Ethnic Studies began its full operation as a department within the College of Liberal Arts in the fall of 1996 as the result of the hard work of a group of students, staff, and faculty members from numerous disciplines who believed the time had come for such a department at OSU. Now a program within the School of Language, Culture, and Society, Ethnic Studies includes faculty from a number of different academic areas, reflecting the interdisciplinary nature of our field.  


The Ethnic Studies program aspires to provide an academic opportunity of excellence for critical, multidisciplinary investigation of the intersections race, gender, ethnicity, and sexuality, and of the articulated concerns of the four major racialized minority groups in the United States: Native Americans, African Americans, Asian Americans, and Chicanos/Latinos. The program is currently expanding its offerings to include coverage of race and ethnicity in a global context.

Ethnic Studies Undergraduate Learning Outcomes

Students graduating in Ethnic Studies will be able to:

  • Describe the experiences and histories of people of color in the United States, not as separate histories, but as intrinsic to U.S. and world history;
  • Analyze ways in which oppressions such as racism, sexism, and heterosexism not only involve individual acts and attitudes but function systematically;
  • Identify ways in which racialized ethnic groups and indigenous peoples have engaged in community formation, activism, resistance, coalition-building, and movements for self-empowerment;
  • Describe and compare the experiences of racialized groups in the United States and the ways in which they historically have been incorporated or excluded from national agendas;
  • Evaluate social and cultural theories which explore the construction and articulation of race, class, gender, sexuality, indigeneity, ethnicity, immigration status, and citizenship.

The Role of Ethnic Studies at OSU contributes to the mission and values of Oregon State University by:

  • Offering a comprehensive major leading to a BA or BS degree in Ethnic Studies
  • Offering a comprehensive minor that complements numerous fields of study
  • Offering graduate work in conjunction with the Master of Interdisciplinary Studies Degree
  • Expanding the knowledge base of the University and its ability to provide a compelling multicultural education to all students
  • Expanding the knowledge base of the University as it relates to a global vision of social justice
  • Contributing to the university's ability to prepare students for effective participation in an ethnically complex and increasingly diverse society
  • Developing our students' skills in critical thinking and communication and their ability to apply these skills to situations requiring sensitivity to diversity
  • Encouraging the expansion of ethnic minority faculty and students on campus
  • Creating a bridge between the state's ethnic minority communities and OSU