Graduate Certificate in Ethnic Studies

The Certificate in Ethnic Studies provides post-baccalaureate training on inequality, activism, and self-determination relevant to communities of color and indigenous peoples to empower professionals in social services, urban planning, public health, education, law enforcement, and related fields to better serve racially marginalized populations.

Admission Requirements and Application Process

All applicants must submit the following via Cal State Apply:

  • One letter of recommendation
  • A two-page personal statement which outlines the applicant's interests in Ethnic Studies
  • Transcript (official transcripts from all previous colleges attended; unofficial transcript from current program)
  • Resume or curriculum vitae

Matriculated graduate students may apply to the certificate program by sending the above application materials directly to the College of Ethnic Studies at Students accepted to the certificate program should consult with their advisor immediately to find out how best to sequence their coursework to satisfy both home department requirements and certificate requirements.

Applicants who are not currently matriculated in any SF State graduate degree must apply (via Cal State Apply) and be admitted to the University and the graduate certificate program. Acceptance into the program is with the approval of the certificate program coordinator and consent of the admissions committee following the review of the application materials listed above. Individuals interested in admission to the certificate program need not have completed undergraduate degree programs in Ethnic Studies or a related field.

Admission to the certificate program does not mean automatic admission to any other M.A. program at SF State. Certificate program students must still apply to their desired M.A. program if they seek to earn an additional M.A. while they are in the certificate program. Some units from the certificate may be transferable to SF State M.A. programs at the discretion of the graduate coordinator of the M.A. program.

Out-of-state and international students are welcome to apply to the program. For applicants whose native language is not English: a recent internet-based TOEFL (IBT) score of 95, with an essay rating of 24. Applicants who do not meet the minimum TOEFL requirement will NOT be admitted; there is NO conditional admission. A TOEFL score of 95 is considered to be very minimal; applicants who demonstrate stronger English proficiency with a higher TOEFL score (and higher essay rating) will have a better chance of being admitted.

All coursework used to satisfy the requirements for the certificate must be completed with a minimum grade point average of 3.0, and only courses completed with a grade of B- or better may be included to meet graduate certificate requirements. While taking courses for the graduate certificate, students will have demonstrated appropriate writing proficiency through written assignments in designated courses by the achieving the minimum GPA to complete the certificate.

Ethnic Studies Certificate — 12 units


ETHS 710Theories and Issues in Ethnic Studies3
ETHS 750Ethnic Studies Community Practicum3
Select two from the following:6
Any one course from AAS that is upper division or graduate level
Any one course from AFRS that is upper division or graduate level
Any one course from AIS that is upper division or graduate level
Any one course from LTNS that is upper division or graduate level
Any one course from RRS that is upper division or graduate level
Any one course from ETHS that is upper division or graduate level