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The Division of Ethnic Studies is the only degree and tenure-granting Ethnic Studies division in the intermountain west, giving us a newly gained national prominence across the country. At the University of Utah, the first programs encompassing Black Studies, Chicano/a Studies and Native American Studies began coalescing in 1968 as separate entities. In 1973, the Ethnic Studies Program was officially established on an interdisciplinary/interdepartmental basis with separate programs for Black, Chicano/a, and Native American Studies.

The Ethnic Studies program began offering a minor degree in 1982 and in order to continue to grow and raise its visibility, the Ethnic Studies Program in 1983 was moved under the supervision of the Office for Equity and Diversity. An Asian Pacific American Studies program was added in 1989, an Ethnic Studies major degree was approved in 2011, and in 2016, the Ethnic Studies Program became the Division of Ethnic Studies now housed within the School for Cultural and Social Transformation. These changes have continued to reflect student-driven needs and the dedicated labor over decades of community partners, staff, and faculty at the U.

Transform Your Degree

We equip our students with the ability to be lifelong learners and leaders wherever group differences — including other significant intersecting vectors of difference — vitally shape the landscapes we inhabit. We provide transformative experiences, to enable you to be worldly and wise, and transform the world towards a more just and equitable future.

Whether you want to take a broad approach or focus on a specific community, we’ve got you covered! Our major and five minor options allow you to expand your understanding of issues affecting underrepresented communities. From building a sustainable environment to crafting policies that shape communities to elevating the understanding of the human condition, our majors have a unique perspective to contribute to your future endeavors.

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U education professor recognized for public impact

William Smith ranked in the top 200 educational scholars in the United States for public influence.

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Welcome to our Transform Ambassadors

Transform has three new student ambassadors: Sariah Frost (she/her) Brendan Hatch (he/him), and Talea Steele (she/hers).

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Renowned Scholar William Smith, Ph.D., Appointed Chief Executive Administrator for Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion at Huntsman Mental Health Institute

William Smith, Ph.D., recognized nationally for his research on racial battle fatigue, has been appointed Chief Executive Administrator for Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) at Huntsman Mental Health Institute (HMHI) at the University of Utah.

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2022 Transform Awardees

Transformers did it again! Our faculty and students collected various awards throughout the University. Here are the 2021-2022 awardees. Congratulations!

“Majoring in Ethnic Studies has been amazing. I don’t know exactly what my plans are, but I plan to use my degree in everyday life. Ethnic Studies is a degree everyone needs.
Stephanie Ponce, Class of 2021