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– Minnesota State University, Mankato
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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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Page address: https://www.mnsu.edu/supersite/academics/catalogs/graduate/current/ethnicstudies.html

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

Chair: Dr. Kebba Darboe (kebba.darboe@mnsu.edu)
Graduate Coordinator:  Professor Hanh Huy Phan (hanh.phan@mnsu.edu)
Office Manager: Ms. Cynthia Veldhuisen (veldhc@mnsu.edu)

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.

Thesis Plan = 33 credits
Alternate Plan Paper = 34 credits

Part I.  Required Core from the following (15 credits, 12 credits must be 600 levels*):
CORR 585                  Topic: Race and Juvenile Justice (3)
ETHN 500      Cultural Pluralism (3) OR
ETHN 510      Foundations of Oppression (3)
ETHN 582      Civil Rights in the U.S. (3)
ETHN 603      Seminar in Ethnic/Cross-Cultural Studies (3) OR
ANTH 603      Practicing Anthropology (3)
ETHN 650      Helping Across Culture (3) OR
CSP   648       Counseling in a Multicultural Society (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
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      Ethnic Research Methods/Skills (3)
GEOG 576      Spatial Statistics (3)
HLTH 630      Techniques of Research in Health (3)
POL 600         Research Methods (3)
PSY 610          Research Design and Statistics (4)

Group 2. Choose one of the following HR management/leadership courses
EDLD 644                  Selected Topics in Experiential Education Leadership (3) OR
EDAD 668      Human Resources management (2)
EDAD 669      Selected Human Resource Topics (1)
GWS 630        Global Feminisms: Theory and Practice (3)
POL 662         Human Resources Management (3)
PSY 563          Survey of Industrial/Organizational Psychology (4)
SOC 517         Program Administration (3)
URSI 650        Urban Administration Services (3)

Group 3. Choose one of the following counseling courses
CSP 665          Counseling Theories (3) OR
CSP 571          Interpersonal Helping Skills (3) OR
CSP 618          Introduction to Mental Health Counseling (3)
REHB 640                  Theories in Rehabilitation (3) OR
REHB 651                  Rehabilitation Counseling Techniques (3)
PSY 683          Behavioral Assessment (4)

Part III. Required Electives (6-9 credits)
ETHN 505      Immigration/Ethnicity (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 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 630      Liberation Theory (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.



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, Cindy Veldhuisen at veldhc@mnsu.edu 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: http://www.mnsu.edu
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 courses
  • 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 course details with scientific methods and investigative skills in Ethnic Studies. From an interdisciplinary perspective, students are expected to learn how to do research on ethnic and cross-cultural issues (e.g., hypothesis, different methods, data collection/analysis, and report writing). Other professional skills/issues are also discussed.

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 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 Indian 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.


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.


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.


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 Management

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.


ETHN 699 (3-6) Thesis

Concluding research project. Requires toward original research.