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Why Major in Comparative Ethnic Studies?

Students who enroll will put themselves at the crossroads of innovative theory and exciting interdisciplinary and comparative research that asks the following questions:

  • How do social hierarchies frame access to political power, allocate economic resources, and influence cultural expression?
  • How do practices of representation and performance create knowledge of racial, ethnic, and gender differences?
  • How do the sciences and technology influence the meanings of racial, ethnic, class, and gender differences?
  • What are the best policies and practices for addressing the realities of racial discrimination and social inequality?

The major will also practice Cal Poly's "learn by doing" credo. Students who enroll in community-based learning courses will acquire knowledge and propose projects that address the lived realities of racial discrimination and social inequality, and emerging American identities and their global connections, through "hands-on" experiences with local and virtual communities.

Now more than ever, graduates with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Comparative Ethnic Studies can acquire a competitive edge in the job market.

A major in Comparative Ethnic Studies will be useful for students interested in pursuing a variety of career and professional fields, especially if their interests include activities within multiracial, multicultural, or transnational communities, organizations, businesses, or agencies. This degree offers valuable academic and hands-on training for students interested in pursuing professional careers or graduate study in the following fields: law, social work, public health, medicine, government (local, state, and federal), journalism, urban  planning, politics, business and finance, diversity training, counseling, creative writing, scholarly  teaching and research, international relations, community-based organizations, non-profit organizations, arts and cultural organizations, and graduate studies in all areas of the arts and sciences, in both traditional disciplines and in emerging multidisciplinary fields.  

For additional information about what you can do with a Comparative Ethnic Studies degree at Cal Poly, contact Career Services at Cal Poly or visit the What Can I Do With This Major? website.

For information about applying to the CES major as a freshman or transfer student, contact the Cal Poly Admissions Office.

For information about applying to the CES major as an internal tranfer student, please review the Internal Transfer Criteria.

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