Chicano Studies Degree: What to expect?

picture of Chicano Studies Degree: What to expect?

Chicano studies is a degree program that looks at the world through the eyes of Chicanos and Chicanas—people of Mexican descent. The purpose of this degree is to examine the different facets of Chicano culture, such as literature, history, and politics. Students in this degree program are introduced to Chicano points of view, political leaders, and opinions that often get overlooked in more traditional, Eurocentric classes.


This is a relatively young degree, having been started only in the mid-1970s. Because of that, you won’t be able to find this area of study at every school you consider. Look at schools on the west coast, where this degree is more prominent, especially in California where it was first introduced. Another option is to look for a school with an ethnic studies major, and then focus on this particular area.

When you do find a school that offers this area of study, get ready to spend time in some really interesting classes. Classes in Chicano studies run the gamut, and you’ll learn everything from policy creation to history to literature to culture. Examples of classes include border studies, Chicana women’s issues, and history of the U.S./Mexico border.

Next Step

This major is one where you might have to get creative when it comes to jobs, but there are options out there for those who graduate in this field. As Chicanos become an even bigger part of the country’s population, there are many areas that will be interested in those who have spent time doing in-depth study on this particular group.

For entry-level positions, look at art galleries, museums, and cultural centers. If you don’t mind continuing your schooling, consider getting an advanced degree in business, education, or law, as options in those fields should be strong for those with a Chicano studies background.

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