Liberal Arts: Ethnic Studies, AA

Room: E-Building, E-103

Phone: (718) 482-5656


A liberal arts education is by nature broad and diverse allowing students to take classes from multiple fields including sociology, psychology, anthropology, history, literature, language and culture, art, film, philosophy, and politics. The skills gained from the liberal arts will prepare you for a wide range of career options.

Similarly, the Liberal Arts Ethnic Studies Option prepares students for advanced graduate study in both their academic and professional pursuits. The option is designed to introduce students to the theoretical, historical, and critical analyses of race and ethnicity in the United States. Students survey the contributions of people of color— African Americans, Asian Americans, Chicano/Latinos, and Native Americans specifically— to the areas of politics, religion, education, history, science, art, and theory in local, national, and global contexts. The option delivers a critical and intersectional approach to examining the historical, political, and cultural experiences of people of color and other marginalized groups. As such, students will engage diverse schools of thought and approaches to investigate the legacy of colonization, decolonization, and notions of power and resistance.

If you’re interested in how categories of difference— race, ethnicity, class, gender, legal status, and sexual orientation—have been used to justify oppression, this is the option for you.

Are You Interested In...

  • Learning approaches to addressing society’s ills?
  • Knowing more about the contributions and history of Ethnic minorities?
  • Understanding Social Reform Movements/Social Change?
  • Identifying social justice concepts?
  • Engaging in advocacy and community activism?
  • Comprehending income and wealth inequality?

Skills You Will Learn

  • Analysis of ideas
  • Interpretation of data and documents
  • Synthesis of ideas from different disciplines (e.g. Sociology, Political Science, Psychology, Art, Literature, History, etc.)
  • Evaluation of sources — primary documents, news, etc.
  • Critical Thinking/Reasoning
  • Effective communication across mediums and with different audiences

What makes this major unique?

Under the umbrella of Ethnic Studies are more specific disciplines including Africana/African American or Black Studies, Asian Studies, Latino or Latinx Studies, and Native American Studies. The Liberal Arts Ethnic Students option is multidisciplinary, so students can explore content from different Humanities and Social Science disciplines. Students learn a variety of skills including critical thinking, analysis, cross-cultural awareness, and research and writing skills. Fun Fact: The Ethnic Studies curriculum and major came into existence because of the demands of students within the Civil Rights Movement and the first Ethnic Studies program was established in 1969 at San Francisco State University.

Career Possibilities

It is important to recognize that most of the careers for this major require at least a bachelor’s degree. The Liberal Arts: Ethnic Studies program prepares students to transfer to a wide variety of humanities and social sciences programs, including Sociology, History, Anthropology, Ethnic and Culture Studies, and more. Upon completion of the AA degree, students can transfer to B.A., offering programs including four year CUNY schools, and state and private institutions (see list of schools below). The degree is well-suited for students who plan to attend graduate or professional school. Workplace equity is now emphasized an many corporations and the result is an increase in DEI positions to address social injustices. Organizations hire diversity, equity, and inclusion professionals, and graduates from Ethnic Studies programs are in demand in these roles.

Transfer Possibilities

  • Queens College – BA in Africana Studies or Latin American and Latino Studies
  • Hunter—BA in Africana, Puerto Rican and Latino Studies
  • Lehman—BA in Africana Studies or Latin American and Latino Studies
  • John Jay—BA in Latin American and Latinx Studies
  • SUNY University of Albany, Stony Brook, New Paltz, Empire State, or Cortland
  • Rutgers University
  • The College of New Jersey
  • San Francisco State University
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • University of Maryland, College Park
  • Temple University
  • Smith College
  • New York University
  • Columbia University
  • St. John’s University
  • The New School
  • Pace University

Degree Requirements

*For a list of approved courses, go to:

A. REQUIRED CORE: 12 Credits

English: 6 credits

  • ENG101/ENA101 English Composition I 3
    (depending on placement scores)
  • ENG102 Writing through Literature 3

Mathematical and Quantitative Reasoning: 3 credits*

Life & Physical Sciences: 3 credits*

B. FLEXIBLE CORE: 18 Credits

Select one course from each of the five flexible core categories

  • World Cultures and Global Issues
  • US Experience in its Diversity
  • Creative Expression
  • Individual and Society
  • Scientific World


Students are required to select one Urban Study course to complete college requirement. To complete the degree requirements from the Flexible Core, students are advised to select courses from the recommended course selections listed on the program website. Note: Students can select only two courses from any one discipline.

Courses Credits
Liberal Arts: 12 Credits
LIF101 First Year Seminar for Liberal Arts Social Science and Humanities 3
ENG103 The Research Paper 3
LIB200 Humanism, Science and Technology (capstone) 3
LIB105 Introduction to Ethnic Studies 3
English: 6 Credits
Select two of the following courses:
ENG204 Asian American Literature 3
ENG225 Afro-American Literature 3
ENG235 Cultural Identity in American Literature 3
ENG248 Latino/Latina Writing in the United States 3
ENG268 The Immigrant Experience in American Literature 3
ENG269 Contemporary Black American Fiction 3
ENG295 World Literatures Written in English 3
Education and Language Acquisition: 3 Credits
Select one of the following courses:
ELN101 Introduction to Bilingualism 3
ELN105 Languages of the World and of New York City 3
ELN194 The Puerto Rican Community Minority Group Experience 3
EIS215 Language Issues in a Global World 3
Humanities: 3 Credits
Select one of the following courses:
HUC204 Race and Communication
HUM110 Introduction to Jazz
HUN110 Hip Hop; Music, Culture, and Politics
HUN190 Ethics and Society
HUN196 Film and New York City
HUN212 Photography in New York
HUT220 Contemporary Latina/o Theatre in the United States
Social Science: 6 Credits
Select two of the following courses:
SSH231 African American History
SSN183 History of Minorities
SSN186 Sociology of the Black Community
SSN240 History of New York City
SSN280 Urban Black Psychology
SSP101 U.S. Power and Politics
SSP240 The Politics of Crime and Punishment in the U.S.
SSS233 Sociology of Race and Racism

Graduate in Two Years!

Review your Degree Map to stay on track.