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Academic Programs

Department Mission Statement

The mission of the UCLA César E. Chávez Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies is to train a new generation of scholars to research and analyze the life, history, and culture of Mexican-origin people within the U.S., as well as of other Latina/Latino and indigenous populations in the Americas.

Addressing local, national, and transnational contexts, the Chicana/Chicano studies curriculum at UCLA explores race, class, gender, and sexuality paradigms as they have shaped the history of the field, as well as new directions in the study of Chicanas/Chicanos and Latinas/Latinos, including (1) border and transnational studies, (2) expressive arts, (3) history, literature, and language of Americas, and (4) labor, law, and policy studies.

Departmental faculty members, situated in one of the most diverse cities in the world, utilize Los Angeles as a laboratory for studying the social transformations taking place in California, the Southwest, and the U.S. The department provides students with the interdisciplinary research tools necessary to advance knowledge in the field, provide academic leadership, and serve community needs with academic resources.

Undergraduate Study

The B.A. program in Chicana and Chicano Studies is committed to the practice of different forms of scholarship and pedagogy and to the promotion of critical thinking about such issues as gender, sexuality, social action, language, race, ethnicity, class, assimilation/acculturation paradigms, and indigenous traditions. The literary and visual arts often function as vehicles for social change and creative empowerment, and so they constitute one focus of the curriculum, that aims to strike a balance among the social sciences, humanities, arts, and the professions. The major prepares students for graduate education in academic and professional fields and for a variety of positions that involve community and social service in the U.S. and abroad.

Graduate Study

The UCLA César E. Chávez Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies is home to the second Chicana/o Studies Ph.D. Program in the U.C. System. Graduate study in the Chávez Department will provide students with the interdisciplinary research tools necessary to advance knowledge in the field, provide academic leadership, and serve community needs with academic resources. Our interdisciplinary graduate program exposes students to the wide range of theories, methodologies, technologies, pedagogies, and epistemologies that intersect the systematic study of Chicanas and Chicanos, and of other Latinos/as in the U.S. Graduate students in Chicana/o Studies will be trained to critically analyze Chicana/o life, history, and culture in the context of an increasingly complex global, transnational society, and to help shape the future direction of its academic discourse.

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