Ethnic Studies

College of Ethnic Studies
Interim Dean: Kenneth Monteiro
EP 121
Director: Clay Dumont


Professors—Almaguer, Diaz, Okutsu

Associate Professor—Dumont

Assistant Professors—Ferreira, Jolivette, Sueyoshi

Lecturers—Cathey, Harvell, Hubbard, Miller, Salomon


M.A. in Ethnic Studies

Program Scope

The Master of Arts in Ethnic Studies is designed to increase students' knowledge and understanding of the experiences of people of color. The program provides training in techniques for the analysis of historical and contemporary social problems related to these experiences; and the curriculum develops students' capacity to structurally assess, plan, and evaluate social policies aimed at the resolution of these problems. Although the focus remains primarily on the condition of Asian Americans, African Americans, Latinos, and American Indians, the program is increasingly concerned with mixed race studies, human sexuality studies, diaspora studies, postcolonial criticism, theories of racial formation, the experiences of other communities of color, and theory/practice of resistance and social movements.

The program is designed to prepare individuals for advanced graduate work leading to the doctorate or professional roles in teaching, research, and administration within both the public and private sectors. The theoretical and conceptual tools of several disciplines are critically utilized and interrogated. The program applies cutting edge analyses, such as cultural studies, postcolonial, feminist, and queer perspectives, to instruction, research, and community involvement. Both scholarly and activist engagements with the surrounding San Francisco Bay Area communities of color are encouraged and expected.

Career Outlook

The Master of Arts in Ethnic Studies is designed to be a versatile degree—one that is inclusive rather than exclusive of employment opportunities. These possibilities range from ethnic oriented teaching and research to community and multicultural resource development to practical application in the business and technical fields. Program graduates are also eligible to apply for teaching positions at the California community colleges in ethnic studies and related fields.

Graduates with this increasingly sought after expertise have begun establishing an impressive employment history. Approximately 25 percent of graduates go directly into teaching at community colleges or four-year institutions. An additional 25 percent enter various professional fields, including K-12 teaching, youth-related social programs, and community advocacy research.

About half of the graduates proceed on to doctoral studies in a wide range of subject areas, including ethnic studies, anthropology, sociology, American studies, health education, multicultural education, communication studies, and African American studies. Although the graduate program only has been in existence since 1988, alumni of the M.A. in Ethnic Studies have gone on to Ph.D. programs at a broad array of prestigious institutions. These include various University of California campuses, Temple University, Stanford, Yale, Purdue, the University of Michigan, the University of Massachusetts, the University of Hawaii, and Harvard University.


Admission to the Program

A student must meet the general university requirements, along with the College of Ethnic Studies requirements:

Applicants interested in the graduate program in ethnic studies must file a California State University graduate application with the university graduate admissions office. In addition, a separate program application form must be completed and returned to the Ethnic Studies graduate program office. Applicants must submit to the graduate coordinator of the College of Ethnic Studies (on behalf of the College of Ethnic Studies Graduate Admissions Committee) the following information:

Applications are accepted for fall semester admissions only. The application deadline is February 15. Contact the Ethnic Studies Graduate Office for program information and an application form. A program application also is available at the College of Ethnic Studies web site:

Written English Proficiency Requirement

Level One: this first level must be met through satisfactorily meeting the writing requirements in ETHS 710. Level Two: in addition, students must indicate a method of demonstrating their further competency in English at the time of filing the Graduate Approved Program. The latter assessment of competence is evidenced by the writing of a field study or a master's thesis.

Advancement to Candidacy

In addition to fulfilling all the university requirements, the student must file a Graduate Approved Program after having completed twenty-four units, but no more than 24 units, of work applicable to the M.A. in Ethnic Studies, with a grade point average of 3.0 or better. Before filing the Graduate Approved Program, the student must demonstrate proficiency in written English and complete any other program pre-candidacy requirements. The proposed course of study when approved by the dean of Graduate Studies means the student has been advanced to candidacy.

On-line course descriptions are available.

Program Units
ETHS 710 Theories and Concepts in Ethnic Studies 3
AIS 701 Seminar in American Indian Studies 3
AAS 800 Seminar: Contemporary Discourse in Asian American Studies 3
BL S 705 Seminar in Africana (Black) Studies 3
RAZA 707 Seminar in Raza Studies 3
ETHS 720 Research Methods in Ethnic Studies 3
ETHS 750 Community Practicum or 3
  ETHS 885   Graduate Projects in the Teaching of Ethnic Studies
ETHS 895 Field Study or 3
  ETHS 898   Thesis
Area Emphasis—units on advisement 6
Minimum total 30

Area Emphasis

Students are required to focus on an area of emphasis in Black studies, Raza studies, Asian American studies, American Indian studies, or comparative ethnic studies. Courses selected to fulfill the emphasis will provide a student with the subject matter foundation to complete the culminating research project field study or thesis. Upon advisement, upper division/graduate course work in the College of Ethnic Studies and other departments on campus may be used.

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Last modified July 05, 2012 by