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Online Ethnic Studies Degree

Someone who is fascinated by other cultures and would like to make this passion into a career path might be well-suited to earn an ethnic studies degree. These degrees are

offered at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and some schools might also feature concentrations for ethnic studies scholars with an interest in specializing their careers. While enrolled in a cultural program, you may learn why art pieces are sometimes asked to be returned to their countries of origin, or why a certain culture or ethnic group might protest certain government actions. Students who prefer to learn at their own pace or work while earning a degree might enjoy pursuing ethnic studies through online or distance learning programs.

Common Coursework for an Online Ethnic Studies Degree Program

Just like there are many different cultures and ethnic groups across the globe, there are a number of different courses found within an online ethnic studies degree program. Be that as it may, there are still a few courses that are common to the subject. Such courses may consist of: [i]

  • Introduction to Ethnic Studies: This course provides a cultural overview of African Americans, Asian Americans, Latinos/Chicanos, and Native Americans in the United States and their social, political, and historical experiences
  • Women, Gender Identity, and Ethnicity: Discusses the impact of gender and ethnic minority identities in U.S. culture, and gives an interdisciplinary and comparative perspective
  • Race, Identity, and Film: Focuses on exploring race relations and how people of color are represented in U.S. film
  • Topics in Global Race and Ethnic Diversity: Explores the intersection of race and ethnicity with other social constructs such as gender and historical forces such as colonization in non-western societies

Something else that determines the types of courses you take is whether you enroll in a Bachelor’s degree program or a graduate degree program. For instance, a bachelor’s degree program could have a capstone course requirement [i]. Should you decide to enroll in a specialized program in a Masters degree program, you might take classes designed to help you comprehend the theological and biblical reasons for international involvement, or gain an understanding of cross-cultural relations in diverse religions and cultures. [ii]

Concentration Options

Depending on the school offering the ethnic studies degree, you might have the chance to choose a concentration that allows you to study a specific facet of cultural studies. One example is art history, where you could learn about the context and culture behind art pieces. Your instructors may also help you to better understand the symbolism, messages, or deeper meaning behind artwork [iii]. Asian studies is another potential ethnic studies concentration that could interest you. The program might teach you more about the traditional cultures scattered across North America and the Asian continent. The concentration could also include courses focused on geography, political science, religion, or music. [iii]

If you would like to combine an interest in ministry with cross-cultural studies, you may feel better suited to enroll in an ethnic studies program offered at a school of divinity. This specific concentration commonly provides learners with the theological and biblical basis they need as proper preparation for world religions and exposure to different cultures. Once you’ve completed the program, you might be ready to become a cross-cultural worker, faith-based international development and aid worker, global refugee worker, or a church-based global mobilizer or leader. [iv]

Yet another specialization for ethnic studies degree programs is humanities. Here you may learn about the intersection of art, the natural world, and technology. Courses could be focused on studying the differences and similarities between popular arts and fine arts, political science and the arts, nature and urban development, or history and identity.[iii]

What Careers May Employ People Who Earn a Degree in Ethnic Studies?

The specific job you may pursue depends on whether you earn an undergraduate degree or a graduate degree. For instance, you might like the idea of becoming a museum technician once you’ve completed a bachelor’s degree program. Depending on the museum, you may need a specialty or an education in museum studies, with some museum technician jobs even requiring candidates to have a Master’s degree in museum studies as well. If you’re more interested in the idea of becoming a curator instead, you might qualify for a position with a bachelor’s degree at a small museum; but most curator positions require a master’s degree in either art history, history, archaeology, or museum studies.[v]

In regards to the job outlook for curators and museum technicians, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the field is expected to grow 7 percent from 2014 to 2024 [vi]. In terms of salary, median yearly earnings were $51,280 for curators in 2014 and $39,940 for museum technicians. [vii]

With your interest in different cultures, you might like the idea of earning your ethnic studies degree from an online program at an international school. Explore your options today!


[i]nau.edu/SBS/Ethnic-Studies/Degrees-Programs/Courses/ [ii]liberty.edu/online/masters/global-studies/ [iii]nau.edu/CAL/CCS/Degree/ [iv].liberty.edu/online/masters/global-studies/ [v]bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/curators-museum-technicians-and-conservators.htm#tab-4