American Ethnic Studies


Degree Options

Associate of Arts - Direct Transfer



  • local, state and federal government agencies
  • public and private schools
  • hospitals
  • health care facilities
  • law firms
  • community and social service organizations
  • public advocacy groups
  • non-profit organizations
  • historical societies
  • libraries
  • business, media and publishing companies
  • human rights groups


Program Contacts

Betsey Barnett

FOSS 5369



Ernest Johnson

Room 5347


Amy Kinsel

Room 5374
















American Ethnic Studies is a multidisciplinary program that includes African American Studies, Ethnomusicology, Latino/a Studies and Multicultural Studies.


In all of these program areas, students will use the conceptual and comparative tools of history, political science and sociology to analyze the lived experiences of diverse racial and ethnic peoples in the U.S. Focuses include: race, gender, social class, power and privilege to guide students toward active citizenship and ethical decision making.


African American Studies

Students examine in depth issues of race, gender, social class and cultural diversity throughout the African diaspora, paying specific attention to the historical, cultural, intellectual, and social development of people of African descent. Students will examine the Black experience, dominant U.S. culture, and continuities and commonalities across national and racial borders.


American Indian Studies

Students focus on the histories, languages, cultures, environments, arts and contemporary situations of American Indian nations and people. The discipline is designed to protect the integrity, identity and sovereignty of the indigenous peoples in the America and to create a learning environment conducive to critical and creative thought. 


Asian American Studies

Students examine the historical and contemporary experiences of Asians leaving their countries of origin, arriving in the United States, and creating a new life in America. This includes those who trace their origins to east, south, and southeast Asia, as well as the Pacific Islands. Students will explore the history, culture, politics, and social organization of Asian American communities. The courses are experiential and community based.



This discipline is devoted to the study of social and cultural aspects of traditional, popular, and immigrant music and dance in countries all over the world. Students seek to understand the whole human process within which music is imagined, discussed and made, and to relate specific musical sounds, behaviors and ideas to their broader social, cultural and political contexts.


Latino/a Studies

Currently under development. Check with a faculty member for updates.


Degree Option

The 90-credit Associate in Arts transfer degree is designed to meet the general education requirements at Washington State four-year institutions and prepares students for baccalaureate majors in American Ethnic Studies. It is also an excellent program of study for graduate work in the Social Sciences, Medicine, Law, Education, Business, Public Policy, Politics, and Diplomacy.


Career Opportunities

American Ethnic Studies majors develop the knowledge and skills to live and work effectively in all kinds of diverse communities. From advocacy, negotiations and conflict management to counseling, critical thinking and interpersonal communications, Ethnic Studies majors develop skills that are essential to equity and justice in the
U.S. and in the world. Potential employers are listed on the right side of this page. For more information, visit Career Counseling.