What Can You Do with a Major in Ethnic Studies?

Choosing a major is not the same thing as choosing a career. Most degrees do not align with specific careers or jobs. Rather, selecting a major and a minor lets you follow your interests and develop skills that are transferable to a variety of professions.

To help you decide on the best major for you, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is the focus of this major?
  • What skills will I develop in this major?
  • What are some of the most popular career options for graduates with this major?

Related Skills and Career Options

Ethnic Studies students develop and sharpen skills in creative and critical thinking; analysis of and research about various cultures, communities, and institutions; and oral and written communication. These skills are essential for and valued in a variety of professional fields. This includes careers in healthcare, education, law, journalism, business, community and union organizing, social work and counseling, publishing, tech, film and television, politics and policy, non-profits and government agencies, and libraries and museums, among others.

Graduate and Professional School Options

There are several master’s and Ph.D. programs in Ethnic Studies and related fields. People who seek careers in college and university instruction should obtain at least a master’s degree, but can also go on to acquire a Ph.D. Ethnic Studies graduates interested in the law can apply to law school. Another option is obtaining a Master of Public Policy for those seeking careers in economic or community development and policy making. For careers in counseling, students should consider at least the M.A./M.S. degree. A Master of Social Work degree is valuable for a career in social work as is a Master of Public Health for those interested in health care. Students who are interested in careers in the sciences or medicine can seek a variety of higher degrees; often times graduate programs in these fields consider an Ethnic Studies major or minor extremely valuable. 

Resources for Careers in Ethnic Studies