Professor reading a book to class
Degrees Offered: BA Minor

The ethnic studies major initiates and promotes interdisciplinary research and teaching in African­ American studies, American studies, Asian­ American studies, Chicana/o studies and cross­cultural and comparative studies. In addition, course work is designed to develop skills in oral and written expression, in research design and in critical thinking.

The department is dedicated to interrogating the relational nature of race and its attendant categories, particularly gender and sexuality, using frameworks that account for the increasingly transnational ways that these categories are constructed, resisted and inhabited. Rigorous comparative and relational analyses grow out of the department’s deep groundings in the particular areas of Africana, Asian­American, Chicana/Chicano and Native American/indigenous studies.

Undergraduate Opportunities

The department empowers students by giving them a voice through participatory, experiential and diverse student­centered learning. All students are encouraged to look at their inherited/political/social/cultural positions in society, and to create a new social reality in the ever­changing global society of Earth. 

Completion of the program leads to a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Ethnic Studies. The ethnic studies major provides a broad liberal arts education with skills in critical thinking, comparative analysis, social theory, data gathering and analysis and oral and written expression. These skills, coupled with its emphasis on diversity, make the ethnic studies degree particularly useful for the coming century. It provides students with appropriate training for fields such as law, education, medicine, public health, social work, journalism, business, urban planning, politics, counseling, international relations and creative writing, as well as university teaching and research.

Graduate Studies

CU­ Boulder offers a PhD in Comparative Ethnic Studies. This innovative and streamlined program is designed to provide students with broad training that enables them to research and analyze the intersectional and relational workings of race, ethnicity, gender, class and sexuality in national and transnational contexts. It provides flexibility for students to pursue their individual research interests while ensuring that they are grounded in both the foundational and cutting­edge theories in ethnic studies. 

Methodologically and theoretically, the faculty of ethnic studies possess training and expertise in the interdisciplinary fields of ethnic studies, women and gender studies, cultural studies, literary and film studies, border studies and American studies, as well as traditional disciplines including anthropology, history, philosophy and sociology. The department seek students who are driven to pursue projects that advance the field of ethnic studies, who are motivated to map out individualized courses of study and who have demonstrated abilities to comprehend and apply theories, conduct original research, analyze data and write effectively.