Our program enables students to engage in interdisciplinary, comparative study of forces that have created a multicultural, multiethnic, and multiracial world. The major emphasizes familiarity with the intellectual traditions and debates surrounding the concepts of indigeneity, ethnicity, nationality, and race; grounding in both the history of migration and its contemporary manifestations; and knowledge of and direct engagement with the cultures, structures, and peoples formed by these migrations.  

Prospective majors must consult the director of undergraduate studies early in their academic careers to discuss an individual plan of study and obtain permission to enroll in the major prior to the fall semester of their junior year.  The director of undergraduate studies will make sure that all prospective majors have completed proper preparatory coursework as freshman and sophomores.

Students must complete twelve term courses in Ethnicity, Race, and Migration, including the senior requirement. There are no prerequisites.

ER&M 200 offers a transnational introductory course on the issues and disciplines involved in the study of ethnicity, race, and migration. Students interested in the major should take this course early in their studies, preferably during either their freshman or sophomore years in preparation for more advanced work in the junior seminar.

In consultation with the director of undergraduate studies, each student defines an area of concentration consisting of five term courses. Advanced work in the foreign language related to a student’s area of concentration is advised.

In order to acquire a comparative sense of ethnicity, race, and migration, students are expected to take at least two courses in each of two distinct geographic areas. To gain familiarity with global movements of people within and across national borders, majors must take at least one course that examines historical or contemporary migrations. Students must also demonstrate evidence of interdisciplinary work related to ethnicity, race, and migration in at least two departments or academic fields.

As a multidisciplinary program, Ethnicity, Race, and Migration draws on the resources of other departments and programs in the University. Students are encouraged to examine the offerings of other departments in both the humanities and the social sciences, interdisciplinary programs of study housed in the MacMillan Center and elsewhere, and residential college seminars for additional relevant courses. The stated area of concentration of each student determines the relevance and acceptability of other courses. Majors are encouraged to pursue academic research and other experiences abroad as well as engage in community-based learning opportunities to combine effectively theory and praxis.

Students must take the ERM Junior Seminar in Comparative Ethnic Studies (ER&M 300) an introductory theory and methods course that immerses incoming majors in the overlapping scholarship of ethnic studies, postcolonial studies, and cultural studies that have critically shaped the study of indigeneity, race, ethnicity and migration in the U.S. and around the globe.  Because of the major’s emphasis on international and transnational work, students are also encouraged to undertake a semester abroad.  Students should consult with the director of undergraduate studies to identify courses from study abroad programs that may count towards the major.

The senior requirement consists of two terms of course work. In the Fall, all majors must take the senior colloquium (ER&M 491a) on theoretical and methodological issues. In the Spring, students may either enroll in an ER&M upper level seminar (ER&M 300 or above) or complete a one semester senior project (ER&M 492) advised by a member of the ER&M faculty. Those who seek to fulfill the senior requirement in an upper-level seminar must produce a final paper of twenty to twenty-five pages and complete all course requirements.  Majors planning to undertake an independent senior project must submit a proposal signed and approved by a faculty adviser to the Director of Undergraduate Studies during the Fall semester.

See YCPS for more details.


Prerequisites   None

Number of courses   12 term courses (incl senior req)

Specific course required   ER&M 200 Intro to ER&M , ER&M 300 Junior Seminar

Distribution of courses   

  • 5 term courses in area of concentration (1 term of senior req may count);

  • at least 2 term courses in each of 2 distinct geographic areas;

  • at least 1 term course on historical or contemporary migrations;

  • at least 2 term courses demonstrating interdisciplinary engagement with ethnicity, race, and migration

Senior requirement   Senior colloq (ER&M 491) and senior essay project (ER&M 492) or Upper Level Seminar

See YCPS for more details.