The program of Ethnicity, Race, and Migration provides a framework for interdisciplinary inquiry related to global race formations, indigeneity, human mobility, culture, and politics. The program draws from the long-standing fields of U.S. ethnic and Native studies, postcolonial, and subaltern studies but also represents emergent areas like queer of color critique, comparative diaspora studies, critical Muslim and critical refugee studies, race and media studies, feminist science studies, and the environmental humanities. Our concerns are both historical and of the present, and we work at various scales of analysis: (trans)local, (trans)national, (trans)regional, and global. Our approach departs from nation-centered area studies by crossing geographic and linguistic boundaries. We ask fundamental questions that have long defined the humanities and social sciences but often from the vantage point of non-state peoples, diasporas, and the minoritized. We value the social and political imaginaries of global subjects and use them to investigate sovereign power, social conflict, labor formations, and cultural production from a critical, integrative approach. We actively support public-facing and socially engaged scholarship and cultural work. 

Graduate Certificate in Ethnicity, Race & Migration

The aim of the graduate certificate is to provide graduate-level coursework, taught by ER&M affiliate faculty, in the interdisciplinary and comparative study of race, transnational migration, and indigeneity within a global framework, and to certify students who complete the program to improve their chances of obtaining post-degree employment in related fields. The certificate program will be open to students already enrolled in doctoral programs at Yale University and will complement students’ ongoing studies in their degree-granting programs.

The certificate has three major goals: first, to provide students with instruction and pre-professional training in the study of ethnicity, race, and migration, which represent areas of growth and dynamism in the academy; second, to expand doctoral students’ professional opportunities as they complete their studies; and third, to cultivate under-represented scholars for careers in higher education and expand the diversity and excellence of the professoriate.


Admission is currently restricted to students already enrolled in a Ph.D. program in the Faculty of Arts & Sciences at Yale. The certificate is open to doctoral students with a research focus related to ethnicity, race, indigeneity, and migration in line with the program’s interdisciplinary and transnational framework. Students are encouraged to apply to the certificate during their first year and to meet with the ER&M Director of Graduate Studies or Interim Director of Graduate Studies (Sp’24).

As part of their application, students will be expected to submit
  1.  Up to 500 word research statement,
  2.  Up to 500 word teaching statement;
  3. A brief statement of support from the primary advisor, with a signature from the Director of Graduate Studies from the student’s home department;
  4. A list of committee members, at least one of whom must be a current affiliate of ER&M (this can be provided no later than the semester in which the student takes qualifying exams);
  5. Curriculum vitae;
  6. Up to 500 word statement of purpose specifically articulating their professional goals in relation to the study of ethnicity, race, and migration.

Apply here


Students who wish to receive the certificate must complete the following course work, research, and teaching requirements:

  1. ER&M 700: The core seminar in Ethnicity, Race, and Migration (first offered Spring 2023). This seminar provides an in-depth survey of historical and current research and methods in the study of race, ethnicity, indigeneity, and migration within a global and interdisciplinary framework.
  2. Three electives from existing graduate-level courses. The ER&M certificate program draws from graduate courses taught by faculty members with primary or secondary appointments in ER&M. The course list may be found at the ER&M website. Courses offered by faculty without an ER&M affiliation, but with relevant content, must be approved by the DGS. The same elective courses may count for the student’s home department’s requirements and the ER&M certificate.
  3.  ER&M 701: Advanced Practicum in Ethnicity, Race, and Migration: This course is open to students in their third year and beyond. The seminar provides support for designing or writing the dissertation, and for other professionalization matters (including publication, pedagogy, and conference presentation). Students will complete an essay of 35 pages based on original research. This paper can develop from an assignment in one of their elective courses. It can take the form of a research paper, dissertation prospectus, draft dissertation chapter, or journal-length article. Students will present their paper to the ER&M community as part of this requirement. Or, students may choose to complete a research project that departs from the format of the traditional academic essay or thesis. This project should be based on original research and may culminate in an annotated syllabus, exhibit, webpage, documentary, or other multimedia project. Students will present their project to the ER&M community as part of this requirement.
  4. Teaching: Students will complete one semester of teaching in ER&M. This can include a teaching fellowship for an ER&M course or students may apply for the Associates in Teaching program to serve as co-instructor of a seminar with a member of the ER&M faculty. When appropriate, students may elect to complete an Opportunity for Professional Development, offered through the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, in lieu of a standard teaching assignment. Teaching and alternate assignments will be approved by the DGS.
  5. Advising: Students are expected to name a member of the ER&M faculty to their doctoral committee. This faculty member will serve as a primary advisor in ER&M at the end of coursework. Students should designate this advisor by the end of their final qualifying exam and prior to presenting the dissertation prospectus. For a list of ER&M faculty see here.