Ethnic Studies

What is Ethnic Studies?

Ethnic Studies is an interdisciplinary area, which deals with race and ethnic identity of persons and nations. Special emphasis of Ethnic Studies is on the problems and needs of people of color.

ethnic studies

Ethnic Studies is a mixture of Social Sciences and Humanities and Arts.

Ethnic Studies as an academic discipline was established in 1960s in the USA in order to  protect and fight for the rights of African Americans, Latino Americans, Chicano and Jews and other People of Color living in the USA.  Nowadays Ethnic Studies is taught in many universities outside the US. Today Ethnic Studies focuses on how ethnicity and race of peoples and groups impact their experience. Besides ethnicity and race, Ethnic Studies also works with gender, age, sexuality and class of peoples.

Program structure

The structure of study programs in Ethnic Studies depends on the chosen specialization and institution. For example, undergraduate study programs in Ethnic Studies in Brown University consist of basic courses of Race and Ethnicity, and more specific courses in African, Native North American and Latino American culture, music and literature, as well as courses dedicated to specific ethnic situation in particular cities of the US (eg, Los Angeles).  Many study programs are focused on a specific ethnic group and its issues, or a particular country or region (for example, countries of East Europe, Russia, Africa).

Master programs in Ethnic Studies are rather more popular than Bachelor. Usually students complete a more basic degree in Social Sciences (eg. Sociology or Human Rights), and then apply for a more specific Master degree in Ethnic Studies, which is more related to their academic and professional interests.

Some undergraduate study programs in Ethnic Studies include internships or fieldwork.

Entry requirements for Ethnic studies applicants

Sometimes universities require A grades in Social Sciences for applicants for Ethnic Studies undergraduate programs. Applicants need also to have excellent GPA score if they wish to study in a high-class foreign university.

Most study programs in Ethnic Studies are research-focused, so applicants for these study programs need to submit a research proposal and identify their research interests. Many world leading universities ask applicants to provide the results of their professional practice and personal achievements in this area (for example, volunteering or working with refugees). It is not always a mandatory requirement, but it will be a great plus for an applicant.

Since most study programs in Ethnic Studies are taught in English, language proficiency is mandatory. Sometimes applicants are required to have basic knowledge of the language of the country they wish to study, if they have chosen a specific one.

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