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:
- Cross-cultural Comparative Track
- 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. 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.
- Students will:
- know and understand the socio-cultural and historical experiences of racialized communities of color in the United States within a comparative, transnational, and interdisciplinary framework.
- understand and apply critical concepts of racialization, racial formation and their intersection with gender, sexuality, socio-economic class, and national and religious identity.
- analyze structures of dominance, power, and ideology and their concomitant perpetuation of racial inequality.
- recognize the multidimensional complexities of concepts of culture and their relationships to racialized communities.
- know and be able to apply the concepts, theories, and methods of interdisciplinary ethnic studies practices and scholarship to work towards social justice.