Ethnic Studies  {SF State Bulletin 2011 - 2012}

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Ethnic Studies

College of Ethnic Studies

Dean: Kenneth Monteiro
EP 121
Phone: 415-338-1693

Associate Dean: Laureen Chew
Graduate Coordinator: Laureen Chew



Professors: Almaguer, Begonia, Chew, Cordova, Cuellar, Diaz, Dong, Head, Hom, Kobashigawa, Nobles, Obenga, Richards, Rivera, Tsuruta, T'Shaka, Yansane, Yoo
Associate Professors: Abdulhadi, Akom, Barker, Carrillo, Duncan-Andrade, Esquibel, Garcia, Ginwright, Gonzales, Jeung, Jolivette, Le, Mirabal, Murguia, Nelson, Pelaud, Sueyoshi, Tintiangco-Cubales
Assistant Professors: Bakrania, Collins, Dariotis, Ferreira, Fischer, Lee, McDougal, Perea, Reyes, Soe, Ueunten, Washington



M.A. in Ethnic Studies



Program Scope

The Master of Arts in Ethnic Studies is collectively administered by the Chairs’ Council of the College of Ethnic Studies. It 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 analyzed. 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.


Approximately 50 percent 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.


Master of Arts in Ethnic Studies

Admission to the Program

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

  • Possess a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution in a field related to the program as determined by the Graduate Admissions Committee;
  • Possess a grade point average of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) in the last 60 semester (90 quarter) units attempted;
  • Must have completed a minimum of 12 units in ethnic-related course work or have comparable experience;
  • Must have completed a basic course in statistics.


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:

  • College transcripts;
  • A program application form which includes a statement of purpose outlining background experiences and possible community involvement, career objectives, rationale for studying ethnic studies, how your undergraduate degree relates to the M.A. in Ethnic Studies, and a biographical statement;
  • Two letters of reference from individuals having direct knowledge of the applicant’s scholastic ability;
  • A writing sample (fifteen pages or less) that best reflects the applicant's research interests or proposed area of graduate study;
  • A current vita.


Applications are accepted for fall semester admissions only. The application deadline is February 15th February 1st. Program information and applications are 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 Advancement to Candidacy. 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 an Advancement to Candidacy after having completed 24 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 Advancement to Candidacy, 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.


Courses are 3 units unless otherwise indicated. On-line course descriptions are available.



Course Title Units
ETHS 710 Theories and Concepts in Ethnic Studies 3
AA S 800 Seminar: Contemporary Discourse in Asian American Studies 3
AFRS 705 Seminar in Africana Studies 3
AIS 701 Seminar in American Indian Studies 3
LTNS707 Seminar in Latina/o Studies 3
ETHS 720 Research Methods in Ethnic Studies 3
ETHS 750
ETHS 885
Community Practicum
Graduate Projects in the Teaching of Ethnic Studies
ETHS 820 Advanced Research Seminar in Ethnic Studies
Emphasis Course

Area emphasis (on advisement; pick from the two options below): 3 units
Pick either:

  • ETHS 895: Field Study
  • ETHS 898: Thesis

Minimum total: 30 units


Area Emphasis

Students are required to focus on an area of emphasis in Africana Studies, American Indian Studies, Asian American Studies, or Raza Studies. In addition the program offers students the opportunity to develop expertise in Arab Muslim Ethnicities and Diaspora studies, and Race and Resistance studies employing comparative methodology. 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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