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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Ethnic & Multi-Cultural Studies

Page address:

Department of Ethnic Studies
109 Morris Hall
Mankato, MN  56001
507-389-6377 Fax

Chair: Dr. Kebba Darboe (
Graduate Coordinator:  Dr. Wayne Allen (
Office Manager: Ms. Angie Navejas (

Mission and Description

The Department of Ethnic Studies is an interdisciplinary program that is academically committed to promoting multicultural and ethnic knowledge, values, and skills, both within and outside the United States, and to preparing our students for effective functioning across the culturally diverse global community. Starting Fall Semester, 2002, the Ethnic and Multi-Cultural Studies Program (EMCS) Master of Sciences degree has been offered to meet the professional needs of diverse students concerning scholarly academic work, the practical application of ethnic studies knowledge in their professions, and for personal growth. To date, it is a small department but growing majors and the only graduate program in ethnic and multicultural studies in the upper-Midwest. The graduate program provides students with multi-ethnic and cross-cultural knowledge, values and skills from American and global perspectives.

First, students gain factual knowledge by taking courses that focus on different ethnic, racial and cultural groups, as well as on discrimination, immigration, stereotypes, and other important issues related to diversity studies. Second, they learn how to understand and appreciate the different values, practices, and beliefs members of each cultural or ethnic population subscribe to, as well as understanding the diversity within those populations. Third, and most importantly, students in this program are expected to gain the following skills: 1) research skills, writing skills, and/or computer/statistical analysis skills; 2) human resource management and leadership skills; 3) counseling skills; and 4) cultural competency skills or cross-cultural training and diversity management skills. There is a strong emphasis on gaining competency in applied skills because advocacy must have practical application as its foundations to be credible.

Admission requirements

  • An undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • A baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university;
  • At least 9 undergraduate credits in ethnic and cross-cultural areas. This requirement may be waived if the applicant can show relevant work (related to other social sciences) or other experiences that provide the necessary background to pursue graduate work in EMCS;
  • Have knowledge of or skills in two languages (i.e., English plus preliminary level of another language i.e., six credits of undergraduate language courses), but this may be subject to arrangement and discussion between the applicant and the Department); and
  • When students do not meet the normal admission requirements, they may be recommended for admission by the department subject to removal of deficiencies or other conditions.
  • Students are considered full time if they take six (6) credits of graduate level courses per semester.

Ethnic and Multi-Cultural Studies MS

Credits required:

Thesis Plan - 33 credits

Alternate Plan Paper- 34 credits

Part I. Required Core from the following (15 credits, 12 credits must be 600 level*):

ETHN 500 Cultural Pluralism (3) OR
ETHN 510 Foundations of Oppression (3)
ETHN 582 African American Civil Rights Movement (3)
ETHN 603 Seminar in Ethnic/Cross-Cultural Studies (3) OR
ANTH 603 Practicing Anthropology (3)
ETHN 610 Seminar on Foundations of Oppression (3)
ETHN 650 Helping Across Culture (3) OR
CSP 648 Counseling in a Multicultural Society (3)
CORR 585 Topic: Race and Juvenile Justice (3)
ETHN 660 Cross-Cultural Training & Diversity Management (3)
ETHN 695 Ethnic-Race Implications (3)
ETHN 697 Internship (1-10)

Part II. Required supporting core (9 credits) one course from each of three groups.  A minimum of 2 courses must be at the 600 level*.

Group 1. Choose one of the following research courses:
ANTH 531 Applied Cultural Research (3)
CSP 675 Research and Writing in Counseling and Student Personnel (3)
EDLD 662 Research in Educational Leadership (3)
ETHN 501 Applied Cultural Research (3) OR
ETHN 502 Seminar: Ethnic Research Methods/Skills (3)
HLTH 630 Techniques of Research in Health (3)
PSYC 610 Research Design and Statistics (4)
Group 2.Choose one of the following HR management/leadership courses:
CMST 545 Conflict Management (3)
CMST 606 Perspectives on Culture and Communication (3)
CMST 621 Advanced Interpersonal Communication (3)
CMST 633 Communication for Professionals (3)
EDLD 651 Ethics in Leadership (3)
EDLD 652 Leadership Studies (3)
EDLD 684 Multicultural Leadership (3)
POL 526 Racial and Ethnic Politics (3)
POL 533 International Organization (3)
POL 537 International Conflict Resolution (3)
POL 662 Human Resources Management (3)
PSYC 660 Employee Selection (3)
SOC 517 Program Administration (3)
Group 3. Choose one of the following counseling courses:
CSP 571 Interpersonal Helping Skills (3)
CSP 618 Introduction to Mental Health Counseling (3) OR
CSP 648 Counseling in a Multicultural Society (3)
CSP 665 Counseling Theories (3)
REHB 640 Theories in Rehabilitation (3) OR
REHB 651 Rehabilitation Counseling Techniques (3)
REHB 619 Psychosocial Aspect of Disability (3)

Part III. Required Electives (6-9 credits).

ETHN 503 Chicana Feminisms (3)
ETHN 505 Perspectives on New Immigration/Ethnicity (3)
ETHN 520 African American Studies(3)
ETHN 530 American Indian in Ethnic Studies (3)
ETHN 540 Asian American Studies (3)
ETHN 550 Latino/Hispanic Studies (3)
ETHN 560 Urban Minority Problems (3)
ETHN 570 Women of Color (3)
ETHN 580 Social Justice in Ethnicities & Gender (3)
ETHN 586 Racial and Ethnic Politics (3)
ETHN 590 Racial/Ethnic Families in the US (3)
ETHN 595 Selected Topics (3)
ETHN 610 Seminar on Foundations of Oppression (3)
ETHN 640 Environmental Justice (3)
ETHN 677 Individual Study* (1-3)

Part IV. Required Written Comprehensive and Oral Exam plus thesis or Alternate Plan Paper.

ETHN 698 Alternate Plan Paper (1-2)
ETHN 699 Thesis (3-6)

*At least 18 credits (or 6 courses) must be 600 level, excluding APP or thesis.  Students are allowed to take only ONE 500 level as part of the supporting cores in Part II.  If the student takes a 500 level (see*) in Part II as a supporting core in Part II, students must take ETHN 677 – Individual Study (see*) in their required electives in Part III.

Graduate Diversity Certificate (Online Program)

To apply for the Graduate Certificate degree in Ethnic Studies, potential candidates must submit an application to the department. If you have any questions about applying to the program, you may contact the office manager, Angie Navejas at or (507) 389-2798.

A complete application file must be sent to the Department of Ethnic Studies and include the following:

  • An essay, approximately one page long, discussing your research interests and professional objectives in the field of Ethnic Studies, your leadership skills, and your goals in relation to pursuing the certificate degree in Ethnic Studies at Minnesota State University, Mankato
  • List the name, phone number, and e-mail address of at least two references
  • A Resume/Curriculum vitae

The purpose of the online, 18 credit-hour Graduate Diversity Certificate Program is to provide graduate students and professionals who have already earned a bachelor’s degree the opportunity to acquire cross-cultural competency skills and expertise in diversity training in order to work and lead in a multicultural environment. The courses focus on the intersections of race/ethnicity, social class, and gender. Further, the program combines the expertise of faculty from the Colleges of Education, Humanities, and Social and Behavioral Sciences in providing excellent opportunities for historical, theoretical, and social science research.

Information & Technology Services (ITS):

Desire2Learn (D2L) is Minnesota State University’s (MSU’s) web-based management system,. D2L is an online course management tool that is useful for posting announcements, syllabi, assignments, external links, grades, and other course information. There are two primary types of distance learning (or online) courses: synchronous and asynchronous. Synchronous distance learning occurs when the professor and students interact in different places but during a set time at least once a week, for example, live chat or video conferencing. Conversely, asynchronous distance learning occurs when the professor and the students interact in different places and during different times. Most adult learners prefer the asynchronous format for its flexibility and for the fact that it allows more time for critical thinking. Both types of distance learning will be employed by the instructors in this certificate program. All registered students at MSU, Mankato have immediate access to D2L via its link on the MSU homepage. If any student needs help, or experiences any difficulties logging on, feel free to contact the ITS Helpdesk at 507-389-6654


The Graduate Diversity Certificate program requires admission through the College of Graduate Studies and Research. To apply go to on-line applications at: The program requires 18 semester hours of course work, entirely on online (or virtual classroom), from the following course list below:

  • Description of courses listed below is available on the Minnesota State University Graduate Bulletin
  • Total: 18 completed credit hours, with a requirement that students to maintain a B average grade in all course
  • Part I: 12 credits (6 credits must be at the 600 level)
  • Part II: 6 credits
  • Upon successful completion of 18 semester credit hours, the student must fill out two forms: 1) the Application for Graduation; and 2) Recommendation for Awarding the Certificate/Master’s Degree
  • The Graduate Diversity Certificate is awarded by the College of Graduate Studies & Research, Minnesota State University-Mankato

PART I: Required core course (3)

ETHN 650 Helping Across Culture (3) OR
ETHN 660 Cross-Cultural Training & Diversity Management (3)

Ethnic Diversity Electives (9 credits): Select any nine credits (3 courses) from the following:

ETHN 500 Cultural Pluralism (3)
ETHN 501 Applied Cultural Research (3)
ETHN 502 Ethnic Research Methods/Skills (3)
ETHN 505 Immigration/Ethnicity (3)
ETHN 510 Foundations of Oppression (3)
ETHN 520 African American Studies (3)
ETHN 530 American Indian Studies (3)
ETHN 540 Asian American Studies (3)
ETHN 550 Latino/Hispanic Studies (3)
ETHN 582 Civil Rights in the United States (3)
ETHN 603 Seminar in Ethnic & Cross-Cultural Studies (3)
ETHN 610 Seminar on Foundations of Oppression (3)
ETHN 677 Individual Study (3)
ETHN 695 Race/Ethnic Implications (3)

PART II: Additional Ethnic Diversity Electives (6 credits): Select any six credits (the two courses must be in different categories) from the following:

1. Category of Ethnic Families in the United States

ETHN 570 Women of Color (3)
ETHN 590 Racial/Ethnic Families in the U.S. (3)

2. Category of Counseling

CSP 648 Counseling in a Multicultural Society (3)

3. Category of Disability

REHB 619 Psychosocial Aspects of Disability (3) OR
A graduate course related to disability and approved by the department

4. Category of Human Diversity

CORR 585 Topic: Race and Juvenile Justice (3)
ENG 618 Seminar: Multicultural American Literature (3)
URBS 501 Foundations in Urban Management & Planning (3)
URBS 553 Grants Administration (3)
URBS 603 Organization Environment (3)

Course Descriptions

ETHN 500 (3) Cultural Pluralism

This course will examine issues confronted in a multicultural society. It will study ethnic/minority groups not usually included in mainstream society, including their uniqueness and harmonious co-existence with other ethnic groups. (F, S)

ETHN 501 (3) Applied Cultural Research

This course introduces concepts and methods of applying socio-cultural understanding to contemporary problems to bring about the empowerment of affected people. Case/field studies and other research methods in social sciences will be used to illustrate the impact and problems of culture change with special attention to its affect on disadvantaged groups of people. Students will also design their own applied projects.
Prerequisite: ANTH 101, 103, or 230 or consent; ETHN 100, 101, or 150 or consent

ETHN 502 (3) Ethnic Research Methods/Skills

This is a comprehensive course, which introduces students to qualitative, quantitative and evaluation social research methods. It provides students with hands-on experience of collecting and analyzing data, from any given diverse ethnic community through participant observation and needs assessment.

ETHN 503 (3) Chicana Feminisms

This course examines the different forms of Chicana Feminisms produced by Chicana scholars and activists. It demonstrates how Chicana Feminisms challenge social inequalities, and focuses on the construction of Chicana identities regarding the intersections of gender, race/ethnicity, sexuality and culture.

ETHN 505 (3) Perspectives on New Immigrants

The purpose of this course is to examine the challenges and opportunities of the new immigrants,refugees,families,and specifically their children,in the United States.

ETHN 510 (3) Foundations of Oppression

Students will examine the forces which create and maintain prejudice, discrimination, and racism. Special attention will be given to the work of Paulo Freire.
(F) Prerequisite: ETHN 500 or consent

ETHN 520 (3) African American Studies

This course examines contemporary topics in the lives of African Americans. These topics include but are not limited to: slavery, Reconstruction, Post-Reconstruction, Separate-But-Equal, Desegregation, and Resegregation.
(S) Prerequisite: ETHN 500 or consent

ETHN 530 (3) American Indians in Ethnic Studies

This course will provide multiple perspectives about the issues facing American Indian peoples today. Topics to be considered are education, health care, gender, land rights, religious freedom, cultural identity, natural resource management, law enforcement, economic development, self-determination, and mass media images.
Prerequisite: ETHN 500 or consent

ETHN 540 (3) Asian American Studies

Examination of current issues affecting the status of Asian Americans. The focus of this course will vary to reflect students’ interests in the area of politics, education, economics, social and/or cultural dealing with Asian Americans.
Prerequisite: ETHN 500 or consent

ETHN 550 (3) Latino/Hispanic Studies

Thematic examination of major issues surrounding Latino/Hispanic communities in the United States. Emphasis will be on education, labor, politics, social welfare, and migration.
Prerequisite: ETHN 500 or consent

ETHN 560 (3) Urban Minority Problems

This course is concerned with racial/ethnic minorities who live in large urban (inner city) areas. It is especially concerned with the roles that culture and discrimination play in the shaping of America’s ghettos, barrios, reservations, and Chinatowns. (S)

ETHN 570 (3) Women of Color

Examines the effects of sexism and racism on women of color and provides an understanding of the significant contributions they have made in their struggles against oppression. (S)

ETHN 580 (3) Social Justice in Ethnicity and Gender

Survey of institutional sexism and racism including their impact on U.S. society. Special attention will be given to their interconnectedness. (F)

ETHN 582 (3) African American Civil Rights Movement

This course will take an interdisciplinary ethnic studies approach to examine the past, present and future implications of the African American civil rights movement on race relations in the United States. (F)

ETHN 586 (3) Racial and Ethnic Politics

The course examines racial and ethnic minorities and the mutual influences between these groups and the structures, procedures, and issues of U.S. politics. Major topics include: public opinion on racial issues, the representation of minorities in elective and appointive offices, and the nature of value conflicts underlying contemporary racial issues, including affirmative action, immigration, welfare, language policies, and Native American tribal issues.

ETHN 590 (3) Racial/Ethnic Families in the U.S.

This course will examine different definitions of "family" through time in the U.S.. It will focus on changes in the African-, Native-, Hispanic/Latino-, and Asian-American families. It will also compare and contrast differences and similarities among ethnic minority families as well as between them and white ethnic families.

ETHN 595 (3) Selected Topics

Multiple perspectives on the selected topic(s) will be addressed. Student scholars may contribute to the selection and/or refinement of the topic(s).
Prerequisite: ETHN major

ETHN 596 (1-3) Workshop
ETHN 598 (1-6) College Teaching Internship

Students assist a faculty member in teaching an Ethnic Studies 100 or 101.

ETHN 603 (3) Seminar in Ethnic/Cross-Cultural Studies

This course focuses on ethnic/cross-cultural field development, professional ethics/values, skills comportment and practice, including such guidelines as preparations for resumes and curriculum vitaes, research proposals, formal (oral) presentation, grant proposals, thesis plans, articles and books.

ETHN 610 (3) Seminar on Foundations of Oppression

The purpose of this seminar is to examine the origins, manifestations, and consequences of oppression on the life experiences of people at the individual, institutional and sociocultural levels in contemporary society.

ETHN 630 (3) Liberation Theory

This course examines the writings of various authors to gain a theoretical perspective of such issues as racism, sexism and oppression, and how these authors have formulated a plan for change in the U.S. and in the world.

ETHN 640 (3) Seminar on Environmental Justice

This examines the relevant issues surrounding environmental justice, with a particular emphasis on political ecology, resource colonialism, environmental racism, applied ethnic studies, and local environmental movements and minority advocacy and focuses on professional application and advocacy through practice.

ETHN 650 (3) Helping Across Cultures

Scholars preparing for and/or working in the helping professions or related careers will address the issues and experiences of culturally different persons. Special attention will be given to preparation for effective cross-cultural interactions. (S) Prerequisite: ETHN 500 or consent

ETHN 660 (3) Cross-Cultural Training and Diversity Managemen

This course is designed for those students or professionals who prepare for and/or work in the diverse organizations/institutions, corporations, communities in and outside America. Theories, techniques and skills for cross-cultural training/consultation and diversity management are covered.

ETHN 677 (1-3) Individual Study

Specialized independent study and research. (F,S)
Prerequisite: one 500 level ETHN course

ETHN 695 (3) Ethnic-Race Implications

Graduate scholars will address the meaning and significance of US race and ethnicity within global perspectives. Special attention will be given to the writings of scholars of color. (F)
Prerequisite: ETHN 500 or consent

ETHN 697 (1-10) Internship

Supervised experience to which the theories and methodologies of ethnic studies can be applied. Opportunities may be on-campus and/or off-campus, including work in other countries.
(F,S) Prerequisite: Two 500/600 level ETHN courses

ETHN 698 (1-2) Alternate Plan Paper

Concluding research project. May largely use secondary sources. (F,S)

ETHN 699 (3) Thesis

Concluding research project. Requires toward original research. (F,S)