sociology of Education
  • SOC 419 (US) Race and Public Policy
  • SOC 424 Social Change
  • SOC 425 Social Conflict
  • SOC 430 Family in Cross-Cultural Perspective
  • SOC 432 Social Movements
  • SOC 446 Political Sociology
  • SOC 450 Justice and the Environment
  • SOC 454 (US) The City in Post-Industrial Society
  • SOC 455 Work and Occupations
  • SOC 461/RL ST 461 (US;IL) Sociology of Religion
  • HDFS 405 (US) Gender and Social Development
  • HDFS 424 (US) Family Development in an Economic Context
  • HD FS 425 (US) Work as a context for Human Development
  • HD FS 469 (IL) Family Change in the Global Economy

Category E: Cognate

Take one additional course from Categories A, B, C, D or one of the courses listed below. 3 credits

  • AAA S. African and African American Studies. Any additional 400-level AAA S course.
  • AM ST 430/WMNST 430 (US) Women in American Society
  • AM ST 475/ENGL 475 (US) Black American Writers
  • AM ST 476/WMNST 476/ENGL 476 (US) American Women Writers
  • BUS 485 American Business Overseas
  • COMM 410 (IL) International Mass Communications
  • COMM 459 Cultural Effects of Interactive and Online Media
  • CRIMJ 436 (US) Women in the Criminal Justice System
  • EDHTP 401 (US) Ethnic Minorities & Schools in the U.S.
  • EDUC 406 Human Sexuality
  • EDUC 466 Foundations of Teaching English as a Second Language
  • ENGL 431 (US) African/American Literature
  • ENGL 492 (US) American Women Writers
  • I HUM 410 Religion and Culture
  • MGMT 445 Managing Differences in Organization
  • MGMT 461 International Management
  • NURS 415 (US) Community and Family Health Nursing – Concepts and Applications
  • PHIL 437 (IL) World Philosophies and Cultures
  • PHIL 439 (IL) Asian Philosophies and Issues
  • PL SC 428 (US;IL) Gender and Politics
  • PL SC 440 (US;IL) Globalization and its Implications
  • PL SC 453 Political Processes in Underdeveloped Systems
  • PL SC 456 Politics and Institutions of Latin-American Nations
  • PL SC 457 International Politics of Latin America
  • PL SC 458 Government and Politics of East Asia
  • PL SC 467 International Relations of the Middle East
  • PSYCH 444 (US) Treatment and Education in Developmental Disabilities
  • PSYCH 479/WMNST 479 (US) Psychology of Women
  • WMNST Women’s Studies. Any additional 400-level WMNST course

Total 15 Credits

Note: Appropriate seminars, honors courses, special topics courses, and/or, current topics courses may be substituted for one or more courses in categories A, B, C or D with the approval of the program coordinator.

At least 3 credits should be IL (international designated).

GPA REQUIREMENTS FOR CERTIFICATION: C (2.0) average or above in all courses. Graduate students should note that typically a grade of "B" is required for a course to be counted for graduate credit.

** To review these courses, click here for course descriptions.

For Current Students


This page is not a part of the official Penn State University Bulletin.