Chicana/o Studies

chicana(o) studies

What is Chicana/o Studies?

LMU's Chicana/o Studies major helps students understand the unique influence of Mexican-origin peoples and other Latinos living in the United States. The major examines the lives, histories, and cultures of Mexican-origin people and those from elsewhere in Latin America who live in the United States. The department's academic strengths lie in history, cultural anthropology, political science, and literature, as well as in feminist, visual, and media studies.

Chicana/o Studies developed at LMU more than 40 years ago in the context of the Civil Rights movements of the late 1960s. In the decades since, Chicana/o Studies has become a widely accepted field of study. The discipline has a special meaning in Los Angeles given the significant historical and contemporary presence of Chicanos and Latinos here. 

What do Chicana/o Studies majors do?

Chicana/o Studies majors learn about the historical and political journeys that have led Chicano and Latino communities to have an indelible influence on life in the United States.

Majors use and apply humanistic, scientific, and social science methods to arrive at understandings about people from Latin America. They compare and contrast recent theories, methodologies, ideas, and developments central to the discipline.

Courses prepare students to live in and contribute to a society that is increasingly diverse. Majors take a sampling of courses from several areas: political science, history, cultural anthropology, visual media, and Chicana/o literature. Majors also do field work in Los Angeles, conducting hands-on research with government and social service agencies and religious organizations. 

Is this major right for you?

You might be a Chicana/o Studies major if you:

  • Want to serve your community as a leader for social justice
  • Have diverse academic interests
  • Appreciate multiculturalism and diversity
  • Enjoy California, Mexican, or Latin American culture and history
  • Are interested in government and politics
  • Like hands-on learning 

About our faculty

Our faculty members are experts in fields such as political science, history, cultural anthropology, literature, and media. Faculty have taught courses such as "Guadalupe, Queen of the Américas," directed LMU’s Leavey Center for the Study of Los Angeles, and edited books such as The Encyclopedia of Latinos and Latinas in the United States. Our faculty members are active researchers and writers, and often are called upon to provide expert commentary and analysis. 

About our students and graduates

Our students prepare to participate in a diverse society in need of expertise about racial, ethnic, economic, political, and social differences. Graduates with expertise in multicultural studies are in demand in the fields of business, health, education, and government. Some of our recent graduates have worked in finance, urban planning, K-12 education and policy, law, community organizing, museums and arts institutions, library science, and public administration.

Chicana/o Studies Student Profiles

Representative courses

Our offered courses have included:

  • Introduction to Chicana/o Studies
  • Chicana/o History
  • Survey of Chicana/o-Latina/o Literature
  • Contemporary Urban Chicana/o and Other Latina/o Issues
  • Chicana/o Cultural Production
  • Guadalupe, Queen of the Américas
  • Immigration and Los Angeles
  • The Politics of California
  • Latina Feminist Traditions
  • Modern Latin America
  • History of Mexico
  • The Chicana/o Southwest
  • Chicana/os-Latina/os in Film and Mass Media
  • Chicana/o Consciousness
  • Independent Studies 

More resources (links)