Skip to main content

PhD Program in Ethnic Studies

The Department of Ethnic Studies is an inter-disciplinary social science department specializing in analytic, comparative, and theoretical approaches to the study of ethnicity and race.

We offer a PhD course of study designed to train advanced researchers to do inter-disciplinary original discovery scholarship in keeping with our efforts to influence and improve the quality of scholarship and teaching about race and ethnicity at institutions of higher learning in the U.S. and around the world. We believe that a demanding, rigorous, and comprehensive graduate curriculum promoting expertise in analytic, comparative and inter-disciplinary studies of race and ethnicity will position our graduates to play an important role in our field in the years ahead.

As scholars from a variety of disciplines have raised fundamental questions about the nature of knowledge, about the adequacy of existing scholarly conventions and paradigms, and about the relationships between the things we study and the tools we use in our research, new fields of study organized around objects of inquiry rather than around a single disciplinary methodology have emerged. Ethnic Studies owes its existence to the development of inter-disciplinary trends within disciplines (social history, sociology, etc.) as well as to the growing dialogue across disciplines-especially within one another and to broader social and cultural forces gives our research and our curriculum its distinctive identity.

Our primary emphasis on race and ethnicity encourages us to engage with social theories about identity and power. In addition, while existing social science disciplines produce excellent work on ethnic issues, we offer an inter-disciplinary setting where the primary focus is on theorizing race and ethnicity.

Program Overview

Ethnic Studies Ph.D. students are required to enroll on a full-time basis (i.e., to carry a minimum enrollment of twelve units of graduate-level courses each quarter) and to maintain a grade point average of 3.2 or better. As part of our Ph.D. program, students obtain an M.A. degree after successful completion of required foundational coursework and the Comprehensive Exam. Please see the Graduate Student Handbook for the course requirements, program of study, academic goals, and timeline.

Admissions Procedures

New PhD students are admitted in the fall quarter of each academic year. Prospective applicants should submit the official application for admission in early January. More information is available in our Admissions Page.

Current Students

Learn more about the current Ethnic Studies Graduate Students and the work of our alumni.