ETHS 100

Introduction to Ethnic Studies

4 Undergraduate credits
Effective August 24, 2002 – Present

Graduation requirements this course fulfills

This course is designed to look at the origin, development and mission of ethnic studies within the context of higher education in the United States. It provides an introduction to the history of racial/ethnic and cultural communities and race relations. In addition, students study the structure and purpose of U.S. higher education and its relations to ethnic communities.

Learning outcomes


  • Apply different theoretical lenses of Ethnic Studies to examine the life experiences of communities of color and Indigenous communities.
  • Define key terms such as race as a social construction, racism, institutional racism, racialization, racial formation, color-blind racism, culture, and ethnicity.
  • Explain the origins of Ethnic Studies as a field of study.
  • Identify the kinds of structural inequalities that are part of everyday life in the United States.
  • Understand the concept of multidimensional identities/intersectionalities.

Minnesota Transfer Curriculum

Goal 6: The Humanities and Fine Arts

  • Demonstrate awareness of the scope and variety of works in the arts and humanities.
  • Understand those works as expressions of individual and human values within a historical and social context.
  • Respond critically to works in the arts and humanities.
  • Engage in the creative process or interpretive performance.
  • Articulate an informed personal reaction to works in the arts and humanities.

Goal 7: Human Diversity

  • Understand the development of and the changing meanings of group identities in the United States' history and culture.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of the individual and institutional dynamics of unequal power relations between groups in contemporary society.
  • Analyze their own attitudes, behaviors, concepts and beliefs regarding diversity, racism, and bigotry.
  • Describe and discuss the experience and contributions (political, social, economic, etc.) of the many groups that shape American society and culture, in particular those groups that have suffered discrimination and exclusion.
  • Demonstrate communication skills necessary for living and working effectively in a society with great population diversity.