Raza Studies

College of Ethnic Studies
Dean: Kenneth Monteiro

Department of Raza Studies
EP 103
Chair: Velia Garcia


Professors—Almaguer, Cordova, Cuellar, Murguia, Rivera

Associate Professors—Carrillo, Garcia, Mirabal

Assistant Professors—Duncan-Andrade, Reyes

Lecturers—Dávila, Kury, Quiñonez, Rojas


B.A. in Raza Studies
Minor in Raza Studies

Program Scope

Raza Studies is a unique multidisciplinary liberal arts program for students interested in equity and social justice, a San Francisco State University mission. Our programs offer students a comprehensive knowledge base, critical skills, and social consciousness that will enable them to function as effective leaders in an increasingly complex and diverse global society. The curriculum is critical, analytical, holistic, and cutting-edge. It offers students an integrated series of major/minor core and elective courses as well as General Education courses that help them to gain a better understanding of the historical and cultural presence of Chicanos and Latinos in the United States. Our programs also develop an area of expertise regarding Latinos in the United States and an analysis of racialization, racial inequity, and understanding of how those inequities are developed and perpetuated in our communities. The curriculum specifically addresses Chicano/a, Mexican, Central and South American, and Caribbean peoples, histories, and cultures in the United States. The Raza Studies curriculum stresses the importance of critical scholarship, merging theory and practice, and developing a professional sense of social responsibility and commitment to service, civic engagement, social justice, and equity.

The Raza Studies program fosters mentoring relationships with students. A range of support services is offered, including advising, academic skills development, and graduate school and career development workshops.

Community Internships and International Study Tours

Local community service learning internships and international study tours offer unique learning opportunities for students to enrich their academic experience. Students may earn up to six units in each of these programs. The department requires that students complete at least one three-unit, 30-hour local community service learning internship for the Raza studies major. Community internships are available every semester and students are encouraged to plan for at least one semester of internship during which their community service activities can be applied in multiple classes as service learning modules.

Faculty supervised international study tours travel to Cuba in January and in June and to Mexico in June. The study tours are designed to provide students with opportunities to interact with local people and to learn about the life, culture, social institutions and community-based organizations in Cuba and Mexico, as well as the unique relationships of these countries to the U.S.

Local Community Service Learning Internships.The department maintains a database of one hundred Bay Area direct service agencies, educational institutions, and research and policy organizations. An internship faire is held in the early weeks of the semester to bring agency/organization representatives together with students looking for internships. Students are supervised in their internship placements for a minimum of 30 hours a semester. Students enroll concurrently in RAZA 694, a three-unit course that consists of a set of interactive on-line reflective exercises and discussions related to their community work. The community service learning internships are designed to enrich the academic experience and to prepare students for future careers as well as to extend the professional networks of our students in an effort to establish positive contacts within the Latino community of the larger Bay Area.

Cuba Study Tour. Students are required to enroll concurrently or consecutively in RAZA 692 and RAZA 693, meet specified grade requirements, and have the consent of the instructor to travel to Cuba. These courses prepare students for the intensive two-week study tour of Cuban institutions of health, education, and culture.

The Mexico Study Tour is scheduled every year following the end of the Spring semester. It is an intensive twelve-day tour during which students meet with community-based organizations in Mexico that are engaged in a process of political and social change. Requirements for the study tour include: consent of the instructor and spring enrollment in RAZA 670. The course prepares students for the study tour by covering Mexican history and politics and Mexico’s unique relationship to the U.S.

General Education and U.S. History and Government Requirements

Students may elect to complete university requirements for U.S. history and government with RAZA 276 and RAZA 376. Students are encouraged to complete university G.E. Segment I, Basic Skills requirements with RAZA or ETHS 110 and RAZA 214. G.E. Segment I Basic Subjects courses do not count in the Raza Studies major.


The Raza Studies major provides students with a solid grounding in the theoretical approaches and methodologies that define the field of Raza studies.  The degree program prepares students to pursue graduate and professional studies or alternatively to begin careers in the public or private sectors. The 39-unit B.A. in Raza Studies consists of a core of four three-unit courses, twelve units of courses chosen from three focus areas and fifteen units of electives chosen on advisement from the list of courses that are offered by the department. Students must complete at least one three unit community service learning module in at least one of the three-unit courses in the major program.

There are three broad areas of course offerings in Raza Studies: 1. Arts and Humanities, 2. History, and 3. Behavioral and Social Sciences. Under Arts and Humanities, the Department offers courses ranging from Art History to Aztec Philosophy to Literature to Comparative Music Folklore. Under the heading of History, we offer RAZA 376, a comparative Latino history course that fulfills a student’s requirement for U.S. History as well as more specialized history courses on the diverse Latino subgroups in the United States. Under the heading of Behavioral and Social Sciences, we offer a wide variety of courses on public and social policy issues in health, education, family, immigration, community life, political economy, juvenile and criminal justice. Throughout our curriculum, we emphasize gender, transnational identities, global economies, social movements, and literatures of resistance.

On-line course descriptions are available.

Core Units
RAZA 215 Introduction to Raza Studies 3
RAZA 410 Raza Women 3
RAZA 435 Oral History and Traditions 3
RAZA 680 Raza Community Organizing 3
Arts and Humanities—Units selected on advisement from the following: 3
RAZA 101 Contemporary Spanish  
RAZA 225 Survey of Raza Visual Images
RAZA 230 Introduction to Contemporary Raza Literature
RAZA 305 Creative Writing Workshop
RAZA 320 Art History of Raza (CSL)
RAZA 350 Prehispanic Art of Mexico
RAZA 360 Ethnic Literature and Cultural Dialogue
RAZA 409 Latino/a Cinema (CSL)
RAZA 425 Comparative Music Folklore (CSL)
RAZA 440 Caribbean Cultures and Spirituality
RAZA 455 Resistance Literature of the Americas
RAZA 475 Aztec Philosophy
RAZA 490 Raza Teatro Workshop
RAZA 520 North/South Expression
RAZA 525 Raza Art Workshop II
RAZA 530 Raza and the Media
RAZA 535 Raza Journalism
RAZA 560 Contemporary Literature of Raza
RAZA 570 Raza Worldviews and Philosophies
RAZA 575 Raza Culture and Identity
RAZA 605 Bilingual Creative Writing Workshop
RAZA 679 Central American Literature
History—Units selected on advisement from the following: 3
RAZA 270 Raza Experience  
RAZA 265 Issues in Raza History
RAZA 315 Raza in California (CSL)
RAZA 320 Art History of Raza (CSL)
RAZA 376 History of Raza in the U.S. (CSL)
RAZA 435 Oral History and Traditions: Theory and Practice (CSL)
RAZA 450 Indigenismo
RAZA 460 Central Americans of the U.S.: History and Heritage
RAZA 465 Mexican Americans: History and Heritage
RAZA 467 Caribbean Americans: History and Heritage
RAZA 501 Latin America: National Period
RAZA 533 Women in Latin America
Behavioral and Social Sciences—Units selected on advisement from the following: 6
RAZA 205 Cyber Raza: Culture and Community On-line (CSL)  
RAZA 210 Latino Health Care Perspectives (CSL)
RAZA 276 U.S. Government and Constitution (CSL)
RAZA 280 Acculturation Issues of Raza
RAZA 355 Black Indians in the Americas
RAZA 380 Afro/Latina/o Diasporas
RAZA 410 Raza Women (CSL)
RAZA 415 Political Economy and Raza (CSL)
RAZA 430 Race, Crime, and Justice (CSL)
RAZA 445 Gendered Borders: Latinas and Globalization (CSL)
RAZA 470 Raza Immigration to the U.S. (CSL)
RAZA 485 Issues in the Criminalization of Latino Youth (CSL)
RAZA 500 Community Mental Health
RAZA 510 Psychodynamics of the Raza Family
RAZA 580 Educational Equity Issues (CSL)
RAZA 590 Environmental Justice (CSL)
RAZA 640 Sociological Perspectives on Raza (CSL)
RAZA 660 Chicano/Latino Politics (CSL)
RAZA 670 The U.S.-Mexico Connection: Politics and Cultures (CSL)
RAZA 680 Raza Community Organizing (CSL)
RAZA 685 Projects in the Teaching of Raza Studies (CSL)
RAZA 690 Raza Community Field Work
RAZA 692 Cuba: Health, Education, and Culture
RAZA 693 Cuba: Community Service Learning (CSL)
RAZA 694 Community Service Learning
RAZA 698 Senior Seminar in Raza Studies
RAZA 707 Seminar in Raza Studies (CSL)
Total 12
Fifteen Elective Units selected on advisement 15
Total for major 39

NOTE: Students must complete at least one community service learning module consisting of three units of 694 and three units selected from Raza Studies courses designated (CSL). The two courses must be taken concurrently. Courses marked CSL offer internship opportunities.


The department offers a minor to students who have selected a different major but who also want to pursue a coherent course of study in the field of Raza studies. The minor program enables students to supplement a core of course work with a selection of electives that complement the major they have chosen. The minor consists of 24 units of which twelve are required core units and twelve are elective units chosen on advisement.

Minor Program Requirements Units
RAZA 215 Introduction to La Raza Studies 3
RAZA 680 Raza Community Organizing 3
Chose one or both of the following: 3-6
RAZA 410 Raza Women  
RAZA 435 Oral History and Traditions
Total for core 9-12
Arts and Humanities
Units selected on advisement (see list under B.A. in Raza Studies) 3
Units selected on advisement (see list under B.A. in Raza Studies) 3
Behavioral and Social Sciences
Units selected on advisement (see list under B.A. in Raza Studies) 3
Electives: Units selected on advisement 3-6
Total 24

NOTE: Students must complete at least one community service learning module within one of the courses that fulfill the minor program requirements. Courses marked CSL offer internship opportunities.

SFSU Home   Search   Need Help?  

1600 Holloway Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94132 (415) 338-1111

Last modified July 06, 2012 by bulletin@sfsu.edu