Ethnic Studies


Ethnic Studies is an interdisciplinary, comparative concentration that examines the construction of race and ethnicity in social, cultural, historical, political, and economic contexts. Concentrators develop individual programs based on areas of focus in consultation with faculty advisors, drawing from courses in the humanities and social sciences. Typical areas of focus are social issues (such as inequality, education, or health), cultural production and the representation of racial groups, processes of racialization, the historical formation of transnational communities and of diaspora, and the history of particular ethnic or racial groups.

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Student Goals

Students in this concentration will:

  • Understand the histories of racial groups and the process of diaspora
  • Become fluent in critical theories about race
  • Design a curriculum that applies relevant theories to more than one discipline
  • Develop strong communication skills
  • Produce and present a significant piece of original research or creative work


Click here for a list of requirements.

Honors and Capstones

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Concentrators complete a capstone by taking the Ethnic Studies Senior Seminar, ET190. To qualify for Honors, students must maintain a GPA of 3.5 in the concentration and a 3.0 GPA overall. Applications are due by September 30th of the student's senior year and the student must have identified two professors who will serve as readers. After the thesis has been submitted, the readers must then recommend the thesis for Honors. Please see the program website for a complete description of admission procedures and requirements.

Liberal Learning

This concentration allows you to address the following Liberal Learning goals:

  • Expand your reading skills
  • Understand differences among cultures
  • Embrace diversity
  • Engage with your community
  • Learn what it means to study the past
  • Evaluate human behavior
  • Work on your speaking and writing

Download the full statement on Liberal Learning at Brown

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Affiliated Departments


Director of Undergraduate Studies

Graduating Class

Year Total Capstone Honors
201310 10 
201412 12 
201510 10 
201615 15 
201719 19 

Alumni Pathways

Ethnic Studies concentrators have pursued careers in a variety of fields, including as teachers, attorneys, physicians, journalists, and media strategists.

Where have concentrators worked/studied in their first year after graduation?

What are concentrators doing 5 and 10 years after graduation?

Dept. Undergraduate Group

Student Leaders:

  • Kara Roanhorse
  • Valerie Santos
  • Daniella Balarezo

If you are an advisor and would like to make changes to the information on this page, contact, or email Dean Besenia Rodriguez.