Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Studies in the United States

Last updated: August 1, 2019 at 10:54 PM


Contemporary U.S. society is marked by demographic and cultural changes that have both advanced and challenged the nation’s commitment to the realization of individuals’ unalienable rights as human beings. Scientific, technological, legal, political, and aesthetic developments have created significant opportunities throughout the U.S., even as they have also entrenched existing injustices. As part of the global engagement requirement, diversity, equity and inclusion studies in the United States courses prepare students to engage with the dynamics, developments, and divisions within U.S. society in the twenty-first century.

To be active and productive participants in a society undergoing significant ethno-racial, political, environmental and cultural change, students will need to understand the important role that a commitment to social justice has played in the advancement of the United States. They will also need to address the role that inequality has played in the country’s formation and continues to play in its development. Courses may draw on a variety of disciplinary approaches to address any of the following:

  • The critical study of race, class, gender, sex, disability, ethnicity, sexuality, age, color, nationality and religion, with a specific emphasis on historically marginalized populations;
  • The close assessment of laws, regulations, procedures, and policies that have enforced or opposed inequity and injustice;
  • The analysis of theories that explain, analyze or critique inequality;
  • The empirical examination of coalition and community-building, collaboration across difference, and other practices aimed at increasing inclusion.

Learning Goals

  1. Articulate evidence-based understandings of difference and how they work within frameworks of social hierarchy in the United States
  2. Increase one’s ability to learn from, and demonstrate respect towards, different peoples, cultures, and world-views
  3. Identify historical and contemporary strategies to address issues of social justice in the United States
  4. Examine US political, economic, legal, educational, environmental, social, religious, and cultural institutions, values and practices and their historical and contemporary impact in shaping power, privilege and disadvantage

How to Fulfill the Requirement

For students entering Brandeis beginning fall 2019, students will complete one semester course that satisfies the diversity, equity and inclusion studies in the United States requirement. Courses that satisfy the requirement in a particular semester are designated "deis-us" in the Schedule of Classes for that semester. A list of diversity, equity and inclusion studies in the United States courses is available in the Courses of Instruction.

There is no diversity, equity and inclusion studies in the United States requirement for students entering Brandeis prior to fall 2019.