Ethnic Studies

Ethnic Studies is an interdisciplinary track for completing the Master of Humanities (MH) or Master of Social Science (MSS) degree that equips students with the tools and resources to critically analyze the structural basis of historical and contemporary social problems related to the experiences of diverse racial and ethnic groups. Students pursuing the Ethnic Studies track explore the construction of race and ethnicity by governments and communities through the intersection of popular culture and public policy in both the historical and contemporary contexts. Students further construct understandings of self and ethnic identifications as they apply through the individualization of social and cultural identity. Courses in the track explore how students' can learn to evaluate and develop social policies aimed at the resolution of the social and political problems associated with race and ethnicity as well as establish strategies for beginning alliances across all social groups and working toward progressive social change.

Total required credit hours for the track in conjunction with earning the MSS Degree: 36 credit hours to include 9 hours of Social Science (SSCI) or Humanities (HUMN) core courses, 15 credit hours of Ethnic Studies related courses, and 3-6 credit hours dedicated to a culminating project or thesis on an ethnic studies theme. The remaining credit hours are to be divided between electives and (where possible) an internship. Students admitted for the track will meet the same admissions standards as those admitted to the Master of Humanities or Master of Social Science Program.

Targeted Audience
This program is relevant for students with an interest in a variety of future careers where individuals work with diverse populations and require intercultural communication/navigation/appreciation skills: diplomats, education administrators, international aid workers, journalists, lawyers, legislators, public health providers, or social service providers. Students may go directly into the job market or can use the track/option as background and a stepping-stone toward a PHD, JD, or other advanced degrees.

Suggested Advisors

Anthropology: Dr. Sarah Horton, Dr. Charles Musiba
English: Dr. Philip Joseph
Ethnic Studies: Dr. Faye C. Caronan, Dr. Donna Martinez 
Geography: Dr. Bryan Wee
History: Dr. Ryan Crewe
MHMSS: Dr. Omar Swartz, Dr. Margaret Woodhull, Dr. Lorna Hutchison
Modern Languages: Dr. Michael Abeyta, Dr. Andres Lema-Hincapie
Psychology: Dr. Michael Zinser
Sociology: Dr. Candan Duran-Aydintug

Master of Humanities or Master of Social Science Core Requirements:
Required Core MSS courses
SSCI 5020 Foundations and Theories in Interdisciplinary Social Science (every fall)
SSCI 5013 Methods and Practices in Interdisciplinary Social Sciences (every spring)
SSCI 5023 Research Perspectives in the Social Sciences (every spring)


Required Core MH courses:
HUMN 5025 Foundations and Theories in Interdisciplinary Humanities (every fall)
HUMN 5013 Methods and Practices of Graduate Interdisciplinary Humanities (every spring)
HUMN 5924 Directed Research and Readings in Interdisciplinary Humanities

Ethnic Studies Track Requirements: In addition to the program’s core required courses, the following are required:

  1. Complete one 3-credit hour Ethnic Studies methods and/or theory course. Choose one of the following
    ETST 5000 Research Methods in Ethnic Studies
    EDFN 5001: Problematizing Whiteness: Educating for Racial Justice
  2. A minimum of 12-credit hours of Ethnic Studies-related graduate course work, and
  3. Complete a final project or thesis on a Ethnic Studies-related topic

Suggested Elective Courses for the Track
Below is a list of pre-approved courses for the track. Be aware that it is not comprehensive and that departments change their offerings regularly. Always check with the department to see when a given course might be scheduled. Also check with your MHMSS Program advisor to discuss additional course oppurtunities.

ANTH 5350 Anthropology of Globalization
COMM 5270 Intercultural Communication 
EDFN 5050 Critical Issues in American Education
ENGL 5220 African American Literature
ENGL 5460 Contemporary World Literature
HIST 5308 Crime, Policing, and Justice in American History
HIST 5412 Mexico and the United States: People and Politics on the Border
HIST 5455 African Struggle for Independence
HIST 5462 Islam in Modern History
SSCI 5540 Law, Diversity and Community in US History
PSCI 5094 Urban Politics, Planning, and Development
PSCI 5145 Indigenous Politics
PSCI 5206 Social Movements, Democracy and Global Politics
PSCI 5256 National Question and Self Determination
PSCI 5245 Gender, Development and Globalization
PSCI 5446 Advanced Indigenous People’s Politics
PSCI 5545 Immigration Politics
PSCI 5914 Community Organizing and Community Development
SOCY 5440 Poverty and Social Inequality 
SOCY 5050 Health Disparities 
SOCY 5460 Hate Groups and Group Violence
SOCY 5690 Crime and Inequality over the Life Course
SPAN 5020 Spanish Sociolinguistics
SPAN 5060 Dialects of the Spanish-Speaking World
SPAN 5076 Spanish in Colorado
SPAN 5080 Spanish in the United States
SPAN 5521 Mexican Literature I: Pre-Columbian and Colonial
SPAN 5522 Mexican Literature II: 19th to 21st centuries

For more information about this or any track within the Master of Humanities or Social Science program, contact:
Dr. Omar Swartz, MH/MSS Director: or
Dr. Lorna Hutchison, MH/MSS Assistant Director:
Office: Student Commons Building, 3203
Phone: 303-315-3565