Ethnic Studies


'Dimeji Togunde, program chair and professor of anthropology/sociology.
B.S., 1982, M.S., 1985, Obafemi Awolowo University; Ph.D., 1995, Cornell University. Appointed to Department of Anthropology/Sociology, 1996.

Diana M. Ariza, assistant professor of ethnic studies.
B.A., 1981, M.A., 1985, Ph.D., 2000, Western Michigan University. Appointed to Ethnic Studies, 2005.


Ethnic studies is both the comparative study of ethnicity and the study of the culture and history of particular ethnic groups within the United States. As the study of ethnicity, ethnic studies examines factors that account for the creation and maintenance of ethnic identity, the development of ethnic stereotypes and prejudice, and the quality of ethnic relations. In regard to particular ethnic groups, ethnic studies encourages the exploration of the specific histories, values and contributions of the country's many constituent groups. Ethnic studies provides the means to identify the prejudices and assumptions that have shaped traditional scholarship in the academic disciplines and to correct these biases.

Career Opportunities

Knowledge of ethnic traditions and ethnic relations is sought after in many fields including but not limited to politics, social services, business, law, medicine and psychology-related careers. This demand recognizes both that America is an increasingly multicultural society and that business people and professionals need to know these multiple groups in order to serve them better.

Requirements for Major

  • Eight units, including the following:
    ETHN 103, one unit.
    Five units from an approved list of courses. These courses, to be selected in consultation with the program chair, must include two at the 200 level and three at the 300 level. They must be selected from three different departments.
    An ethnic studies-related internship (or off-campus experience), one unit. The internship, providing hands-on experience with other racial or ethnic communities, may be completed in ethnic communities elsewhere in the United States or in study and research in ancestral communities or multi-ethnic communities outside the United States. Students upon returning must submit a journal report to the program chair on how their experience has enhanced their multicultural understanding of the world. Students, working in consultation with the program chair, are encouraged to explore a variety of options for the internship experience.
    ETHN 370, one unit.


103 Introduction to Ethnic Studies (1) Spring
An introduction to the comparative study of ethnicity, as well as the history and culture of particular ethnic groups in America. Issues--ethnic identity, ethnocentrism, discrimination, assimilation and multiculturalism--are analyzed from a variety of disciplines in the humanities, social sciences and the arts. Serves as the introductory course for the ethnic studies concentration. Staff.

260 Caribbean Identity and Migration (1) Spring
Examines the cultural richness and diversity of the Caribbean diaspora with an emphasis on the Spanish-speaking islands, including Cuba, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, drawing on music, literature, film and history. Considers how this population continues to influence growth and change in American society by looking at issues of identity, migration patterns, and broader economic, cultural and social conditions. Ariza.

370 Theories and Methods in Ethnic Studies (1) Fall, Spring
Prerequisite: ETHN 103 or permission of instructor.
Designed as a capstone course to integrate students’ internship and course work experiences and deepen their analytical understanding of issues related to race/ethnicity. Examines the development of ethnic and race relations, ethnic and race discrimination, and American identity using different multicultural theoretical perspectives. Includes field work and/or other research on a topic related to race/ethnicity. Ariza.

391, 392 Internship (1/2, 1) Fall, Spring
Offered on a credit/no credit basis. Staff.

411, 412 Directed Study (1/2, 1) Fall, Spring
Prerequisite: Permission of department chair. Staff.