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.

You will be introduced to the major through CRES 10 Critical Race and Ethnic Studies: An Introduction, a required course is offered annually. 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. At that time, you will prepare and submit a proposed plan of study in consultation with the undergraduate program advisor.

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. 

The remainder of the major requirements include six upper-division electives. For breadth, electives should include at least two subjects outside of CRES and must include designated courses focusing on race and ethnicity outside of the US or on transnational or hemispheric subjects. You should select elective courses that represent a coherent plan to develop an expertise. You may either craft your own distribution covering specific areas of research or career interests or you may select courses in a particular area of race and ethnicity. 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). Examples of how electives fit into different distributions can be found here.

You are encouraged to supplement your upper-division coursework. A maximum of 10 upper-division credits of such course activities substituted for upper-division elective requirements so long as these do not interfere with the breadth requirement noted above.