MA in Ethnic Studies

Total units required for MA: 30 units

Program Description 

The Master of Arts in Ethnic Studies prepares students

  • for advanced study toward the Ph.D. degree
  • to teach in community colleges
  • with the content knowledge necessary to teach Ethnic Studies in secondary and elementary schools for credentialed teachers
  • to work in the public and private sectors, tribal governments, and NGOs (non-government organizations) as culturally and community responsive leaders.

The M.A. in Ethnic Studies is designed to advance students’ knowledge and understanding of indigenous communities and communities of color through analyses and application of the theories, concepts, methodologies, and practices of the discipline. The program centers the resilience and resistance of communities of color in the U.S. and globally in response to the historical and contemporary marginalization of these communities. The Ethnic Studies Masters Program can be applied in sectors that work with diverse populations, with emphasis on community engagement and advocacy of historically underrepresented and underserved communities, to support professionals in these sectors to work more effectively with these communities.


Admission Requirements

Admission as a classified graduate student in Ethnic Studies requires:

  • a baccalaureate degree in Ethnic Studies or related field awarded by a regionally accredited university;
  • a minimum 2.8 GPA in the last 60 units attempted and 2.8 GPA in the major;
  • three letters of recommendation from individuals who can evaluate the applicant's potential for successful graduate study;
  • statement of purpose (2 pages limit) that explains the applicant's purposes and goals in pursuing a master's degree in Ethnic Studies;
  • personal statement (2 pages limit) that describes how the applicant's personal background and experiences influenced the applicant's decision to pursue a graduate degree, including any of the following: community work, leadership, and challenges and achievements that prepare the applicant for success in the graduate program;
  • CV or resume that reflects relevant professional experience; and
  • a writing sample (written, analytical, and research skills) that demonstrate the applicant's potential for successful graduate study (at least 10 pages; 2500 words).

Students with an undergraduate major in any subject may be accepted; no minimum number of units in Ethnic Studies is required. 

Admission Procedures

All prospective graduate students, including Sacramento State graduates, must file the following with the Office of Graduate Studies:

  • an application for admission;
  • one set of official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended (other than Sacramento State); 
  • statement of purpose;
  • personal statement;
  • CV or resume; 
  • writing sample; and
  • three reference letters.

For more admissions information and application deadlines please visit the Office of Graduate Studies website.

Minimum Units and Grade Requirement for the Degree

Units required for the MA:  30
Minimum Cumulative GPA: 3.0  

Advancement to Candidacy

Each student must file an application for Advancement to Candidacy prior to enrollment into the culminating requirement courses. This procedure should begin as soon as the classified graduate student has:

  • removed any deficiencies in admission requirements;
  • completed at least 12 units of 200-level courses in the graduate program with a minimum 3.0 GPA;
  • completed a Graduate Writing Intensive (GWI) course in their discipline within the first two semesters of coursework at California State University, Sacramento;
  • selected a Thesis or Project committee; and
  • obtained the committee's approval of a proposal for the thesis or project.

Advancement to Candidacy forms are available on the Office of Graduate Studies website. The student will complete the Advancement to Candidacy form after planning a degree program in consultation with an advisor and members of the student's thesis/project committee from the Department of Ethnic Studies. The completed form is then submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies for approval.

Program Requirements

Required Core Courses (18 Units)
ETHN 203Contemporary Issues in Ethnic Studies3
ETHN 204Foundations of Ethnic Studies: Theory and Praxis3
ETHN 205Indigenous Communities and Communities of Color 3
ETHN 206Ethnic Studies Research Methods3
ETHN 207Applied Ethnic Studies Research Methods3
ETHN 208Ethnic Studies: The Discipline and Profession3
Electives (6 Units)
Select two of the following:6
Asian American Studies
Foundations of Chicana/o/x and Latina/o/x Studies
Native American Studies
Pan African Studies
Special Problems/Individual Study 1
Culminating Requirement (6 Units)
ETHN 500ACulminating Experience3
ETHN 500BCulminating Experience3
Total Units30

Instructor approval required