Chican@ Studies

What is a Major in Chican@ Studies?

The Chicana/o Studies Department engages students in the interdisciplinary study of Chicana and Chicano history, culture, and politics. Our students explore Chicana/o experiences in their most broad, comprehensive sense, informed by several philosophical and theoretical schools, historical and political scholarship, literary and religious traditions, artistic movements, mass media, and video and film. In partnership with affiliated faculty across campus and feminist and Black Studies Ph.D. emphasis programs, the B.A./Honors/M.A./Ph.D. programs in Chicana and Chicano Studies challenge students to link theory with practice, scholarship with teaching, and the academy with the community.

Over the past four decades, the Department has developed an interdisciplinary curriculum that focuses on history and narrativity, cultural production and social processes. Courses probe the roots of traditions beginning in the indigenous cultures of Mexico and Central America and extending into the many areas of contemporary American society, including politics, education, literature, the arts, and religion. Chicana and Chicano Studies scholars develop the necessary analytical and methodological skills to better understand the experiences of Chican@s, Latin@s, and other under-represented minority ethnic communities.

Major, General, and Career Information

The major in Chicana and Chicano Studies is designed to provide a broad liberal arts education for the twenty-first century. The goals of the major are as follows: (1) to encourage participatory and student-centered learning so that students become agents of knowledge and change; (2) to motivate students to examine their own political, economic, social, and cultural positions; (3) to empower students to move beyond being objects of study toward being subjects in their own social realities; (4) to enable majors to become conversant in historical and structural formations of power pertaining to processes such as racism, sexism, historicity, gender, race relations, inter-ethnic connections, and dominant social theories; (5) to prepare all students to inhabit and contribute to an increasingly diverse and transnational society which demands new modes of interaction.

The major can be used as preparation for a career in such fields as teaching and education, counseling and social services, health and human services, public service, law, and business. The major also provides excellent undergraduate preparation for students who intend to do graduate work in the field of ethnic-American studies or associated areas in the social sciences, humanities, or arts.

Undergraduate majors, incoming students, and prospective majors are invited to consult the departmental undergraduate academic advisor about all aspects of planning a program in Chicana and Chicano Studies. Detailed descriptions of course offerings are available in the department office prior to the registration period, along with several guides and information sheets for majors and prospective majors.

Students with a bachelor’s degree in Chicana and Chicano Studies who are interested in pursuing a California Teaching Credential should contact the credential advisor in the Graduate School of Education as soon as possible.

Get Experience

UCSB Career Services Get Experience Page

These groups provide Chicano and Chicana students, as well as other students of different ethnicity and background, many avenues of expression and activity. Many groups are active both in the community and on the UCSB campus.

Resources and Professional Associations

UCSB Department of Chicano Studies
UCSB is home to a Chicana and Chicano Studies department, Chicano Studies Institute, and a library collection devoted to the field.

This Davidson Library guide should get you started on your Chicana/o Studies research. You'll probably also want to check the guides for Spanish & Portuguese and Latin American & Iberian Studies

National Society for Hispanic Professionals
Provides networking for Hispanic professionals.

National Latino Professional Organizations
Associations have a combined membership of close to 200,000 nationwide.

Hispanic Professional Women's Association
HPWA is a volunteer-driven organization, non-profit corporation. Its mission is to raise awareness of the many skills and talents of Hispanic professional women and to contribute in the growth and development of the workplace and the community.

National Association for Ethnic Studies

Unidos US