The School of Continuing Studies is adding a new masters program next semester in human resources with three concentration options, including one that will be the nation’s first of its kind: diversity studies.

The three concentrations, which include strategic human capital management and international human resources management in addition to diversity studies, will allow students to enter into uncharted academic waters on issues that are nevertheless becoming more and more a part of a professional, global working world, according to Christopher Metzler, associate dean in the human resources masters program.

“We decided we wanted to create a program that would allow us to link HR business strategies with global developments,” he said.

etzler said that with this concentration, he hopes to create a place for diversity and inclusion studies in higher academia.

“If you look at where diversity is as a discipline, you see people with jobs as diversity directors and chief diversity officers,” he said. “These positions simply did not exist 10 years ago. We wanted to make sure that those in the field have both academic and practical expertise behind them.”

The SCS is projecting an initial class of 25 students for the new master’s program, Metzler said, although he noted that this figure could be subject to change. He said he is hoping to attract a diverse pool of applicants to the program, including recent graduates, mid-career professionals and non-traditional students.

etzler, who came to Georgetown from Cornell University, which offers a certificate in diversity management but not a master’s program, said he felt Georgetown is the perfect place for the launch of the new diversity degree.

“Given the tradition of Jesuit ideals, the focus on ethics, which is a core concentration for all SCS students and the vision of SCS to blend academics and practice, there is no better place to have this concentration than at Georgetown,” Meltzer said.

SCS master’s programs allow students to work full-time while attending classes on a part-time basis. Each of the three concentrations in the human resources masters degree can be completed in 24 months part-time or 18 months attending full-time.

Becoming the country’s first master’s degree program in diversity studies is, however, a larger reflection of what Meltzer described as a significant gap in the field between European and American universities.

“[The United States] has been well behind the curve on diversity studies,” he said. “But the field is really evolving as an academic discipline, and the faculty we are looking at to lead this program are the ones who having been the laying the groundwork for this [as a discipline].”

Have a reaction to this article? Write a letter to the editor.

Comments are closed.