Program Description

Explore the complexities of power and diversity with Merced College’s Ethnic Studies program. Delve into an interdisciplinary exploration of global faultlines, including race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class, nation, and ability. Through innovative teaching methods, students engage in self-examination and collective study, gaining the tools to analyze the structural roots of global inequality and envision pathways to justice and self-determination.

What Awaits You

  • Understand Power Dynamics

    In Ethnic Studies, you’ll explore how power influences global differences like race, gender, and more. It’s a chance to dig deep into the forces shaping our world.

  • Exciting Learning Techniques

    Our program uses cool teaching methods that encourage self-reflection and group study. It’s not just about the subject matter; it’s about transforming how you learn.

  • Fight for Justice

    Ethnic Studies isn’t just about grades—it’s about learning to challenge global inequalities. You’ll graduate with skills to make a difference and support fairness. This fits perfectly with Merced College’s mission to give you an education that empowers.


Merced College offers the following degrees/certificates in Fire Technology:
Ethnic Studies (AA)

Why Major in Ethnic Studies?

Ethnic Studies at Merced College acts as a counterbalance to the interests and investments students already have in their lives. It prepares students to take a critical and more pointed approach toward their goals, preparing them to parse out their own approach to the fields that they enter. With an education in Ethnic Studies, students gain a holistic understanding of why and how they will enter their future.

Career Opportunities

Teaching k-12/College

Since Ethnic Studies is the most recent field to enter the required curriculum for both California Colleges and High Schools, a degree in Ethnic studies offers an exciting pathway to teaching a subject which may be new to many and all the more important for that reason. Teachers may be introducing students to the study of power dynamics that have affected them throughout their lives, but which they didn’t have the tools to analyze.

Psychology / Social Work

The study of power and difference through a degree in Ethnic Studies sets students up for a more empathetic approach to resolving and working with trauma. Majors will leave Merced College with a better understanding of the power dynamics which have defined many individuals’ lives, as well as their own approach to addressing these dynamics.

Architecture / Urban Planning

The critical training Ethnic Studies at Merced College offers prepares students very well to pursue degrees in Architecture or Urban Planning, where they will be applying the skills they have gained in reading their world to rebuilding that world from the ground up.


Many Ethnic Studies students pursue careers in the legal profession. Here, they will be able to apply their study of systems of power directly in helping clients navigate their own legal system or addressing aspects of this system which they may seek to change.

Ethnic Studies Faculty