Ethnic StudiesCollege of Arts and Sciences

What you will learn

Majoring in ethnic studies will move you to explore factors that bear on the lives and experiences, both past and present, of ethnically diverse peoples.

As the United States becomes increasingly diverse, you'll have the opportunity to:

  • complete an interdisciplinary, comparative, integrative program of study focused on race and ethnicity in the United States, including international origins and connections.
  • enroll in courses from multiple disciplines to examine the world through a social justice, human rights lens such as:
    • theoretical and methodological courses,
    • comparative courses AND,
    • focused topical courses that provide rigorous analytical skills to investigate and understand the experiences of diverse populations.

Career Opportunities

Your degree in ethnic studies prepares you for numerous career opportunities working with diverse populations in:

  • business
  • nonprofit organizations
  • education
  • politics and government
  • journalism
  • public relations
  • community agencies
  • civil service
  • urban planning
  • legal system

Employment of recent Nebraska graduates includes:

  • Correctional Officer, Nebraska State Penitentiary
  • Cultural Protection, State of NE Historical Society
  • Customs Officer, US Immigration
  • Loan Advisor/Collector, Nelnet
  • Public Health Coordinator, West Central District Health
  • Recruiting, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Still Photographer/Preschool Spanish Teacher, Gallup Organization

The NEBRASKA difference

Several of the BIG 10 schools have separate programs in Native Studies, Asian American Studies, African American Studies, Latina/o Studies and are not housed under the same roof as IES. IES faculty in African American & African, Native American, and Latino studies all work together under the same umbrella. We can more easily look at issues in a comparative way. For example, our faculty members rotate the teaching of our IES 100 Introduction to Ethnic Studies course. Faculty teaching this course invite other IES faculty members to give lectures so that students get to know IES faculty from various departments and they also receive an interdisciplinary perspective within the course.

Introductory courses in each of the three programs are offered along with the Ethnic Studies Intro course. As well, minors and majors are required to take a Capstone course. In this way, students move from a general introductory course to the more specific introductory courses. Students can then specialize or synthesize the various areas of study.

We offer graduate students an opportunity to add an Interdisciplinary Studies Graduate Specialization focus with our program, allowing students to be more marketable with this added specialization.

Other opportunities that are distinct to an Ethnic Studies Program include colloquiums, IES mounts up to five colloquiums a year focusing on Interdisciplinary/Transnational themes; the Bi-Annual "Blacks in Film Festival" draws over 500 people from the university and the community; research, teaching, and grant writing collaborations with Women's and Gender Studies (WGS) and The Center for Great Plains Studies, etc; and active in Community Outreach (Omaha Tribe, State Government, State Penitentiary.

Alumni / Faculty

The Institute for Ethnic Studies (IES) at UNL is an Interdisciplinary program in the College of Arts & Sciences with three units making up the IES program: African American & African Studies, Latino and Latin American Studies, and Native America Studies. There are 24 joint appointed faculty with home departments in Anthropology, English, History, Modern Languages, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology. Over 50 affiliated faculty teach cross-listed courses with IES.