Bachelor of Arts in Race, Ethnicity, and Health

The Bachelor of Arts in Race, Ethnicity, and Health provides students with the knowledge and skills required to understand and address racial and ethnic health inequities in the U.S. The program critically examines the root causes of health inequities and ways to alleviate these inequities to promote social and health justice among communities of color. It provides a curriculum that is rooted in the strong history of the Ethnic Studies discipline “to prepare students for the increasingly multiethnic, multicultural society and an analysis of the challenges that Ethnic Studies faces within the system (CSU Task Force Report on the Advancement of Ethnic Studies, 2016).” The core curriculum of this program approaches public health with an Ethnic Studies lens to provide students with a critical understanding of various systems of oppression and racism preventing various racial and ethnic communities from achieving good health. Students majoring in Race, Ethnicity, and Health program prepare students for a career in public health by giving them experience working with racially and ethnically diverse populations. The core competencies of the program center on health inequity of communities of color and support of the agency of peoples of color.   

Learning Outcomes

  1. Critically analyze the history and contemporary lived experiences of people of color in the U.S.
  2. Examine social, cultural, and structural determinants of health, including racism and other forms of oppression, and how they impact the health of communities of color.
  3. Evaluate theoretical framework and critique research within the field and practice of public health and establish their positions.
  4. Apply the skills and knowledge acquired through course concepts and critical theories and methodologies toward the creation of evidence-based solutions to address the underlying root causes of racial and ethnic health inequities.
  5. Apply principles of community-engaged scholarship and community service learning to promote and protect the health and well-being of communities of color.
  6. Demonstrate through oral and written skills, an understanding of racial disparities and health inequities.

Race, Ethnicity, and Health (B.A.) — 39 units

Core (15 units)

ETHS 300GWWriting in Ethnic Studies - GWAR3
ETHS 500Introduction to Race, Ethnicity, and Health3
ETHS 570Senior Capstone for Race, Ethnicity, and Health3
ETHS 647Understanding Health Disparities Among Underserved Communities3
ETHS 697Field Research or Internship in Ethnic Studies1-3

Breadth (24 units)

Histories of People of Color in the U.S. (6 units)

Select two from the following:

Asian American
AA S 210History of Asians in the United States3
AA S 320Chinese in the United States3
AA S 330Nikkei in the United States3
AA S 350Filipina/os in the United States3
AA S 360Koreans in the United States3
AA S 370Vietnamese in the United States3
AA S 510Asian Americans in California3
AA S 541South Asian Diaspora3
AA S 570Southeast Asians in the United States3
Africana American
AFRS 208Introduction to African American History3
AFRS 303African American History3
American Indian
AIS 150American Indian History in the United States3
AIS 205American Indians and U.S. Laws3
LTNS 265Topics in Latina/o/x History3
LTNS 276Latina/o, U.S. Government, and Constitutional Ideals3
LTNS 278History of Latinos in the U.S.3
LTNS 465Mexican American and Chicana/x/o History3
LTNS 467Caribbeans in the U.S.: History and Heritage3
LTNS 470Latina/o Immigration to the U.S.3
Race & Resistance
RRS 103Introduction to Pacific Islander Studies3
RRS 240All Power to the People: Comparative Freedom Movements of the "Sixties"3
RRS 600History of People of Color in the U.S.3

Health (9 units)

Community Health (Select Two):
AA S 591Asian American Community Health Issues3
AFRS 370Health, Medicine, and Nutrition in the Black Community3
AIS 450American Indian Science3
LTNS 210Latina/o/x Health Care Perspectives3
RRS 303Health and Wellness among Pacific Islanders3
Health Elective (Select One):
AFRS 200Introduction to Black Psychology3
AFRS 646Frantz Fanon's Psychology of Violence, Negation, and Liberation3
AIS 250American Indian Populations and Colonial Diseases3
LTNS 211Latina/o/x Families3
LTNS 500Latina/o Community Mental Health3
LTNS 692Cuba: Health, Education, and Culture3
RRS 460HIV and AIDS Impacts and Resistance Among Communities of Color3

Equity, Justice, and Environment (3 units)

AA S 587Asian Americans and Environmental Justice3
AFRS 466Black Lives Matter: Race and Social Movements3
AFRS 678Urban Issues of Black Children and Youth3
AIS 520Before the Wilderness: American Indian Ecology3
LTNS 485Latina/o Youth, Crime, and Justice3
LTNS/RRS 580Educational Equity3
RRS 252Beyond Bars and Borders: Race and the Carceral State3
RRS 276Race, Activism and Climate Justice3
RRS 480Youth Culture, Race and Resistance3

Healing, Wellness, and Liberation (6 units)

Select two from the following:

AA S 520Asian American Musical Communities3
AIS 320American Indian Music3
AIS 400American Indian Education3
LTNS 305Latina/o Studies Creative Writing Workshop3
LTNS 440Caribbean Cultures and Spirituality3
LTNS 455Resistance Literature of the Americas3
RRS 270Creativity, Decolonization, and Social Justice in Oceania3
RRS 304Decolonize Your Diet: Food Justice and Gendered Labor in Communities of Color3
RRS 490Race, Art, and Social Justice3

Complementary Studies

Students in the B.A. Race, Ethnicity, and Health program will satisfy the Complementary Studies requirement with the completion of the Breadth courses that are required for the major.

First-Time Student Roadmap (4 Year)

The roadmaps presented in this Bulletin are intended as suggested plans of study and do not replace meeting with an advisor. For a more personalized roadmap, please use the Degree Planner tool found in your Student Center.

First-Time Student Roadmap

Transfer Student Roadmap (2 Year)

For students with an AA-T in Child and Adolescent Development; Law, Public Policy, and Society; Social Justice Studies; or Social Work and Human Services or an AS-T in Public Health Science.
Transfer Student Roadmap

This degree program is an approved pathway (“similar” major) for students earning the ADT in Social Justice Studies

California legislation SB 1440 (2009) mandated the creation of the Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT) to be awarded by the California Community Colleges. Two types of ADTs are awarded: Associate in Arts for Transfer (AA-T) and Associate in Science for Transfer (AS-T). 

Note: no specific degree is required for admission as an upper-division student. However, the ADT includes specific guarantees related to admission and graduation and is designed to clarify the transfer process and strengthen lower-division preparation for the major.

An ADT totals 60 units and in most cases includes completion of all lower-division General Education requirements and at least 18 units in a specific major. (The Biology, Chemistry, and Environmental Science AS-T degrees defer 3 units in lower-division GE area C and 3 units in lower-division GE area D until after transfer.) Students pursuing an ADT are guaranteed admission to the CSU if minimum eligibility requirements are met, though not necessarily to the CSU campus of primary choice.

Upon verification that the ADT has been awarded prior to matriculation at SF State, students are guaranteed B.A. or B.S. completion in 60 units if pursuing a “similar” major after transfer. Determinations about “similar” majors at SF State are made by faculty in the discipline.

Degree completion in 60 units cannot be guaranteed when a student simultaneously pursues an additional major, a minor, certificate, or credential.

A sample advising roadmap for students who have earned an ADT and continue in a "similar" major at SF State is available on the Roadmaps tab on the degree requirements page for the major. The roadmap displays:

  • How many lower-division units required for the major have been completed upon entry based on the award of a specific ADT;
  • Which lower-division requirements are considered complete upon entry based on the award of a specific ADT;
  • How to complete the remaining 60 units for the degree in four semesters.

Students who have earned an ADT should seek advising in the major department during the first semester of attendance.

General Advising Information for Transfer Students

  1. Before transfer, complete as many lower-division requirements or electives for this major as possible.
  2. The following courses are not required for admission but are required for graduation. Students are strongly encouraged to complete these units before transfer; doing so will provide more flexibility in course selection after transfer.
    • a course in U.S. History
    • a course in U.S. & California Government

For information about satisfying the requirements described in (1) and (2) above at a California Community College (CCC), please visit Check any geographically accessible CCCs; sometimes options include more than one college. Use ASSIST to determine:

  • Which courses at a CCC satisfy any lower-division major requirements for this major;
  • Which courses at a CCC satisfy CSU GE, US History, and US & CA Government requirements.

Remedial courses are not transferable and do not apply to the minimum 60 semester units/90 quarter units required for admission.

Additional units for courses that are repeated do not apply to the minimum 60 units required for upper-division transfer (for example, if a course was not passed on the first attempt or was taken to earn a better grade).

Before leaving the last California Community College of attendance, obtain a summary of completion of lower-division General Education units (IGETC or CSU GE Breadth). This is often referred to as a GE certification worksheet. SF State does not require delivery of this certification to Admissions, but students should retain this document for verifying degree progress after transfer.

Credit for Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or College-Level Examination Program courses: AP/IB/CLEP credit is not automatically transferred from the previous institution. Units are transferred only when an official score report is delivered to SF State. Credit is based on the academic year during which exams were taken. Refer to the University Bulletin in effect during the year of AP/IB/CLEP examination(s) for details regarding the award of credit for AP/IB/CLEP.

Students pursuing majors in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines often defer 6-9 units of lower-division General Education in Areas C and D until after transfer to focus on preparation courses for the major. This advice does not apply to students pursuing associate degree completion before transfer.

Transferring From Institutions Other Than CCCs or CSUs

Review SF State's lower-division General Education requirements. Note that, as described below, the four basic skills courses required for admission meet A1, A2, A3, and B4 in the SF State GE pattern. Courses that fulfill the remaining areas of SF State’s lower-division GE pattern are available at most two-year and four-year colleges and universities.

Of the four required basic skills courses, a course in critical thinking (A3) may not be widely offered outside the CCC and CSU systems. Students should attempt to identify and take an appropriate course no later than the term of application to the CSU. To review more information about the A3 requirement, please visit

Waiting until after transfer to take a single course at SF State that meets both US and CA/local government requirements may be an appropriate option, particularly if transferring from outside of California.