Area of Focus
  • Behavioral & Social Sciences
  • Humanities
Degrees Offered
  • B.A.
  • Undergraduate Minor
  • Other
Academic Division
  • Humanities
  • Critical Race and Ethnic Studies

Program overview

The fastest growing major in the Humanities, Critical Race and Ethnic Studies (CRES) provides a deep understanding of how race and other modalities of power have structured human life in the past and the present. Students acquire an understanding of the historical production of race and ethnicity in the United States and across the globe. They learn how the contours of race and racism have changed over time and, concomitantly, how individuals and groups have experienced these phenomena in constantly morphing ways. Students examine present-day racial/ethnic ideologies such as multiculturalism, colorblindness, and postracialism as well as contemporary social phenomena such as changing working conditions, new migration patterns, and emergent cultural expressions. Students also explore the ways that race and ethnicity have developed in concert with gender, sexuality, class, indigeneity, citizenship, and other modalities of power and lived identity.

Student in front of indigenous mural

Learning Experience

CRES is a highly interdisciplinary major and an intellectual home to nationally renowned faculty who have contributed significantly to conversations in critical race and ethnic studies for decades, in anthropology, community studies, education, feminist studies, film and digital media, history, history of art and visual culture, Latin American and Latino studies, literature, politics, psychology, sociology, and the sciences.

Study and Research Opportunities

The 4+1 pathway into the M.A./Credential Master’s program allows CRES majors at U.C. Santa Cruz to:

  • Apply to the Education master’s program through a streamlined application process.
  • Earn a master’s degree and teaching credential in just one additional year (5 Quarters July to July)

First-Year (Freshman) Requirements

Prospective majors are strongly encouraged to create a proposed study plan, according to the department requirement list, and schedule a meeting with a Critical Race and Ethnic Studies (CRES) adviser at Students interested in CRES should submit their study plan no later than the third quarter of their sophomore year and may declare at any time. While specific courses are not required in order to declare, ideally, students will be enrolled in or have completed CRES 10 with a C or better.

Students talking in Oakes field

Transfer Requirements

Transfer students are strongly advised to complete the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) in preparation for transfer to UC Santa Cruz.

The CRES major consists of 10 courses, which allows transfer students to readily complete their major within two years, assuming enrollment in one to two CRES courses and electives per quarter. This also allows flexibility for pursuing other academic interests.

Transfer students are encouraged to meet with the CRES advisor ( ), declare the major and enroll in CRES 10 as soon as possible.



Internships and Career Opportunities

  • Affirmative action
  • Business
  • Career counseling
  • Community organizing
  • Health care
  • Higher education
  • Human resources
  • K-12 education
  • Law
  • Lobbying
  • Politics
  • Public policy
  • Research
  • Social services
  • Social work
  • Teaching
  • Union organizing

These are only a sample of the field’s many possibilities.



apartment Humanities 1, Room 416 
phone (831) 459-2757

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