Ethnic Studies

What can I do with a degree in Ethnic Studies?

When choosing a major, you should think about your interests, passion and strengths. Many students declare an Ethnic Studies major because they care about social justice, want to be able to talk knowledgeably about the experiences, contributions and histories of communities of color, and wish to learn how to work effectively for racial, gender, economic and environmental justice.

You should also think about how your degree will prepare you for life after Mills. In a liberal arts context, most majors do not translate directly into a specific career path. Rather they impart marketable skills that are important in a range of career paths and graduate programs. An Ethnic Studies degree will equip you with the following transferable skills: strong written and oral communication skills, critical thinking and analysis, knowledge about human behavior and institutions, cultural competency, ability to work effectively with diverse populations, capacity to analyze racial impacts of law and public policy, excellent research skills, team-building and group-centered leadership skills.

Students who graduate with a degree in Ethnic Studies often obtain employment in the fields of city and urban planning, communications, community arts, community development, education policy, environmental justice, film, media and artistic performance, human resources, immigrant rights advocacy, K-12 and higher education, journalism, legal advocacy, marketing, museum curating, non-profit management, public health, policy analysis, union organizing and youth work. In addition, a degree in Ethnic Studies provides excellent preparation for a graduate professional degree in business and non-profit administration, teacher education, law, medicine, public health and other health professions, public policy and social work.

As a major spanning the social sciences and humanities, Ethnic Studies prepares students for graduate study in a range of disciplines. Our alumnae have pursued graduate degrees in American Studies, Creative Writing, Cultural and Social Studies, Education, Ethnic Studies, Film Studies, History, Law, Literature, Performance Studies, Public Policy, Sociology and Women’s and Gender Studies. Some of our graduates have gone on to become professors of American Studies, Ethnic Studies and Women and Gender Studies, Meet Ethnic Studies Alumnae. Others use their graduate degrees to pursue one of the professions listed above.

For a comparison of how various college majors fare in the job market see the Wall Street Journal.

Interested in Education, Public Health, Medicine, Business, Public Policy or Law?

Consider combining your Ethnic Studies degree with a 4+1 BA/MA program or Pre-Med Program Certificate.

4+1 BA, MA, and Teacher Credential Program Courses of Study

Complex issues of race and social inequality are of critical importance to educators, particularly those working in urban environments, and those involved in educational policy and leadership. From battles over affirmative action and bilingual education, to continuing struggles with de facto racial segregation, race and racism continue to limit opportunities for our children. Combining an Ethnic Studies degree with a teacher credential program enables students to obtain a masters of arts degree in education with an emphasis on teaching, and a teaching credential from the state of California. For more information.

Post-baccalaureate Pre-Med Program Certificate

Persisting racial inequalities in health outcomes make a critical understanding of race, ethnicity and social inequality essential for health care professionals. Doctors, nurses, maternal and child health specialists and public health advocates all need the tools to work effectively with diverse populations, and to identify the root causes of health disparities relating to race, class, gender and sexuality. Combining an Ethnic Studies degree with a Pre-Med certificate enables students to apply to medical school and programs in public health and other professional schools of health. Students in the post-baccalaureate Pre-Medical Program may take two courses per semester in addition to their major requirements. Graduates of the Mills Post-baccalaureate Pre-Med Program achieve an approximately 90 percent acceptance rate to medical school or other health science professional school and matriculate at some of the nation's most respected schools of medicine including UCSF, Stanford, Harvard, UCLA, Washington University, and Yale. For more information.

4+1 BA/MBA Program

In the wake of the global economic crisis and housing market meltdown, business leaders have become more attentive to issues of sustainability, social responsibility and equity. An understanding of the complexities of our globalizing world, and its impact on communities of color and low-income communities are increasingly viewed as relevant and important skills within both non-profit and for-profit business environments. Combining an Ethnic Studies degree with the 4+1 BA/MBA program enables students to obtain a BA in Ethnic Studies and Masters of Business Administration. As of Fall 2011, 70% of students in the Mills MBA program were students of color. For more information, see: Degree Requirements and MBA Program.

4+1 BA/MPP Program

Issues of race and social inequality are central to all areas of public policy, including criminal justice, health care, education, welfare, the environment and the military. Combining an Ethnic Studies major with the 4+1 BA/MPP Program enables students to earn both a BA in Ethnic Studies and a Masters in Public Policy in a total of five years. This combination is ideal for students who want to discover how public decisions are made, explore how policies impact communities of color, and learn how communities can in turn affect the decisions that impact their lives. For more information.


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Ethnic Studies Course List

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Last Updated: 9/1/17