Bachelor of Arts Degree Program

Critical Race & Ethnic Studies major is a broadly multi-disciplinary undergraduate degree program, building upon the strengths of UC Santa Cruz faculty who have contributed significantly to conversations in critical race and ethnic studies for decades, with nationally renowned faculty across campus. The program provides you with the opportunity to study race as a major ideological framework through which practices of power and domination as well as struggles for liberation and self-determination have been articulated and enacted throughout modern history and in the contemporary moment. The CRES major will expose you to an array of conceptual and theoretical frameworks that draw on different scales of analysis (transnational, national, local), comparative approaches, the insights of gender and sexuality studies, and anti-racist practices.

For students entering UC Santa Cruz as frosh or transfers, the CRES major can be easily completed within four years or two years, respectively. Because many CRES requirements can be fulfilled by taking courses in other departments, the CRES major is less time-constrained and more flexible than other majors. Sample plans can be found here. The CRES Program welcomes double majors and students who wish to switch from other majors; you should meet with the undergraduate advisor to discuss a plan to keep you on track to meet your graduation goal.

ONE Lower-Division Core Course

  • CRES 10 Critical Race and Ethnic Studies: An Introduction - Offered Fall and Summer (GE: ER)

CRES 10 introduces historical perspective, contemporary awareness, intersectional orientation, and interdisciplinary breadth necessary to study race and ethnicity. While students may declare CRES at any time, it is expected that by fall of their sophomore year, they will be enrolled in or will have already completed CRES 10 with a C or better to continue in the major.

TWO Upper-Division Core Courses

  • CRES 100 Comparative Theories of Race and Ethnicity - Offered Winter
  • CRES 101 Research Methods and Writing in Critical Race and Ethnic Studies - Offered Spring

You will begin upper-division coursework with CRES 100 Comparative Theories of Race and Ethnicity. In this course, you will continue to build on the core concepts by familiarizing yourself with prominent theory. In CRES 101 Research Methods and Writing in Critical Race and Ethnic Studies, you will build a foundation and literacy in research methods. 

SIX Electives

You must complete six electives. At least five must be upper-division, and up to one lower-division course is allowed.

  • At least two electives must be from the list of designated courses focusing on phenomena outside of the U.S. or on transnational or hemispheric subjects.
  • At least two academic divisions must be represented in the elective coursework.

If you choose, you may craft your distribution around specific areas of research or career interests. Examples of appropriate distributions include a focus on a social group (e.g., members of the African Diaspora), on a discipline (e.g., history), on a social phenomenon (e.g., social movements), or on a methodological or theoretical orientation (e.g., theories of race, gender and sexuality). 

You are encouraged to supplement your upper-division coursework with language study, internships, and individual or group independent studies. You may petition to have up to 10 credits of such activities substituted for upper-division elective requirements, so long as these activities serve, or do not interfere with, the breadth requirements.

ONE Senior Exit Requirement

  • CRES 190 Senior Seminar - Offered Fall, Winter, and Spring; topics vary each quarter and year. Enrollment restricted to CRES seniors. CRES juniors may enroll with the approval of the Undergraduate Advisor and a permission code.