What you'll learn in the Ethnic Studies program at UW-Platteville

As a part of the University of Wisconsin-Platteville’s Department of Criminal Justice and Social Sciences, the Ethnic Studies program blends history, geography, politics, sociology, and economics to generate a better understanding of communities who have been historically discriminated against in the United States due to race or ethnicity. Ethnic studies classes complement many other majors by developing a historical and contemporary understanding of race and ethnicity in society.

As a field of study, ethnic studies was created out of student activism in the 1960s and 70s as students of color at various institutions advocated for courses that reflected their lived experiences. The discipline changed academia by challenging the traditional Eurocentric framing of academic programs, giving voice to communities that were underrepresented in education.

Because of student involvement in its formation, the Ethnic Studies program at UW-Platteville is dedicated to the development of critical thinking skills in students and encourages their political and social activism.

The Ethnic Studies program oversees the UW-Platteville general education requirement that every student in a degree program complete a three-credit course on issues of race and ethnicity, serving as an introduction to ethnic studies. The Ethnic Studies program offers a minor or certificate for 24 credits or 15 credits, respectively. 

Research has also shown that ethnic studies courses that promote diversity are desired by employers who seek job candidates with cultural competencies and critical thinking skills. An ethnic studies minor can increase your career opportunities.

With an ethnic studies minor, you’ll be prepared to live and work in a pluralistic society and interact with diverse communities. Our alumni have become successful leaders within global corporations, small businesses, and nonprofit organizations alike, including fields like law enforcement, human resources, education, and more.

Career opportunities

Including ethnic studies in your education will help you develop and improve your interpersonal skills, become a more creative and critical thinker, and allow you to thrive in nearly any industry.

Some of the many careers you might consider after earning a minor in ethnic studies or an ethnic studies certificate include:

  • Advertising and marketing specialist
  • Community services director
  • Diversity and inclusion manager
  • Customs officer
  • Grant writer
  • Human resources director
  • Immigration officer
  • Journalist
  • Museum curator
  • Paralegal
  • Probation officer
  • Rehabilitation specialist
  • Social services manager
  • Social worker
  • Teacher

Whether you choose to work for a federal, state, or local government agency, opt for a career in education or healthcare, or apply what you learned to a business-focused career, including ethnic studies in your college curriculum will provide you with a more well-rounded education. Some students choose to further their studies in this field by pursuing graduate or professional degrees to work in counseling or legal careers, or teach at the university level.

Discover by doing

At UW-Platteville, you can choose from an array of experiential learning opportunities designed to help you bridge your college experience to your future career, such as conducting research projects; completing an internship in your desired field; or attending university lectures, performances, and events.

Learn more