Ethnic Studies Major and Minor

Conversations about ethnocentrism, discrimination, ethnic identity, and racial conflict have dominated both the American and global media in recent years. Examine the creation and maintenance of ethnic identity, and gain real experience working and researching ancestral or multi-ethnic communities in the U.S. or abroad.

Faculty member converses with student in a pottery studio.

Why Study Ethnic Studies at Albion?

We all have stories of how we came to understand the impact of our ethnic identity and the ethnic identity of others. Learn to answer questions that our communities are wrestling with by exploring ethnicity through a variety of disciplines in the humanities, social sciences, and the arts. 

In class and through internships, you can learn the impact of hip hop on social change, the role of Black and LatinX literature in identifying social problems, and the origin stories of notable social movements. Find answers to your own questions about how to create social change and create a more just world.

What Will You Learn as an Ethnic Studies Major or Minor?

You’ll develop an in-depth understanding of the intersecting burdens and privileges of ethnic identity. You'll work to identify the prejudices and assumptions that have shaped traditional scholarship and academic disciplines and to correct these biases.

You’ll analyze art and literature to understand the social problems represented in the work of each artist. You will also come to understand the role of art and literature in capturing the attention of the public and incite social change.

You’ll explore the policies that have created and exacerbated disparities and learn how people can advocate for change.

You’ll follow your interests across the country or around the world, undertaking an internship, study, or research project with an ethnic community in the United States or abroad.

Highlights

Off-Campus Internship

Three students standing next to each other, smiling.

Through an ethnic studies-related internship or off-campus experience, ethnic studies majors gain hands-on experience with other racial or ethnic communities. You’ll complete an internship, study, or research project working with an ethnic community elsewhere in the United States or with an ancestral or multi-ethnic community outside the United States. When you return to campus, you will meet with ethnic studies faculty and submit journals that explain how your experience has enhanced your multiethnic understanding.

Research

Albion College students investigate freshwater habitats in Michigan.

As an ethnic studies major, you’ll have ample opportunity and inspiration to participate in the Foundation for Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity (FURSCA). As a participant in FURSCA, you’ll submit a research proposal and, if accepted, you’ll be matched with a faculty mentor to help you execute your project.

Student Organizations

Five students outside Baldwin Hall. The three on the left are sitting on the steps, the two on the right are standing behind them.

Use everything you are learning in your major to build connections with peers or take on a role of leadership in one of our Diversity Awareness clubs and organizations.

Off-Campus Study

Jessica Butchley with friends in Berlin, Germany

Gain real-life experience in another culture by spending a semester studying off campus, whether abroad through Albion’s Center for International Education or through programs at the Chicago Center or the Philadelphia Center. As an ethnic studies major, you’ll have the opportunity to broaden your study in a location like New Zealand, Scotland, South Africa, India, or Peru.

Careers & Outcomes

An education in ethnic studies prepares you for employment in many fields of work. Your understanding of ethnic relations and traditions will prepare you for roles in politics, social services, business, human resources, law, medicine, and psychology-based careers. Below are examples of some of the professions our students choose, as well as graduate programs our students have recently attended.

Briefcase

Job Titles

  • Journalist
  • Social Worker
  • Policy Advisor
  • Educator
  • Museum Curator
  • College Professor