Ethnic Studies Major BA
This degree program spotlights diverse ethnic communities in the United States within a globalized, transnational context. Our program centers on the experiences, voices, collective memories, and in-group diversity of ethnic and racialized communities of color, as well as their coalitions and allies. Students learn analytical and critical thinking skills through comparing and contrasting the experiences of African American, Asian American, Latina/o, and American Indian groups and individual members as well as concentrating on experiences of individuals and groups in one particular ethnic group. Situated at the heart of our program are matters of race, racism, racialization, and power; the viscous nature of ethnic identity development and performance; and interactions among groups. Resident faculty hold expertise in many aspects of ethnic studies including history, religion, visual and media culture, gender, and interdisciplinary studies. Community faculty bring their applied work experience into the classroom. In addition, the department participates in a number of community/university partnership activities which provide students with unique learning opportunities.
A degree in Ethnic Studies enables individuals to gain a significant level of knowledge and understanding of African Americans, Asian Americans, Latino/a Americans, American Indians; enables individuals to communicate cross culturally; equips individuals with skills in research, design, and data collection to benefit their community; engages individuals in critical thinking using interdisciplinary frameworks; promotes community centered, experiential, participatory, and cooperative learning; prepares individuals to make a genuine contribution to the development of a pluralistic society.
The Ethnic Studies Department resident and community faculty are committed to a culturally plural and equitable society. The faculty infuse a blend of life experience with scholarship, offering students a unique academic experience. Our coursework converges at the intersections of race, religion, gender, class, and sexuality in the shaping of perspectives and life chances. Students learn the following: how to navigate among the multiple covert and overt past, present, and future discourses of race and ethnicity; how to practically apply knowledge and be cultural critics and critical consumers of popular culture; and how to be life-long learners, cultural bridges, and influential in promoting a more equitable society.
The ethnic studies major has two tracks: the cross-cultural comparative track and the individualized track. Students can choose the major track which most fits their programmatic interest. All tracks require students to complete the core courses listed below. The individualized track must be designed in consultation with the student's advisor and approved by the Ethnic Studies Department. The design of the major and minor also enables students to include credits earned at other institutions and classes offered by other departments at Metropolitan State University.
Acceptance to the Program
To be eligible for acceptance to the Ethnic Studies major, students must submit a College of Arts and Sciences Undergraduate Program Declaration Form. Consult with a faculty advisor before enrolling in courses toward the major.
Requirements (36 total credits)
Core Courses (16 credits are required for both tracks)
- ETHS 100 Introduction to Ethnic Studies
- ETHS 200 Theories of Race, Ethnicity and Culture
- ETHS 400 Applied Research for Social Change
- ETHS 499 Ethnic Studies Capstone
Cross-cultural Comparative Track
This track is designed for students desiring a traditional ethnic studies major. In addition to the required core courses, the major includes three comparative courses and two ethnic specific courses.
Core Courses (16 credits)
Three of the following courses (12 credits):
- ETHS 302 Immigrant Communities and the Trajectories of Othering
- ETHS 303 Politics of Resistance and Protest Movements
- ETHS 304 Environmental Justice and Public Policy
- ETHS 305 Major Issues in U.S. Race Relations
- ETHS 306 Politics of Mixed Racial Identity
- ETHS 309 Race and Public Policy
- ETHS 311 Understanding Racial and Ethnic Groups in the United States
- ETHS 315 Color of Incarceration
- ETHS 316 Race and Religion (overlap with RELS 333)
- ETHS 318 Trauma and Traumascapes: Identity, Legacy, and Memory
- ETHS 380 Special Topics in Ethnic Studies
Two courses in one of the following area studies (8 credits):
- ETHS 244 African Americans in Minnesota
- ETHS 270 Global Blackness
- ETHS 375 Black Life in Wealth and Poverty
Approved Courses in Other Departments
- HIST 311 African American History
- HIST 315 The Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s
- LIT 362 Black Women Writers
American Indian/Native Studies
- ETHS 232 American Indians in Minnesota
- ETHS 332 Topics in Contemporary Native North America
- ETHS 334 American Indian Spirituality (overlap with RELS 322)
- ETHS 335 American Indian Nations: Law, Power and Persistence
Approved Courses in Other Departments
- HIST 310 American Indian History
- LIT 363 American Indian Literature
- OJIB 100 Ojibwe Culture and Language
Asian American Studies
- ETHS 262 Asian Americans in Minnesota
- ETHS 361 History of Asian Americans
- ETHS 363 Asian American Women: Myths and Realities
Students may also take other Asian and Asian American courses offered by the Ethnic Studies department and other departments.
- ETHS 250 Social and Cultural Ecologies of Latinas/os in the United States
- ETHS 252 Latinas/os in Minnesota
- ETHS 352 Latina/o Cultural Politics
- ETHS 354 Latina/o Gender and Sexuality
This track is designed for students wanting an individualized learning program in the ethnic studies major. In addition to the required core courses, 20 credit hours must be upper-division level courses. Students who declare an individualized track must consult with their advisors, complete an individualized track application and submit it to the Ethnic Studies Department. The application must be submitted to the department for review and approval no later than the fourth week of the semester. Students receive notification of their application's status no later than the eighth week of the semester in which they are submitted. If the department recommends revisions, the student is notified in writing with a timeline for resubmission. A student's individualized track must be approved by the department prior to the end of the semester of submission.