Bachelor of Arts in Ethnic Studies

The BA in Ethnic Studies examines both the race-related processes that underlie many social problems and the multiple forms of resistance and struggle aimed at achieving racial social justice. Our analytical approach is comparative, relational, interdisciplinary, and intersectional. Ethnic Studies classes utilize a comparative framework, comparing and contrasting the distinct experiences of different racialized communities. At the same time, recognizing that communities do not exist in isolation from one another and that race itself is a mutually constitutive process, our classes attend to the intersections, interactions, and the complexities of identity, community formation, and social struggle. Ethnic Studies employs interdisciplinary approaches that explore the a) social, economic, and political aspects of race, and the histories of communities of color, especially in relation to resistance of social injustice, b) the realm of representation and cultural imaginary as expressed in cultural production by Communities of Color, c) examination of the ways that race, gender, and sexuality are co-constitutive, and the multiple identities that have emerged at these intersections, d) communities’ own narratives about colonization, sovereignty, homeland, racialization, and exoticization, e) an examination of health and environmental inequities and how they have impacted the survival of communities of color. Ethnic Studies’ interdisciplinary approach provides students with a multi-faceted understanding of various forms of oppression and struggles for change both in the US and transnationally. Our analytical framework emphasizes intersectionality, considering the ways race, gender, class, sexuality, and religion work together to erase, elide, and oppress subjects.

Ethnic Studies examines how social problems are fueled by racial and ethnic discrimination by drawing from these multiple methodologies. An integral part of our academic mission is to develop our students’ understanding of resistance. Our degree will produce cohorts of highly motivated critical thinkers and socially engaged students who will use their analytic frameworks to build upon existing service and organizing work among disenfranchised communities of color in the U.S. and abroad.

Program Learning Outcomes

  1. Identify the history, objectives, and philosophies of Ethnic Studies, including the fields of Africana Studies, American Indian Studies, Asian American Studies, Latina/Latino Studies, and Comparative Ethnic Studies.
  2. Describe historical, cultural, economic, and comparative approaches to the study of race, class, gender, nation, and sexuality.
  3. Interpret cultural production by people of color and the ways that various forms of culture (literature, dance, murals, etc.) express the agency of oppressed peoples and/or challenge social inequalities.
  4. Apply the concept of intersectionality to the analysis of gender-oppressed people of color, such as women of color, queers of color, and transgender people of color.
  5. Analyze social movements in the contestation of social hierarchies based on race, gender, sexuality, class, and/or other social determinants. 
  6. Apply principles of community-engaged scholarship to all study of communities of color.

Admissions Requirements

  1. Be a resident of California or another authorized state. See State Authorization.
  2. Have completed a minimum of 60 transferable semester (90 quarter) units.
  3. Have a grade point average of 2.0 (C) or better in all transferable units attempted.
  4. Have a grade point average of 2.0 (C) or better in all units completed at SF State.
  5. Be in good standing at the last college or university attended.
  6. Have completed all lower-division General Education requirements (39 semester units or 58.5 quarter units) with a grade of C- or better including the below four courses commonly called "Golden Four":
    1. Oral Communication
    2. Written Communication
    3. Critical Thinking
    4. Quantitative Reasoning

Bachelor of Arts in Ethnic Studies - 42 units

Core (9 units)

ETHS/RRS 100Introduction to Ethnic Studies3
ETHS 300GWWriting in Ethnic Studies - GWAR3
ETHS 580Senior Capstone for Online Degree in Ethnic Studies3

Breadth Requirements (18 units)

Health and Environment in Communities of Color

Select Two:

AA S 591Asian American Community Health Issues3
AFRS 370Health, Medicine, and Nutrition in the Black Community3
AFRS 678Urban Issues of Black Children and Youth3
AIS 450American Indian Science3
AIS 520Before the Wilderness: American Indian Ecology3
RRS 304Decolonize Your Diet: Food Justice and Gendered Labor in Communities of Color3
Arts, Literature, and Community

Select Two:

AA S 585Asian American Religiosities3
AFRS 326Black Religion3
AFRS 645Literature of the Harlem Renaissance3
AFRS 665Black Journalism3
AIS 310American Indian Religion and Philosophy3
AIS 320American Indian Music3
LTNS 530Latina/os and the Media3
RRS 360Our Stories: Literatures of Race and Resistance3
RRS 480Youth Culture, Race and Resistance3
RRS 571Women, Race, and Class3
History and Social Movements

Select Two:

AA S 380Cambodians in the United States3
AA S 540South Asians in the United States3
AA S 570Southeast Asians in the United States3
AFRS/AIS 350/LTNS 355Black Indians in the Americas3
AIS 400American Indian Education3
AIS 410Perspectives of Native California Indians3
AIS 420Native Genders and Feminism3
AIS 440Native Sexualities and Queer Discourse3
AIS 460Power and Politics in American Indian History3
LTNS 460Central Americans of the U.S.: History and Heritage3
LTNS 465Mexican American and Chicana/x/o History3
LTNS 467Caribbeans in the U.S.: History and Heritage3
RRS 600History of People of Color in the U.S.3
RRS 625Mixed Race Studies: A Comparative Focus3

Program Electives (15 units)

Select 15 units from the following:

AA S 210History of Asians in the United States3
AA S 211Contemporary Asian Americans3
AA S 353Filipina/o American Identities3
AFRS 101Introduction to Africana Studies3
AFRS 200Introduction to Black Psychology3
AFRS 204Black Creative Arts3
AFRS 208Introduction to African American History3
AFRS 210Introduction to Africana Literature3
AFRS 266Black Online: Cyberspace, Culture, and Community3
AFRS 515Black Family Studies3
AIS 150American Indian History in the United States3
AIS 205American Indians and U.S. Laws3
AIS 235American Indians: Image and Issues in the Mass Media3
AIS 250American Indian Populations and Colonial Diseases3
AIS 410Perspectives of Native California Indians3
RRS 110Critical Thinking and the Ethnic Studies Experience3
RRS 240All Power to the People: Comparative Freedom Movements of the "Sixties"3
RRS 250Race, Ethnicity and Power in America3
RRS 276Race, Activism and Climate Justice3
RRS 280Disrupting Science Fiction: Race, Gender, and Alternative Futures3