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These Are the Major Universities That Offer Chicano Studies, and Their Work Is More Important Than Ever

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In many communities, there is a history of ethnic studies programs, particularly Mexican-American and Chicano Studies programs. In K-12 schools, these programs are being attacked and revoked. 

The history of Mexican-American/Ethnic studies in K-12 schools is not taught in typical U.S. history classes. Many Chicanx students were and continue to be left without learning about their histories.

PBS’s “Precious Knowledge” documentary highlights the history of Ethnic Studies in the Tucson Unified School District and the racist pushback from Arizona politicians at the time. 

Back when the Tucson Unified School District established the Ethnic Studies program, the Arizona legislature was passing SB1070. The fight for the right to teach students about Mexican-American history posed a threat to several anti-immigration campaigns and policies. Many politicians at the time felt that ethnic studies classes were rooted in being “anti-American.” 

Though “Precious Knowledge” focuses on schools in the Tucson Unified School District, this history runs deep in several Mexican-American communities. This is why incorporating Chicano Studies as part of Mexican-American curricula is, in and of itself, a radical act. 

Several universities across the U.S. offer the opportunity to major or minor in Latin American studies. Still, the field of Mexican-American studies provides the opportunity to learn about the Chicanx identity in depth.

This is why we have compiled a list of some of the best Mexican-American undergraduate and graduate programs in the U.S.

University of Arizona

Housed in the César Chávez Building, the Mexican-American studies program at the University of Arizona offers programs for both undergraduate and graduate students. 

UA undergraduates have the opportunity to major or minor in Mexican-American Studies (MAS), and there are several graduate opportunities. The department also offers a Cultural Competency in Mexican/Mexican-American and Border Communities certificate. Find more info here!

The University of California, Los Angeles 

Like UA, UCLA provides its students with Mexican-American studies undergraduate and graduate programs. 

With about 44 faculty teaching in the department, the topics covered in coursework range from “Chicana Feminism, day labor and informal markets, Chicana/o art history, sonic and spatial resistance, undocumented Latina/o/x immigrants, sociolinguistics, Central Americans in the US, and several other concentrations.”

The University of Texas, San Antonio

The University of Texas-San Antonio offers undergraduate majors and graduate programs in Mexican-American studies. Undergraduates majoring in Chicano studies can select from four concentrations: cultural studies, history, music, and social justice. You can find more information on their website.  

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