Undergraduate Certificate in Diversity and Cultural Competence

A group of diverse students standing on campus in front of Moulton Tower.



The University of South Alabama is now offering an Undergraduate Certificate in Diversity and Cultural Competence. The certificate program provides students with an in-depth understanding of contemporary social diversity needed to successfully interact with clients, patients, students, co-workers and community members from a broad spectrum of diversities and cultures in a diverse and global society.  

Individuals interested in pursuing an Undergraduate Certificate in Diversity and Cultural Competence can either be currently enrolled as an undergraduate student at South or seeking to earn a standalone certificate. The certificate program requires 15 credit hours: nine credit hours in core courses and six credit hours of electives selected from courses in two of nine categories related to diversity and cultural competence. A minimum grade of C is required in all courses.

Why a Certificate in Diversity and Cultural Competence?

The National Association of Colleges and Employers in their survey of employers in all fields has identified eight competencies employers desire in potential employees. The fourth competency is for future employees to be able to “demonstrate the awareness, attitude, knowledge, and skills required to equitably engage and include people from different local and global cultures” and “engage  in anti-racist practices that actively challenge the systems, structures, and policies of racism.” 

There are a variety of careers and abundant employment opportunities for individuals who can work with people from minoritized groups. Understanding diversity and culture is critical in successful recruitment and retention of employees from the spectrum of backgrounds that makes businesses, institutions of higher education, public agencies, and more, competitive in markets beyond the dominant culture. 

Diversity and Cultural Competence in the Workplace

The capacity to understand and work with people different from oneself creates a dynamic and creative workforce that builds on everyone’s strengths. Cultural competence in marketing helps ensure success in expanding markets both domestic and international. Professionals in service industries are better equipped to assist clients who are culturally different from themselves and build a reputation that attracts clients beyond the dominant culture when they are culturally competent. Civil and community interactions become more productive when citizens are able to address their implicit biases, be aware and appreciative of differences among people, be capable of successful intercultural communication and exhibit cross-cultural empathy. Being culturally competent leaves the impression that one’s behavior is appropriate and effective in a given context.

▼   Certificate in Diversity and Cultural Competence Requirements

CORE COURSES: Nine credit hours

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) skills are in high demand in many professions. You can gain competence in this area while pursuing your bachelor’s degree. If you have already completed approved classes, you can obtain your certificate before you graduate. If you want to pursue this certificate, 15 hours of credit is all it takes. See the list below for classes. 

Three Required Courses (nine hours):

  • EDF 315 Living, Working and Education in a Diverse Society 3
  • CA 330-W Intercultural Communication 3
  • IST 320 Cultural Competency 3

Two Elective Courses from two different categories (six hours):

  • Ability
  • EDU 400 Edu Exceptional Child and Youth
  • IST 210 Introduction to Disability
  • SHS 210 Culturally Responsive Practice


  • GRN 272 Gender and Aging
  • SY 372-W Social Gerontology


  • AN 340-W Native American Cultures
  • HY 382-W Jews & Modern Amer Culture
  • NAS 101 Introduction to Native American Studies


  • CA 315 Gender and Communication
  • CJ 372 Gender & Criminal Justice
  • GS 101 Introduction to Gender Studies


  • EDF 300 Gender and International Development
  • MGT 334 International Management


  • LG: any Intermediate language course


  • AFR 101 Introduction to African-American Studies
  • PSC 340 Race, Gender, and Politics
  • EH 357 Black Writers in America


  • PHL/REL/SY 352 World Religions
  • PSC 452 The Muslim World

Social Class

  • SW 220 Power Privilege and Oppression
  • SY 421 Social Stratification
  • SY 435 Health Disparities Life Span
  • Study abroad in any content area (up to 3 credit hours) with the approval of the certificate program coordinator

Study Abroad

  • One course in any content area (up to 3 credit hours) with the approval of a certificate program coordinator.
▼   Questions?

Contact one of the program directors for more information.


Dr. Laureen Fregeau 
Associate Professor
College of Education and Professional Studies
Department of Counseling and Instruction
Mrs. Katherine Koury
Senior Instructor
College of Arts and Sciences
Department of Communication