Ethnic Studies

San Francisco State University

M.A. On Campus
12 months
8874 USD/year
8874 USD/year
Tuition fee
Apply date
Start date


The Ethnic Studies program of San Francisco State University increases students’ knowledge and understanding of the experiences of people of color.


The Ethnic Studies program of San Francisco State University provides training in techniques for the analysis of historical and contemporary social issues related to these experiences, and the curriculum develops students’ capacity to structurally assess, plan, and evaluate social policies aimed at the resolution of these issues. Although the focus remains primarily on the condition of Asian Americans, African Americans, Latinos, and American Indians, the program is increasingly concerned with mixed race studies, sexuality studies, diaspora studies, postcolonialism, theories of racial formation, the experiences of other communities of color, and theory/practice of resistance and social movements. The Master of Arts in Ethnic Studies is collectively administered by the Chairs' Council of the College of Ethnic Studies.

The Master of Arts in Ethnic Studies is designed to prepare individuals for advanced graduate work leading to the doctorate or professional roles in teaching, research, and administration within both the public and private sectors. The theoretical and conceptual tools of several disciplines are critically utilized and analyzed. The program applies cutting-edge analyses, such as cultural studies, postcolonial, feminist, and queer perspectives, to instruction, research, and community involvement. Both scholarly and activist engagements with the surrounding San Francisco Bay Area communities of color are encouraged and expected.

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of the foundations of American Indian Studies, Asian American Studies, Africana Studies and Latina/o Studies form the perspective of each of the respective filed of study.
  • Students will demonstrate knowledge of the comparative, social, cultural, historical, theoretical, and interdisciplinary development of each area.
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to conduct a culminating research project (thesis or field of study) as a capstone requirement.

Career paths

The Master of Arts in Ethnic Studies is designed to be a versatile degree—one that is inclusive rather than exclusive of employment opportunities. These possibilities range from ethnic-oriented teaching, community research, multicultural resource development, to practical application in the business and technical fields. Program graduates are also eligible to apply for teaching positions at the California community colleges in ethnic studies and related fields.

Graduates with this increasingly sought after expertise have begun establishing an impressive employment history. Approximately 25 percent of graduates go directly into teaching at community colleges or four-year institutions. An additional 25 percent enter various professional fields, including K-12 teaching, youth-related social programs, and community advocacy research.

Approximately 50 percent of the graduates proceed on to doctoral studies in a wide range of subject areas, including ethnic studies, anthropology, sociology, American studies, health education, multicultural education, communication studies, and African American studies. Although the graduate program only has been in existence since 1988, alumni of the M.A. in Ethnic Studies have gone on to Ph.D. programs at a broad array of prestigious institutions. These include various University of California campuses, Temple University, Stanford, Yale, Purdue, the University of Michigan, the University of Massachusetts, the University of Hawaii, and Harvard University.

Programme Structure

Courses include:
  • Theories and Issues in Ethnic Studies
  • Theory and History in Asian American Studies
  • Seminar in Africana Studies
  • Seminar in American Indian Studies
  • Seminar in Latina/o Studies
  • Research Methods in Ethnic Studies

Key information


  • Full-time
    • 12 months

Start dates & application deadlines




30 alternative credits


On Campus

Academic requirements

GPA admission requirements GPA Your GPA, or Grade Point Average, is a number that indicates how well or how high you scored in your courses on average. Usually a GPA scales between 1.0 and 4.0, however different countries and universities can have different grading systems.

English requirements

TOEFL admission requirements TOEFL® IBT The TOEFL iBT® is given online through the internet at designated testing site. The test measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The score refers to the total score of 4 subjects (writing, listening, speaking, and reading), each subject has a range of 0 - 30.
IELTS admission requirements IELTS The International English Language Test System (IELTS) tests your English-language proficiency on a scale of 1 – 9. The score refers to the combined average score of 4 subjects (writing, listening, speaking, and reading).
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Other requirements

General requirements

  • Possess a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution in a field related to the program as determined by the Graduate Admissions Committee.
  • Must have completed a minimum of 12 semester (16 quarter) units in ethnic-related course work or have comparable experience.
  • Must have completed a basic course in statistics.
  • College transcripts
  • The Master of Arts in Ethnic Studies application that includes a statement of purpose outlining background experiences and possible community involvement
  • Two letters of recommendation 
  • An 8-15 page writing sample that best reflects the applicant's ability to do research in proposed areas of graduate study
  • A curriculum vitae

Tuition Fee

  • International

    8874 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 8874 USD per year and a duration of 12 months.
  • National

    8874 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 8874 USD per year and a duration of 12 months.


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

Due for update

Updated over a year ago

Check the official programme website for potential updates.

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Ethnic Studies
San Francisco State University


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