The graduate program engages in a critical, comparative and relational approach to ethnic studies. We focus on creative, community-engaged, and intersectional approaches to the field that integrate theory and practice. We are particularly engaged with the creative historical work of social movements, cultural and artistic productions, legal and public policy activisms, indigenous and liberationist epistemologies, community and identity formation, and radical social and political thought. The graduate program examines how these different kinds of resistance, persistence, liberation struggle, and radical knowledge production both confront and transform oppressive conditions and create new possibilities for social change.

Earn a Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies

Year One

During your first year, you must take:

ETST 200:  History of Ideas in Ethnic Studies (Fall)
ETST 405:  Professionalization Proseminar (Fall)
ETST 201:  Sociocultural Theories in Ethnic Studies (Winter)
ETST 203:  Research Methodologies in Ethnic Studies (Spring)
ETST 289: Colloquium in Ethnic Studies (each quarter of the first two years)

Year Two

During your second year, you will choose courses that are relevant to one or more of the following three areas of specialization:

Critical Theory/Cultural Studies
Fields of study that re-articulate and re-imagine social and political life, such as Native American art and languages, asylum and refugee cultural politics and production, visual art and performance, Black feminist theory and the Black Radical Tradition, Gramscian and Marxist theory, racial capitalism, queer studies, feminist of color theory, critical anti-violence studies, and political economy.

Ethnography/Institutional Analysis
Critical study of racialized formations and institutions, such as migration studies, citizenship and transnational ethnography, youth activism, Latinx and Black education policy, social movements, environmental policy, sexual violence, state violence, critical masculinities, decolonial and feminist methodology, critical approaches to the law, and the carceral state.

Critical Historiography
Critical and decolonial approaches to historical research, including archival research, oral histories, interviews, public history methods, intersectional historiography, community-engaged documentation, and critical histories of race, power, and resistance.

You must also take the Master’s Written Qualifying Examination by the end of the spring quarter of your second year.

Year Three

You must take the Doctoral Oral Qualifying Examination by the end of the spring quarter of your third year.

Year Four

You must submit, no later than the fall quarter of your fourth year, a written prospectus outlining the topic, thesis, methods, resources, and timeline for completion of the dissertation.

Years Five and Six

Under the direction of a Dissertation Committee, if you have advanced to candidacy, you will research and write a dissertation focusing on a specific aspect of your field of study, conforming to the format prescribed by the Graduate Council.

After your Dissertation Committee approves your completed dissertation, you must formally present your dissertation as part of the Departmental Colloquium series.

The normative time for completion of the Ph.D. is six years.

Customize Your Curriculum

Individualize your course of study by taking group reading courses with appropriate faculty (ETST 290s, etc.) or with cooperating faculty in other CHASS departments. We also encourage you to take a course in quantitative or qualitative methodology (in addition to ETST 203).

How to Apply

To see admission requirements and find out how to apply, please visit the Graduate Division.