The Ethnic Studies Department prepares Mills students for leadership and development in an increasingly multicultural, transnational, and globalized society by studying the rich history of ethnic and racial diversity in the United States from the perspectives of peoples of color. The department's curriculum promotes critical thinking and creative analysis through comparative study of the social, economic, cultural, and environmental concerns and contributions of American Indians and Alaska Natives, African Americans, Latinas/os and Chicanas/os, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders. At Mills, we examine racial dynamics as they intersect with gender, sexuality, class, and nation, and many of our courses focus on the unique experiences of women of color. Our curriculum also explores the transnational and diasporic dimensions of racial identities.
Our faculty enable students to become involved in research and activism in local communities of color, thus making exciting connections with the vibrant diversity of the Bay Area. Recent student research interests include Latino healthcare in California, American Indian legal history, black vernacular language and humor, the emerging Latino vote, experiences of multiracial Filipinas/os, educational outcomes of Marshallese immigrant youth, and girls of color in the juvenile justice system. In addition, many of our courses include a service learning component that offers students an opportunity to learn through hands-on engagements with local, community-based organizations. Courses with a service learning component offer a .25 credit for volunteer work with an organization working on social justice issues related to communities of color. Students may take one service learning course per semester.
Students also help organize a variety of activities that showcase and celebrate the contributions of people of color, including Latina/o Heritage Month; Native American Heritage Month; Black History Month; South Asian, Middle Eastern, and Pacific Islander Awareness Now! Month; and the Mills College Pow Wow. Ethnic studies students and faculty have also participated in delegations to conferences such as the World Social Forum in Mumbai, India, and Caracas, Venezuela, and the United Nations World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa.
The ethnic studies major at Mills combines academic excellence with a commitment to social justice. The degree provides a strong foundation for a career in the fields of diversity, education, social services, and other areas, as well as graduate school in a number of disciplines.
What can I do with an ethnic studies degree?
With Mills' unique Bachelor's to Master's 4+1 Degree Programs you can earn two academic degrees in five years—increasing your career options after college. Click a link below for courses you can be taking now to prepare for your Bachelor's to Master's 4+1 Degree.