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Inclusion and Diversity

For more than two decades, Virginia Tech Graduate School has focused on creating an inclusive community for students pursuing graduate degrees and certificates. Additionally, the Graduate School recogizes the importance of inclusion and diversity, and understanding the issues related to them, in society beyond the university. Below you will find information about some of our many programs aimed at educating students about inclusion and diversity, and fostering inclusive environments.

Virginia Tech is preparing its graduate students to recognize and address issues associated with inclusion and diversity that are ingrained in every aspect of our society. The Inclusion and Diversity requirement emphasizes the guiding values of the institution and takes an active stance in training students to be allies and advocates in their respective disciplines. 

The requirement provides a universal standard to showcase our commitment to an inclusive graduate education for all students and promote ut prosim (service). While the future challenges are unknown upon post-graduation, this requirement equips graduate students with the necessary tools to be active and present in those moments.

All graduate students are complete the requirement, and all programs have developed plans and guidelines for their students to meet the requirement. Use the link below to visit the Inclusion and Diversity requirement webpage in the Academics section of our website.

The Inclusion and Diversity certificate extends graduate students' work in other disciplines by critically exploring the contemporary and historical foundations of diversity, equity, social justice, and inclusion within multiple fields. It explores biases, strategies for developing inclusive climates, fostering inclusion, and engagement to address diversity management, opportunities, and challenges.

Use the following link to visit the certificate program page to learn more about the required and suggested courses.

Instructor: Dr. Catherine Cotrupi

When offered: Fall and spring semesters.

Description: Research on diversity and inclusion for a global society from a multidisciplinary perspective. Examination of popular misconceptions about diversity and inclusion, benefits of diverse and inclusive organizations, legal requirements, international perspectives on diversity and inclusion, and applications to research and professional practice.

Credits: 3

Diversity scholars are graduate students who specialize in and advocate for the awareness, knowledge, and skills associated with diversity and inclusion in the Graduate School and greater community. A diversity scholar's goal is to create dialogue, provide advocacy, and implement change for a more diverse and inclusive experience for all graduate students, faculty, staff, and administrators. This involvement can take place in many forms and can be specific to a particular curriculum or department, or it can be more global.

The Edward Alexander Bouchet Graduate Honor Society (Bouchet Society) recognizes outstanding scholarly achievement and promote a diversity and excellence in doctoral education and the professoriate. 

Virginia Tech is one of 19 university partners with Bouchet Society chapters across the nation. Each year, the Graduate School receives nominations for membership in the society, and a selection committee chooses five for induction. The society’s goal is to create a network of scholars and professionals who “serve as examples of scholarship, leadership, character, service, and advocacy for students who have been traditionally underrepresented in the academy,” according to its Yale University webpage.

Hosted by the Graduate School, the HBCU/MSI Research Summit aims to foster connections between Virginia Tech and students and faculty from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Minority-serving Institutions (MSIs). Faculty come to Virginia Tech’s Blacksburg campus to exchange ideas, make connections, and discuss research with their counterparts in departments across the university. Those faculty members bring undergraduate students and master’s students with them who are interested in Virginia Tech’s graduate programs, but also want to know what support the university provides to help them thrive as they earn advanced degrees.