School for Cultural and Social Transformation


Ethnic Studies

B.S. in Ethnic Studies

Program Purpose

The Ethnic Studies Program at the University of Utah provides students with methodological and epistemological tools to study the histories, languages, identities, politics, and cultures of racialized, transnational, and indigenous populations in the U.S. We focus on critical examinations of social categories such as indigeneity, culture, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class, and nation. We explore these issues with comparative, relational, and interdisciplinary frameworks in order to interrogate historical and contemporary questions of power, privilege, and inequity. The faculty in the Ethnic Studies Program engages in empirical and theoretical research, student centered teaching, and creative collaborations that promote social justice and challenge existing knowledge paradigms. ETHNIC STUDIES GOALS • To prepare students from a wide range of racial and ethnic backgrounds interested in employment with private and public organizations and agencies that work with historically underserved populations. • To help students conceptualize socio-historical and political issues from the vantage point of various disciplinary frameworks as well as from the viewpoints of the various peoples that constitute U.S. diverse populations. • To create a strong foundation for students who plan on pursuing graduate work in several areas, including sociology, law, social work, education, psychology, and the health sciences, including medicine.

Learning Outcomes

  • 1. Students will have developed an understanding of the socio-historical relations shaping the political, economic and/or social trajectory of at least two U.S. based ethnic groups.
  • 2. Students will be able to explain at least two of the social and historical forces shaping the formation of race and racial categories in the U.S.
  • 3. Students will be able to define and explain key concepts that underpin the program's content (e.g., intersectionality, racial formation, cultural knowledge, social justice, essentialist and cultural)
  • 4. Students will be able to define the ways in which race, gender, and social class intersect in producing different world views and knowledge frameworks of at least two U.S. based ethnic groups.
  • 5. Students will be able to employ and differentiate between theories to explain patterns and events of social protest and domination that comprise the landscape of U.S. history.
  • 6. A summative evaluation will be built into the capstone course. Specifically, the course will include a summative course paper that prompts students to trace one of the key threads that they have engaged in during their coursework. This paper will demonstrate college level proficiency in writing academic texts in the social sciences or humanities. In addition, students will present their work and articulate their research findings using key concepts, theories, and processes from the field of Ethnic Studies.