Ethnic Studies

Ethnic studies move across traditional academic divisions in order to consider questions of belonging and othering in new ways by bridging academic disciplines and emphasizing holistic critical thinking.

Ethnic studies support commitments to equity and justice through its methods of inquiry. You not only might see yourself more represented in the college curriculum, you might raise new questions about whose stories have been elevated and whose have been silenced. You will interrogate how cultures, communities, and identity categories change, shift, and are constructed. You will encounter new ideas about how identity relates to access and power.

Not only will you be better prepared with practical skills for multiple careers in an ever-changing world, participating in programs that include ethnic studies will transform your existing cultural wealth and knowledge through critical theory.

Important disciplines you may encounter include:

  • Black and African American studies
  • Indigenous Studies
  • Native American Studies
  • Latinx and Chicanx Studies
  • Asian and Asian American Studies
  • Migration and borderlands studies

Areas of exploration include literature, history, cultural studies, sociology, and critical theory. Your work will especially emphasize communities, movements, ideas, words, and power.

How to Choose Your Path

You’ll choose what you study to earn a Bachelor’s degree that’s meaningful to you. Some students decide their programs as they go, while others chart their course in advance.

Aim for both breadth and depth; explore fields that may be related or that may seem very distant. You'll be surprised at what you discover.

If you're new to college, look for programs where you can gain a foundation, build key skills, and broaden your knowledge (FR only, FR-SO, or FR-SR).

If you already have a foundation in this field, look for programs with intermediate or advanced material (SO-SR, JR-SR, or FR-SR). These programs may include community-based learning and in-depth research. Some of these programs have specific prerequisites; check the description for details.

Talk to an academic advisor to get help figuring out what coursework is best for you.