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We are the only degree and tenure-granting Ethnic Studies Division in the intermountain west, giving us a newly gained national prominence across the country.

Our expertise as a field lies in forging critical awareness and knowledge of racial and ethnic differences and how these have shaped the landscapes we live in. This includes a focus on the distinctive social, political, cultural, linguistic and historical experiences of racialized groups in the United States.

We hope to 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 they inhabit.

We hope to provide transformative experiences for our students, to enable them to be worldly and wise, so they, in turn, can transform the world towards a more just and equitable future. 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 their future endeavors.

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 newly created 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.