American Ethnic Studies

College of Arts and Sciences

American Ethnic Studies is the interdisciplinary and comparative exploration of historical and contemporary relations of power and issues of social justice in American societies. Our main fields of research and pedagogy focus on the United States but also extend into questions about global and transnational dimensions, concepts and histories concerning race and ethnicity in America. Students earn a BA degree in American Ethnic Studies by taking core courses on ethnic-specific and comparative, multi-ethnic subjects. At the same time, they develop an emphasis in one of our concentrations — African American Studies, Asian American/Pacific Islander Studies, Chicano/a Studies or Comparative AES — that make up the major. Graduates of this degree pursue careers in a variety of fields such as education, business, law, public policy, media and communication, nonprofit and health care.

Major category: Open

Curricular options: African American Studies, Asian/Pacific American Studies, Chicano Studies, Comparative, American Ethnic Studies

Topic: Social sciences

Applicant type


Freshmen can apply to the UW to begin autumn quarter or winter quarter (U.S. applicants only)

Read more about applying to the UW as a freshman, including details for programs that provide high school students with college credit (like Running Start).


Quarters of general admisson to UW: autumn / winter (U.S. applicants only) / spring / summer

Preparation for the major is a factor in transfer admission.

  • Use the information below to help you prepare for this degree
  • Visit MyPlan to run a degree audit.
  • Use the UW Equivalency Guide to find out how courses taken at a Washington state community or technical college will transfer to the UW.
  • UW college and school graduation requirements

Department admission information

  • Departmental application deadline:
  • Please contact the department for details about the application process.

Read more about applying to the UW as a transfer student.

Career outcomes