Master of Arts in Ethnic Studies

This is an archived copy of the 2016-2017 bulletin. To access the most recent version of the bulletin, please visit Any changes will appear on our errata page.

Admission to the Program

Applicants must meet the general University requirements, along with the College of Ethnic Studies requirements:

  • Possess a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution in a field related to the program as determined by the Graduate Admissions Committee.
  • Possess a grade point average of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) in the last 60 semester (90 quarter) units attempted.
  • Must have completed a minimum of 12 semester (16 quarter) units in ethnic-related course work or have comparable experience.
  • Must have completed a basic course in statistics.

The graduate admission application to SF State is a two-part process. You must submit Part One and Part Two of your graduate admission application simultaneously by the deadline to be considered for admission.

  1. Submit the application to the Division of Graduate Studies via
  2. Submit the following information to the graduate coordinator of the College of Ethnic Studies (on behalf of the College of Ethnic Studies Graduate Admissions Committee) :
  • College transcripts
  • The Master of Arts in Ethnic Studies application (online form at that includes a statement of purpose outlining background experiences and possible community involvement, career objectives, rationale for studying ethnic studies, how your undergraduate degree relates to the M.A. in Ethnic Studies, and a biographical statement
  • Two letters of recommendation from individuals having direct knowledge of the applicant’s scholastic ability and commitment to the field of Ethnic Studies
  • An 8-15 page writing sample (such as a research paper) that best reflects the applicant's ability to do research in proposed areas of graduate study
  • A current vita

Applications are accepted for fall semester admissions only. The application deadline is February 1st.

Written English Proficiency Requirement

Level One

Level One written English proficiency must be met through satisfactorily meeting the writing requirements in ETHS 710.

Level Two

Students must indicate a method of demonstrating their further competency in English at the time of filing the Advancement to Candidacy. The latter assessment of competence is evidenced by the writing of a field study or a master's thesis.

Advancement to Candidacy

To file for the Advancement to Candidacy, students must have completed at least 18 units toward the degree, but no later than the semester prior to beginning the Culminating Experience. The ATC requires  a grade point average of 3.0 or better. Before filing the ATC, students must demonstrate proficiency in written English and complete any other program pre-candidacy requirements. The proposed course of study when approved by the dean of Graduate Studies means the student has been advanced to candidacy.

Ethnic Studies (M.A.) — Minimum 30 units

ETHS 710Theories and Issues in Ethnic Studies3
AA S 800Theory and History in Asian American Studies3
AFRS 705Seminar in Africana Studies3
AIS 701Seminar in American Indian Studies3
LTNS 707Seminar in Latina/o Studies3
ETHS 720Research Methods in Ethnic Studies3
ETHS 750Ethnic Studies Community Practicum3
or ETHS 885 Graduate Projects in the Teaching of Ethnic Studies
ETHS 820Advanced Research Seminar in Ethnic Studies (or Area of Emphasis Course) 13

Culminating Experience - select one on advisement (3 units)

ETHS 895Field Study3
or ETHS 898 Master's Thesis

Area Emphasis: Students are required to focus on an area of emphasis in Africana Studies, American Indian Studies, Asian American Studies, or Latina/Latino Studies. In addition the program offers students the opportunity to study Arab Muslim ethnicities and diaspora, and race and resistance studies employing comparative methodology. Courses selected to fulfill the emphasis will provide a student with the subject matter foundation to complete the culminating research project field study or thesis. Upon advisement, upper division/graduate course work in the College of Ethnic Studies and other departments on campus may be used.