Chicano Studies Graduate Programs

Feb 22, 2018

Pursuing a graduate degree in Chicano studies typically requires you to attend courses discussing Chicano health, literature, the theories applied in this field, and the politics of Chicanos in America. Explore more about graduate programs in this field.

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Chicano studies, also sometimes called Chicano and Chicana studies, examine the Chicano population of the Americas and their interactions in the United States. Graduate-level coursework in Chicano studies can be quite broad, touching on issues from the history of Chicanos in the United States to the methods used to study this group of people.

Chicano Studies Programs and Coursework

Graduate coursework in Chicano studies focuses on a range of the experiences of Chicanos living in the United States. These programs typically award a master's degree after a completion of approximately 30 hours of coursework and a thesis. Some PhD programs are also available. The following are a few of the courses you can expect to find as part of your program.


Paradigm courses examine the approaches, methods, and theories that are typically applied in the area of Chicano studies. Students are expected to learn the many theoretical frameworks that are applied in this field. Also, students must become familiar with the changes that have occurred in the field as new concepts, such as gender and inequality, have been integrated into Chicano studies.


Politics courses ask students to become more familiar with the political issues facing Chicanos in modern society. Other topics that students are expected to study include various political models, political ideologies, and the organizations and political actions taken by Chicanos. This course is designed to examine the impact that politics have on Chicanos in American society and the political organizations that Chicanos participate in.


Coursework in Chicano studies can include studies in Chicano and Latino health issues, including life expectancy, mortality, and reportable diseases. Students may also learn about the issues pertaining to how Chicanos utilize medical services, their health risk behaviors, and changes in demographics. Some courses may focus specifically on geographic regions of Chicanos, such as urban environments.


Studies in Chicano literature can examine a range of conditions that Chicanos encounter during their lives in the United States. These courses can involve a study of children's literature or examine politics and economics, and they often specifically address borderland topics. Students have a range of Chicano literature works to choose from, in some cases.

Research Methods

Research methods coursework introduces students to both quantitative and qualitative methods involved in Chicano studies. These courses are designed to acquaint students with the tools and approaches required in a rigorous, graduate-level examination of the Chicano people. A variety of theories are used as a framework for studying Chicanos, which students learn about during their time in the course.

Admission Requirements

Graduate programs in Chicano studies don't tend to have unique admission requirements, so applicants can expect to submit the typical materials required across all programs. First, transcripts are always requested by schools. Students must submit their transcripts and often demonstrate a GPA of at least 2.5 and sometimes higher. In some cases, you will be required to submit your GRE test scores, though schools don't typically list a minimum GRE score for admission.

Your graduate work in Chicano studies will acquaint you with a range of topics pertinent to the lives of Chicanos, including health, political activism, and literature. By the program's end, you will be able to accurately apply various theories to the field of Chicano studies.

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