Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies


Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies (CRES) encourages students to critically examine racial and ethnic identities as an essential step in becoming ethical citizens and leaders in today’s global community. In addition to exploring the experiences of marginalized communities in the U.S. and beyond, students study race and ethnicity as active social, political, historical and cultural processes and use race and ethnicity as categories of analysis across time and space. CRES is an academic and community-oriented program that values respect, inclusiveness, creative expression, dialogue, engagement, inquiry and academic excellence.

CRES offers a major (BA) and a minor or emphasis that can be added to any degree plan. All CRES majors must complete senior capstones centered on original research, creative, or legacy projects on subjects of their own choosing. Examples of possible projects include writing a traditional academic article, conducting a community-based oral history or ethnographic project, producing a play or dance performance, making a documentary, interning with community nonprofit groups, launching a public relations campaign, or other projects with faculty approval.

CRES prioritizes community-engaged learning and community-based research. Students may take regular courses that include community engagement or request independent study courses related to individual internships. CRES also offers study abroad programs, co-curricular events, and opportunities to participate in interdisciplinary faculty-led research clusters.

Course Examples by Year


Engaging Difference and Diversity in America
Multicultural America Historical Survey
Introduction to Health Disparities in African Americans


Gateway Seminar in Critical Race Theory
Africa Through Film
Introduction to Asian Studies
Introduction to Native American Literatures
Diversity and the Media


Interdisciplinary Inquiry
Migration: Crossing Cultures
Multiculturalism in the Criminal Justice System
U.S. Multi-Ethnic Literature
The Civil Rights Movement in America
Latina/o Religion, Law and Identity


CRES Capstone Seminar
Indians of the United States

Where Graduates Go

Degrees and coursework in CRES are recognized by potential employers seeking qualifications and expertise in diversity and multicultural competency. CRES majors, minors and emphasis students gain the intercultural skills that are needed for leadership and careers in public administration, social services, health professions, nonprofit and advocacy organizations, education, arts and private sector businesses of all sizes.