California State University, Northridge

Master of Arts in Diverse Community Development Leadership


18111 Nordhoff Street

The Tseng College

Northridge, CA 91330

United States



Program Information

Degrees Offered:

Diverse Community Development Leadership

Format: Online

Program Description:

This online master's program prepares you for a career leading diverse organizations and communities. Designed for working adults, the program emphasizes contemporary social theory – with a focus on social justice – and features hands-on workshops and assignments.

In courses with other working professionals, you will learn how to:

  • Lead diverse communities, organizations, and agencies
  • Help communities identify their core needs
  • Strategically plan major goals and initiatives
  • Write grant proposals and spearhead fundraising campaigns
  • Coordinate programs and manage relations with community partners
  • Research complex issues and recommend evidence-based solutions

Courses focus on organizational leadership models, social justice in diverse communities, conflict resolution, research methods, community partnerships, and communication management.

Justice through Leadership

In your courses, you will develop the leadership skills to help communities identify their needs, manage conflicts, and enact socially just practices and policies.

As you hone your leadership abilities, you will also examine modern systems of power, giving you the context to understand current social, political, and historical inequities. This strong theoretical and historical knowledge, which you will build throughout the program, is necessary to make informed and effective leadership decisions.

Equipped with the program's leadership framework, you can enter the field with the utmost confidence and move forward with the important work to come: disrupting unjust power equations and helping communities fulfill their self-defined goals.

Listening and Assessment Tools

In addition to leadership training, you will acquire the tools and strategies – among them, planning, assessment, monitoring, and evaluation – to successfully manage the social change process.

The program places particular emphasis on strategic and compassionate listening. One of the most important tools in community development, listening – and the strategies to do it well – allows you to assess a community's needs from the inside.

Once a community is heard, you can then work together to propose solutions, develop a strategic plan, and proceed to a real-world change. This program trains you to do that, empowering people and communities with a voice.

Learn by doing

In the program, you will identify and work with a local community partner. As you build practical experience, learning how organizations function in the real world, you will also develop a portfolio to share with prospective employers.

This, in addition to classroom instruction, equips you with the practical management skills to lead teams and organizations in the implementation of social change.

Work-friendly scheduling

This program is delivered fully online, providing you with significant flexibility to complete course work at times and in places that fit your schedule.

Although the program is online, classes meet once weekly in a convenient digital environment, providing live interaction to build important relationships with your professors and fellow students.

Cohort-format delivery

This program is delivered in the cohort, or group learning, format. With this model, you will join a group of other working adults and move with them from the first day of class to the last. This learning community supports your goals, connects with you professionally and helps you graduate on time.

Exceptional support services

A program management team will assist you on your academic journey, handling all administrative matters and freeing you to concentrate on your course work and your career. And to help you fund your continuing education, our team of financial aid advisors is ready to explore your options.

Excellence in Online Education

CSUN's online programs are held to the same high standards of academic excellence and student achievement as the university's on-campus programs. This online program is taught by full-time faculty, whose engagement with online students is equivalent to their interaction with students on campus.


North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission

Eligibility Requirements:

To apply to the Master of Arts in Diverse Community Development Leadership (DCDL) program, applicants must possess (at the time of enrollment): -Have met at least 1 of 2 degree requirements: A Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited college or university with a minimum GPA of 2.5; or A Master’s Degree from an accredited college or university -Be in good academic standing at the last college or university attended.

Facts & Figures

# of Credits Required: 30

Average Cost per Credit (Graduate): 840 USD

Classification: Master's College or University I

Locale: Large City

Size & Settings: 20,000-39,999

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