Comparative Ethnic Studies is an interdisciplinary field that examines issues of social identity and power, in contemporary and historical contexts. The field centers on questions of race, gender, and sexuality. Students are free to select from a range of courses in the Ethnic Studies program, and to include coursework they do from around the university their academic programs.

Unique to UWM, our program offers courses covering the Hmong diaspora. Wisconsin is home to the third largest Hmong American population in the US, making UWM a great place to learn about this population.

The Committee Interdisciplinary Major with a focus in Comparative Ethnic Studies is also one of a handful of majors that requires an internship prior to graduation, thereby ensuring that students leave college with hands-on experience from the local community. The program is administered by the College of Letters and Science interdepartmental Comparative Ethnic Studies Advisory Committee.

A certificate in Comparative Ethnic Studies is also available for students seeking something closer to a minor.

Requirements

BA Degree Requirements58-77
Major Requirements33
General Electives10-29
Total Credits120

Course of Study – Bachelor of Arts Degree

Complete 120 credits including 90 credits in the College of Letters & Science and with 36 of the 90 credits in L&S upper-level (numbered above 300) courses. The College requires that students must complete in residence at UWM at least 15 credits in upper-division (numbered 300 or above) courses in their major. Students are also required to complete University-wide General Education Requirements and the specific L&S requirements listed below.

To complete a major, students must satisfy all the requirements of the major as stated in this catalog. Students who declare their majors within five years of entering the UW System as a degree candidate may satisfy the requirements outlined in any catalog issued since the time they entered. Credits used to satisfy the major also may be used to satisfy other degree requirements.

University General Education Requirements (GER)

Oral and Written Communication
Part A
Achieve a grade of C or better in the following course:
ENGLISH 102College Writing and Research (or equivalent)
Part B
Course designated as OWC-B; may be completed through a major-specific course requirement
Quantitative Literacy
Part A
Earn at least 3 credits with a grade of C or higher in one of the following courses or an equivalent course, or achieve a placement code of at least 30 on the mathematics placement test (or other appropriate test, as determined by the Mathematical Sciences Department)
Mathematical Literacy for College Students II
Contemporary Applications of Mathematics
Introduction to College Algebra
Algebraic Literacy II
Introduction to Logic - Critical Reasoning 1
Introduction to Logic - Critical Reasoning
College Algebra
Or equivalent course
Part B
Course designated as QL-B; may be completed through a major-specific course requirement
Arts
Select 3 credits3
Humanities
Select 6 credits6
Social Sciences
Select 6 credits6
Natural Sciences
Select 6 credits (at least two courses including one lab)6
UWM Foreign Language Requirement
Complete Foreign Language Requirement through:
Two years (high school) of a single foreign language
Two semesters (college) of a single foreign language
Or equivalent
UWM Cultural Diversity Requirement
One course from the Arts, Humanities, or Social Sciences must also satisfy UWM's Cultural Diversity requirement

College of Letters & Science Requirements

I. English Composition Requirement

Students must satisfy the English Composition Requirement with one of the following options:

1) Completing ENGLISH 102 with a grade of C or higher; or

2) by placing beyond ENGLISH 102 on the English Placement Test (EPT) (or other assessment as determined by the English Department); or

3) transferring a course of at least 2.5 equivalent credits from another institution that is equivalent to English 102, or a UWM higher-level expository writing course, with a grade of C or higher.

Note: This requirement is the same as the University General Education Requirement for Oral and Written Communication Part A. The College of Letters & Science does not have a specific requirement for a writing course beyond English 102, but students must complete the university-wide requirement for Oral and Written Communication Part B listed above.

II. Mathematics and Formal Reasoning

To satisfy the Mathematics and Formal Reasoning Requirement, students must satisfy the following two requirements:

1. Achieve a placement code of at least 30 on the mathematics placement test (or other appropriate test, as determined by the Mathematical Sciences Department) or earn at least 3 credits with a grade of C or higher in one of the following courses or an equivalent course:

MATH 102Mathematical Literacy for College Students II3
MATH 103Contemporary Applications of Mathematics3
MATH 105Introduction to College Algebra3
MATH 108Algebraic Literacy II3
MATH 111Introduction to Logic - Critical Reasoning 13
or PHILOS 111 Introduction to Logic - Critical Reasoning
MATH 116College Algebra3
MATH 175Mathematical Explorations for Elementary Teachers I3

Note: This requirement is the same as the University General Education Requirement for Quantitative Literacy Part A, listed above.

2. Complete one course (at least 3 credits) at the 200 level or above chosen from courses in Mathematics, PHILOS 211, or Letters and Science statistics courses:

Complete one of the following:
3 or more credits in any 200-level or above Math course
Introduction to Statistics in African and African Diaspora Studies
Introduction to Anthropological Statistics
Statistical Methods in Atmospheric Sciences
Biostatistics
Economic Statistics
Quantitative Analysis in Geography
The Quantitative Analysis of Historical Data
Elementary Statistical Analysis
Elementary Logic
Political Data Analysis
Survey Research
Psychological Statistics
Introduction to Statistical Thinking in Sociology

Note: This requirement is NOT the same as the University General Education Requirement for Quantitative Literacy Part B. To complete the BA, students must take one of the L&S approved courses. Not all of the courses listed here will satisfy the QL-B requirement.

III. Foreign Language Requirement 

Placement testing may be used to satisfy all or part of this requirement. Language courses (including American Sign Language) other than English taken in high school may be used to satisfy all or part of this requirement. One year of high school language equates to one semester of college work.

Completion of the L&S Language Requirement also satisfies the university-wide Foreign Language GER, but not vice versa.

Completed in one of the following ways:0-18
Successful completion of the 4th semester of college work or equivalent in one language other than English (including American Sign Language)
Successful completion of the 3rd semester of college work or equivalent in one language other than English (including American Sign Language) PLUS the 2nd semester of college work or equivalent in another language other than English (including American Sign Language)

IV. International Requirement 

See Approved Courses for the L&S International Requirement for course options.  

Completed in one of the following ways:9
Complete 3 courses (min. 9 cr) in a single foreign language (not including literature-in-translation or American Sign Language) at the 3rd semester level and above
Complete 3 non-language courses (min. 9 credits) with an international content chosen from at least 2 curricular areas.
Complete 9 credits in combination of the two options above.

V. Breadth Requirement

Along with completing the University General Education Requirements of 3 credits in the Arts (A); 6 credits in the Humanities (HU), Social Sciences (SS), and Natural Sciences (NS/NS+); and a course with the Cultural Diversity (CD/+) designation, L&S students must complete the Breadth requirement.

Arts
Select 3 credits3
Humanities
Complete 12 credits of L&S courses with Humanities Breadth designation; no more than 6 credits from a single subject area. *12
Social Sciences
Complete 12 credits of L&S Courses with Social Science Breadth designation; no more than 6 credits from a single curricular area. *12
Natural Sciences
Complete 12 credits of L&S Courses with Natural Sciences Breadth designation, including at least one laboratory or field course; no more than 6 credits from a single curricular area. *12
Cultural Diversity
Complete 3 credits in a course with Cultural Diversity (CD) designation. **3

 VI. The Major

The College of Letters and Science requires that students attain at least a 2.0 GPA in all credits in the major attempted at UWM.  In addition, students must attain a 2.0 GPA on all major credits attempted, including any transfer work.  Individual departments or programs may require higher GPAs for graduation. Some departmental majors require courses from other departments.  Contact your major department for information on whether those credits will count as part of the major GPA.  The College requires that students must complete in residence at UWM at least 15 credits in upper-division (numbered 300 or above) courses in their major.

Research Requirement

Within their majors, students must complete a research experience approved by the L&S faculty.  A list of courses satisfying the research requirement in each major can be found here.

VII. The Minor

The College of Letters and Science requires that students attain at least a 2.0 GPA in all credits in the minor attempted at UWM.  In addition, students must attain a 2.0 GPA on all minor credits attempted, including any transfer work.

Major Requirements

The Committee Interdisciplinary Major submajor in Comparative Ethnic Studies requires completion of at least 33 credits in approved Comparative Ethnic Studies and Comparative Ethnic-related courses. Students may count towards the major a maximum of 9 credits in a single curricular area outside of Comparative Ethnic Studies. A minimum of 18 credits must be completed in L&S courses, and at least 15 credits must be at the upper-division level (courses numbered 300 and above) taken in residence at UWM. Completion of the College’s research experience in the major is required. ETHNIC 550 or another suitable course approved by the coordinator satisfies this requirement. Students must attain at least a 2.0 GPA on all major credits attempted at UWM. In addition, the College requires that students earn a 2.0 GPA on all credits in the major, including transfer work.

The following are required:

Survey
ETHNIC 101The Multi-Racial Origins of American Cultures3
ETHNIC 102Transnational Migrations: People on the Move3
Comparative Methods
Select at least 3 credits from the following: 13
Queer Migrations
Advanced Topics in Comparative Ethnic Studies: (subtitle)
*** 150
Multicultural America 2
Track Electives
Select option A or B below18
Internship
ETHNIC 489Internship in Ethnic Studies, Upper Division3
or HMONG 489 Internship in Hmong Studies, Upper Division
Capstone
ETHNIC 550Senior Seminar in Comparative Ethnic Studies:3
Total Credits33

Track Electives

A. Hmong Studies

ETHNIC/HMONG 265Hmong Americans: History, Culture, and Contemporary Life3
ETHNIC 250Selected Topics in Ethnic Studies:3
HIST 287The Vietnam War3
Select nine additional credits in consultation with the Program Coordinator9
Total Credits18

B. Student-Created Focus

Students complete 18 credits selected in consultation with the coordinator from the list of approved courses.

Approved Electives

ANTHRO 203Indigenous Religions3
AFRIC 100Black Reality: Survey of African-American Society3
AFRIC 102Survey of African-American Literature3
AFRIC 111Introduction to African-American History to 18653
AFRIC 112Introduction to African-American History, 1865 to the Present3
AFRIC 125Economics of the Black Community3
AFRIC 163African-American Concept of Self3
AFRIC 205The Poetry of African, African-American, and Caribbean Writers3
AFRIC 210The African-American Novel3
AFRIC 215Introduction to Black Social and Cultural Traditions3
AFRIC 235African Americans and South Africa3
AFRIC 250Black Women and White Women in the Contemporary United States3
AFRIC 261Survey of African-American Political Philosophy3
AFRIC 300Urban Violence3
AFRIC 314The School in African-American Life3
AFRIC 319African American Urban History3
AFRIC 320Black Cultures in Latin America and the Caribbean3
AFRIC 322Order and Disorder: The Quest for Social Justice3
AFRIC 334Survey of Black American and Black Brazilian Societies3
AFRIC 341Black Politics and City Government3
AFRIC 344Global Black Social Movements3
AFRIC 350The Black Family3
AFRIC 351Sexuality, Gender, and Health in Africa and the Diaspora3
AFRIC 369Black Images and Mass Media3
AFRIC 372African-American Literary Movements: The Harlem Renaissance3
AFRIC 411Change in African-American Communities3
AFRIC 412Blacks and the United States Constitution3
AFRIC 414The Black Woman in America, Africa, and the Caribbean3
AFRIC 416Race and Social Justice in the United States3
AFRIC 417Race, Class and Gender in Southern Africa3
AFRIC 418Race, Class, and Gender in Latin America and the Caribbean3
AFRIC 420The Political Economy of Slavery3
AFRIC 450Cultural Transmissions: Black Africa and Black America3
AFRIC 451Rites of Passage in Black Societies3
ANTHRO 213American Indian Peoples of Wisconsin3
ANTHRO 225The Aztec Empire3
ANTHRO 310Archaeology of Middle America3
ANTHRO 311The World of the Ancient Maya3
ANTHRO 314American Indian Societies and Cultures3
ANTHRO 320Peoples and Cultures of Africa3
ANTHRO 322Europe in Anthropological Perspective3
ANTHRO 325Japanese Culture and Society3
ANTHRO 326Peoples and Cultures of South Asia3
ANTHRO 328Comparative Studies of Music, Race, and Gender in Nationalism3
ANTHRO 335American Indians of the Southeast3
ANTHRO 355Globalization, Culture, and Environment3
ANTHRO 441Nature, Knowledge, and Technoscience in Anthropological Perspective3
ANTHRO 442Humanitarianism in Global Perspective3
ANTHRO 443Medicine and Pharmaceuticals in the Global Age3
ANTHRO 447The Global Politics of Human Rights3
COMPLIT 365Literatures and Cultures of the Americas:3
ENGLISH 209Language in the United States3
ENGLISH 210Global Englishes3
ENGLISH 276Introduction to American Indian Literature:3
ENGLISH 277Introduction to Ethnic Minority Literature:3
ENGLISH 278Introduction to World Literatures Written in English:3
ENGLISH 279Introduction to U.S. Latino/a Literature:3
ENGLISH 280Introduction to Asian-American Literature:3
ENGLISH 281Introduction to African-American Literature:3
ENGLISH 285Modern Irish Language and Literature in Translation3
ENGLISH 332Gay and Lesbian Literature:3
ENGLISH 372Survey of American Indian Literature3
ENGLISH 373Survey of Ethnic Minority Literature3
ENGLISH 374Survey of U.S. Latino/a Literature3
ENGLISH 375Survey of Asian American Literature3
ENGLISH 376Survey of African-American Literature to 19303
ENGLISH 377Survey of African-American Literature, 1930 to the Present3
ENGLISH 463Writers in African-American Literature:3
ENGLISH 517Studies in African-American Literature:3
ENGLISH 518Studies in Irish Literature:3
ENGLISH 520Studies in American Indian Literature:3
ENGLISH 521Studies in Ethnic Minority Literature:3
ENGLISH 522Studies in World Literature Written in English:3
ENGLISH 523Studies in U.S. Latino/a Literature:3
ENGLISH 524Studies in Asian-American Literature:3
ENGLISH 525American Indian Literature, Culture, and Creative Arts3
ENGLISH 631Seminar in African-American Literature:3
ENGLISH 632Seminar in American Indian Literature:3
GEOG 114Geography of Race in the United States3
GEOG 309Nationalities and Nations of the World3
GEOG 400Population, Environment, Development3
GEOG 410Gendered Geographies3
GEOG 462Cultural Geography of Latin America3
HIST 175East Asian Civilization to 16003
HIST 176East Asian Civilization Since 16003
HIST 180Latin American Society and Culture3
HIST 210The Twentieth Century: A Global History3
HIST 215History of Capitalism3
HIST 229History of Race, Science, and Medicine in the United States3
HIST 243History of Women in American Society3
HIST 262North American Indian History to 18873
HIST 263North American Indian History Since 18873
HIST 267The History of Latinos in the United States3
HIST 268History of the American West3
HIST 269Asian Americans in Historical Perspective3
HIST 271The 1960s in the United States: A Cultural History3
HIST 287The Vietnam War3
HIST 358The Jews of Modern Europe: History and Culture3
HIST 363Germany: Hitler and the Nazi Dictatorship3
HIST 364The Holocaust: Anti-Semitism & the Fate of Jewish People in Europe, 1933-453
HIST 379Introduction to Jewish History3
HIST 380Buddhism: A Cultural History3
HIST 386Africa: The Age of Empires to 18803
HIST 387Africa: Imperialism and Independence Since 18803
HIST 392The History of Southern Africa3
HIST 393History of Mexico3
HIST 394History of Japan to 16003
HIST 395History of Japan Since 16003
HIST 435Ethnic America: To 18803
HIST 436Immigrant America Since 18803
HIST 445African Americans from Slavery to Freedom3
HIST 446African Americans Since the Civil War3
HIST 460The History of Poverty in America3
HIST 463History of the American City3
HIST 468The American Feminist Movement3
HIST 473History of Wisconsin Indians3
HIST 474Topics in North American Indian History:3
JAMS 111Gender and the Media3
LINGUIS 430Language and Society3
LINGUIS 432Urban Dialects3
POL SCI 215Ethnicity, Religion and Race in American Politics3
POL SCI 388Latino Politics3
PSYCH 578Psychology of Race, Ethnicity, and Health3
SOCIOL 233Social Inequality in the United States3
SOCIOL 235Social Change in the Global Economy3
SOCIOL 321Contemporary Issues of the American Indian3
SOCIOL 323Perspectives on Latino Communities3
SOCIOL 324Race and Ethnicity in Global Contexts3

Learning Outcomes

Students who complete the major will be able to do the following:

  • Discuss the complexities of social identity for public policy as well as cultural formations;
  • Provide interdisciplinary explanations for historical and contemporary conflicts based in race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality; and
  • Identify and assess different theoretical frameworks for explaining social change and relationships between actors, institutions, and ideas of identity.

Letters & Science Advising

The College of Letters and Science provides general academic advising for all students with a major in the College, particularly as it relates to campus' general education requirements and the College's degree requirements. We also provide specialized advising for pre-professional students (pre-med, pre-dental, pre-pharmacy, etc.) regardless if their major is in Letters and Science or not. Prospective students, including high school students and students seeking to transfer to a program in Letters and Science may also receive advising from our admissions counselors. 

Upon admission, students are assigned an advisor in the College advising office. Academic advising is available Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. by appointment. Appointments outside of these times may be available and phone appointments are available for online students. The advising office is located on the first floor of Holton Hall. Current students should call (414) 229-4654 to schedule an appointment or use the Navigate website to make an appointment with your assigned advisor; online scheduling is only available if you already have a Letters & Science advisor assigned to you. Prospective students should call (414) 229-7711 or email let-sci@uwm.edu.

When students declare a major, they will receive an additional faculty advisor located within the major department who will assist with requirements for that major. Students should read the "Declaration of Major" information on the website of the major that they are interested in. In some cases, the student will need to choose a faculty advisor as part of the declaration process.

All students are cautioned to consult their Letters & Science academic advisor AND their major advisor prior to each registration period to ensure they understand all requirements. Do not rely on pre-printed sample plans, as they are intended to be samples only and may not be right for your particular situation.

Honors in the College of Letters and Science

Dean's Honor List

GPA of 3.750 or above, earned on a full-time student's GPA on 12 or more graded credits in a given semester.

Honors College Degree and Honors College Degree with Distinction

Granted to graduating seniors who complete Honors College requirements, as listed in the Honors College section of this site.

Commencement Honors

Students with a cumulative GPA of 3.500 or above, based on a minimum of 40 graded UWM credits earned prior to the final semester, will receive all-university commencement honors and be awarded the traditional gold cord at the December or May Honors Convocation. Please note that for honors calculation, the GPA is not rounded and is truncated at the third decimal (e.g., 3.499).

Final Honors

Earned on a minimum of 60 graded UWM credits: Cum Laude - 3.500 or above; Magna Cum Laude - 3.650 or above; Summa Cum Laude - 3.800 or above.