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. The program is administered by the College of Letters and Science interdepartmental Comparative Ethnic Studies Advisory Committee.

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

The Undergraduate Certificate program in Comparative Ethnic Studies is also available for students seeking something closer to a minor. Certificates are similar to minors in terms of credit requirements but draw on coursework from multiple fields of study rather than from a single department. 


The Certificate in Comparative Ethnic Studies is open to all students seeking a bachelor's degree from UWM, to students who previously have received a bachelor's degree from UWM or any other accredited college or university, and to those who do not plan to pursue a college or university degree (non-degree students) but who have a strong interest in this subject. To be admitted to the University as non-degree students, individuals must meet regular University admission requirements. Students who complete the certificate as part of their undergraduate work are awarded the certificate at the time of graduation. Students already possessing a bachelor's degree and non-degree students receive the certificate upon completion of the program requirements.


To receive the certificate, the student must earn a minimum of 21 credits as stated below, at least 12 from UWM, with a grade point average of 2.750 or better. A minimum of 9 credits must be earned in upper-division (numbered 300 and above) courses. At least 18 credits must be taken in the Ethnic curricular area; the other 3 credits may be selected from the approved list of elective courses. Students may discuss their specific needs and programs of study with the program coordinator, Rachel Buff. Substitutions for credits in the Ethnic curricular area are subject to the approval of the Program Coordinator.

Students interested in the undergraduate certificate should register with the Comparative Ethnic Studies Program Coordinator by the beginning of their junior year, at the latest.

Courses for the certificate must include the following:

ETHNIC 101The Multi-Racial Origins of American Cultures3
ETHNIC 102Transnational Migrations: People on the Move3
ETHNIC 550Senior Seminar in Comparative Ethnic Studies:3
Select 12 credits from approved electives table below.12
Total Credits21

Approved Electives

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 210The African-American Novel3
AFRIC 228Introduction to Black Political Economy3
AFRIC 250Black Women and White Women in the Contemporary United States3
AFRIC 261Survey of African-American Political Philosophy3
AFRIC 265Psychological Effects of Racism3
AFRIC 300Urban Violence3
AFRIC 312The Church in African-American Life3
AFRIC 314The School in African-American Life3
AFRIC 319African American Urban History3
AIS 105Anishinaabe Ethnobotany: Plants in Anishinaabe Culture3
AFRIC 321Black Workers in the 21st Century3
AFRIC 322Order and Disorder: The Quest for Social Justice3
AFRIC 326Economic Problems of Black Business3
AFRIC 341Black Politics and City Government3
AFRIC 350The Black Family3
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 416Race and Social Justice in the United States3
AFRIC 420The Political Economy of Slavery3
AIS 106Anishinaabe Ethnobotany: Plants in Anishinaabe Philosophy3
AIS 262North American Indian History to 18873
AIS 263North American Indian History Since 18873
AIS 276Introduction to American Indian Literature:3
AIS 314American Indian Societies and Cultures3
AIS 321Contemporary Issues of the American Indian3
AIS 372Survey of American Indian Literature3
AIS 473History of Wisconsin Indians3
AIS 474Topics in North American Indian History:3
AIS 520Studies in American Indian Literature:3
ANTHRO 150Multicultural America3
ANTHRO 213American Indian Peoples of Wisconsin3
ANTHRO 314American Indian Societies and Cultures3
ANTHRO 335American Indians of the Southeast3
ANTHRO 565Seminar in Regional Archaeology: (Great Lakes Late Prehistory)3
ANTHRO 641Seminar in Anthropology: (American Indian Material Culture)3
ARABIC 164Arabs and Islam in America3
ARTHIST 355American Folk Art3
ECON 248Economics of Discrimination3
ED POL 561Education Issues in American Indian Communities3
ED POL 579Current Topics in Cultural Foundations of Education: (Anti-Racist Education)1-6
ED POL 621History of Native Education and Policy Development3
ED POL 625Race Relations in Education3
ENGLISH 150Multicultural America3
ENGLISH 276Introduction to American Indian Literature:3
ENGLISH 277Introduction to Ethnic Minority Literature:3
ENGLISH 280Introduction to Asian-American Literature:3
ENGLISH 281Introduction to African-American 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 520Studies in American Indian Literature:3
ENGLISH 523Studies in U.S. Latino/a Literature:3
ENGLISH 524Studies in Asian-American Literature:3
ENGLISH 624Seminar in Modern Literature: (After Beckett - Contemporary Anglo-American Drama)3
ENGLISH 631Seminar in African-American Literature:3
ENGLISH 632Seminar in American Indian Literature:3
FILM 150Multicultural America3
GEOG 114Geography of Race in the United States3
GERMAN 341Undergrad Seminar in German-Amer Studies: Germans in Wisconsin & Milwaukee3
HIST 150Multicultural America3
HIST 229History of Race, Science, and Medicine in the United States3
HIST 262North American Indian History to 18873
HIST 263North American Indian History Since 18873
HIST 267The History of Latinos in the United States3
HIST 269Asian Americans in Historical Perspective3
HIST 404Topics in American History:3
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 473History of Wisconsin Indians3
HIST 474Topics in North American Indian History:3
HMONG 265Hmong Americans: History, Culture, and Contemporary Life3
ITALIAN 242Topics in Italian American Studies:3
ITALIAN 243Topics in Italian American Film:3
JEWISH 101Jewish Culture in America: History, Literature, Film3
JAMS 450Race and Ethnicity in the Media3
LATINX 101Introduction to Latino Studies3
PHILOS 271Philosophical Traditions: (Western Great Lakes American Indian Philosophy)3
POL SCI 215Ethnicity, Religion and Race in American Politics3
SOCIOL 224Race and Ethnicity in the United States3
SOCIOL 321Contemporary Issues of the American Indian3
SOCIOL 323Perspectives on Latino Communities3
URB STD 360Perspectives on the Urban Scene: (The History of Milwaukee's Ethnic and Racial Communities)3
WGS 150Multicultural America3