Ethnic Studies AA Degree

Ethnic studies is the critical interdisciplinary study of race and racism utilizing intersectional, comparative, relational, and transnational approaches that focus on the histories, experiences, cultures, and struggles of historically minoritized ethnoracial groups in the United States while centering a praxis of racial justice. Emerging from the historic campus and community civil rights struggles of the late 1960s, the field focuses primarily on Indigenous/Native American studies, Black/African American studies, Latinx/Chicanx studies, and Asian American/Pacific Islander studies, each with their own epistemological and methodological frameworks, while also engaging in the analysis of other racialized ethnic groups in the U.S. An emphasis is placed on the hierarchical and systemic power relations (settler colonialism, white supremacy, cishetero-patriarchy, classism etc.) that arise from institutional, cultural, and global productions/hierarchies of “race.” Ethnic Studies also investigates how race and ethnicity intersect with class, gender, ability, and sexuality in order to help students develop a critical understanding of the complex and intersecting historical struggles and movements for social transformation, resistance, and liberation in the U.S. and beyond.

Upon satisfactory completion of this program students will be able to:

  1. Evaluate scholarship and other cultural forms that center the traditions, experiences, and liberation struggles of Latinx/Chicanx, African American/Black, Asian American, and Native American & Indigenous people in the United States.
  2. Clearly articulate counternarratives to white supremacist, Eurocentric, and colonialist systems and discourses.
  3. Develop a historically-aware analysis of race and racism in the United States, including how racism interacts with other axes of power and oppression, using critical interdisciplinary methodologies.
  4. Evaluate and participate in collective action that support racial equity and coalition building. 

Through social justice-oriented, culturally responsive, and community engaged curriculum and pedagogy, students in the program develop their capacities in collaborative leadership, critical self-awareness, sociopolitical consciousness, interdisciplinary research, community empowerment, media and information literacy, critical thinking, oral and written communication, racial justice literacy, and cultural competency. The major prepares students for careers that work with under-served/minoritized populations in areas such as education and research, community and social services, public policy and government, human and health services, communications, museums, and cultural centers. 

This degree requires students to meet the following requirements:

  • Completion of 60 semester units or 90 quarter units of degree-applicable courses, 
  • Minimum overall grade point average of 2.0, 
  • Minimum grade of “C” (or “P”) for each course in the major, and 
  • Completion of IGETC and/or CSU GE-Breadth. 

The Associate in Arts in Ethnic Studies, prepares students to transfer to campuses that offer bachelor’s degrees in Ethnic Studies. This degree requires students to complete required subtotal of 18 units and the degree requires 60 total units or 90 quarter units of degree-applicable courses. Title 5 requires that students earn a grade of “C” (or “P) better in all courses required for the major or area of emphasis. There are no additional graduation requirements. Students should consult with a counselor when planning to complete the degree for more information on university admission and transfer requirements.

Course Code Title Units
Required Core Course (3 Units)
ETHN 001Introduction to Ethnic Studies3
Required: Select 3 courses from the following (9 units)
ETHN 002Introduction to Chicanx & Latinx Studies3
ETHN 003Introduction to Black Studies3
ETHN 004Introduction to Native American Studies3
ETHN 005Introduction to Asian American Studies3
Elective: Select 1 Course from the Following (3 Units)
GEOG 002Cultural Geography3
SOC 002Social Problems3
SOC 005Sociology of Gender and Sexuality3
SOC 014Introduction to Race & Ethnicity3
SOC 015Mexican American Culture & Society3
SJS 021Introduction to LGBTQIA Studies3
PSY 009Psychology of Prejudice and Discrimination3
PS 010
PS 006Latinx Politics3
CDE 202Teaching in a Diverse Society3
ANTH 002Cultural Anthropology3
ANTH 007Anthropology of Religion, Magic, Witchcraft, and Healing3
Elective: Select 1 Course from the following (3 Units)
ENG 021Intro Latin American/Chicano Literature3
ENG 022Intro to African American Literature3
ENG 024Native American Literature3
ENG 026LGBTQ+ Literature3
HIST 050American Popular Culture3
HIST 021California History3
COMM 017Intercultural Communication3
Required Subtotal 18
Select one of the following: 137-39
CSU General Education Pattern
IGETC Pattern
Transferrable Electives (as needed to reach 60 units)
Degree Total60
Units for the major may be double counted for CSU GE or IGETC, confer with Counselor. 1
Elective units to reach 60 unit total must be CSU transferrable, confer with Counselor. 2