Indigenous, Race, and Ethnic Studies (PhD)

Graduate students in the Department of Indigenous, Race, and Ethnic Studies join a diverse and dynamic community of scholars dedicated to pursuing transformative knowledge through original research and community engagement. We train scholars in transdisciplinary, intersectional, and creative scholarship. Students receive a comprehensive course of study grounded in the lives of Indigenous communities and people of color.   

Graduate students work closely with faculty mentors to customize a program of study that enables a comprehensive breadth and depth within core fields of ethnic studies, and that prepares students for their post-PhD careers. Doctoral areas of specialization include: Women of Color and Indigenous feminisms, queer race studies, Latinx and Chicanx studies, media and sports studies, literary and cultural studies, carceral studies, Environmental justice, Indigenous and racial formations, comparative race relations, and social justice activism. 

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this program, students will be able to:

  • Assess and intervene in multiple bodies of scholarly literature, with attention to the critical interventions of Ethnic Studies research vis-a-vis knowledge produced through dominant academic paradigms and disciplines.
  • Demonstrate mastery of their field’s chosen subject material. Specifically, they will be able to articulate, explain, and apply a comprehensive understanding of theoretical frameworks in Ethnic Studies to their field of expertise.
  • Conceptualize and articulate robust and significant research questions and engage in original research for academic publication.
  • Acquire the skills to assess undergraduate education, develop a pedagogical skill-set, and teach their own courses.
  • Conduct research and scholarly or professional activities in an ethical manner. They will have the experience and relevant credentials (such as publications, teaching, experience, and/or advanced administrative skills) to teach and conduct research in an ethical manner at an institution of higher education and/or assume a leadership position in an organization within their field.

Indigenous, Race, and Ethnic Studies Major

ES Core Courses
ES 614Colloquium: Professional Development (Three terms)3
ES 6155
ES 6165
ES 617Genealogies of Ethnic Studies5
Substantive Seminars
ES 620Race, Space, and Power: [Topic]5
ES 621Cultural Production: [Topic]5
ES 622Resistance and Dissent: [Topic]5
ES 623Race, Gender and Sexuality Studies: [Topic]5
Primary Areas of Study Seminars25
Individual Research or Readings15
Research: [Topic]
Reading and Conference: [Topic]
Total Credits96

Primary Areas of Study Seminars

Seminar: [Topic]
Experimental Course: [Topic]
Race, Literature, and Culture: [Topic]
Caribbean Literature and Politics
Race and Incarceration
Race and Ethnicity and the Law: [Topic]
History of Native American Education
Race, Culture, Empire: [Topic]
Relational Studies of Indigeneity, Race and Culture: [Topic]
Feminist Theories of Race: [Topic]
Native American Ethnohistory
Indigenous Research Methods and Ethics
Native American and Indigenous Feminisms
Research: [Topic]
Internship: [Topic]
Reading and Conference: [Topic]
Seminar: [Topic]
Experimental Course: [Topic]
Race, Space, and Power: [Topic]
Cultural Production: [Topic]
Resistance and Dissent: [Topic]
Race, Gender and Sexuality Studies: [Topic]

Additional Requirements

  • Qualifying Exams and Advancing to Candidacy
  • Completion of Qualifying Exams by end of the third year (One field paper, one specialized area plus syllabus, and preliminary dissertation prospectus)
  • Dissertation
  • Final dissertation prospectus defense by Spring quarter of the third year
  • Dissertation years 4 and 5
  • Successful dissertation defense
  • Completion and filing the degree in year 5

Students who have earned a Master's degree from another program must consult the Director of Graduate Studies to assess the course work that will transfer towards earning the PhD.