Ethnic Studies Program

18 units

The ethnic studies program enhances students’ understanding of the experiences of U.S. immigrant populations and communities of color, along with their sensitivity to issues of race, ethnicity, and social class. The program also enables students to analyze contemporary social problems that affect these populations and evaluate public policy related to the areas of immigration, education, criminal justice, health care, and economic development. The primary curricular focus is on the experiences of Asian Americans, African Americans, Chicano/Latino, and American Indian peoples within the United States. Because of the program’s interdisciplinary character, students learn to appreciate how scholars in different fields (e.g., history, art, literature, communications, anthropology, education, political science, psychology, and sociology) approach the study and expression of race and ethnicity.

The ethnic studies program supports two overarching goals:

  1. To allow APU students to develop a greater understanding of racial and ethnic diversity in the United States as a basis for
    1. enhanced effectiveness in multicultural workplaces, and
    2. a critical appraisal of contemporary intergroup relations, domestically and abroad.
  2. To provide students of culturally diverse backgrounds at APU with an academic program that addresses their heritage and enhances their self-awareness.


Core Course
ETHN 150Introduction to Ethnic Studies 13
Contemporary Experience Courses
ETHN 355The Asian American Experience3
ETHN 356The African American Experience3
ETHN 357The Chicano(a)/Latino(a) Experience3
Elective Requirements
Select two of the following:6
Culture and the Arts
Multicultural Art 2
Special Topics
American Ethnic Literature 1
Literary Topics
Anthropology for Everyday Life 1
Music of Africa
Soul Music 1
Social Relationships/Public Policy
Intercultural Communication 1
Diversity in the Classroom 1
GLBL 310
History of American Immigration 1
Multicultural Psychology 1
Human Diversity 1
Immigrant L.A.
Social Stratification
Theology from the Margins
Total Units18

Meets the General Education Intercultural Competence requirement.


Meets the General Education Humanities: Fine Arts requirement or the General Education Intercultural Competence requirement.

ETHN 150, Introduction to Ethnic Studies, 3 Units

This class examines the complexities of ethnic and racial diversity in the United States, exploring the historical and cultural aspects of how ethnic minority groups have been affected by social inequality in America. The course provides an overview of concepts and terms essential to studies and discussions within the discipline of ethnic studies. Covered terms include: race, racism, racialization and racialism, ethnicity and ethnic identity, ethnonationalism or ethnic nationalism, panethnicity, ethnocentrism, prejudice, discrimination, segregation, marginalization, diversity, pluralism, multiculturalism, affirmative action, enculturation, acculturation, assimilation, and self-determination. This survey course provides an overview of the discipline of ethnic studies as a whole. Topics of study include: the social construction of race and ethnicity, notions of identity and citizenship, and analysis of African Americans, Asian Americans, Chicanos and Latinos, Native Americans, and Pacific Islanders. The effect of culture on spiritual experience and identity are also examined.

ETHN 355, The Asian American Experience, 3 Units

This class introduces students to the history and experiences of Asian Americans. Using the analytical lens of sociological inquiry, students examine immigration patterns, sociopolitical and economic challenges, as well as issues encountered by Asian Americans due to racism and/or ignorance. The course also explores the contributions of Asian cultures to the fabric of American life.

ETHN 356, The African American Experience, 3 Units

This course introduces students to the experience of African Americans in the United States, including an examination of their contributions to the nation's development as well as an exploration of the dimensions of their identity. Students are challenged to critically analyze and interpret history and culture.

ETHN 357, The Chicano(a)/Latino(a) Experience, 3 Units

This class introduces students to the history and experiences of Chicano(a)/Latino(a) Americans while examining their immigration patterns, sociopolitical and economic influences, heritage and traditions, contributions to American culture, and race relations.



David Miyahara, Ph.D., Sociology

Affiliated Faculty

Patricia Andujo, Ph.D., English

James Fujitani, Ph.D., French

Marcela Rojas, Ph.D., Spanish

Adjunct Faculty

Aaron Hinojosa, M.Ed.

Rebecca Park-Hearn, M.A.