Stanford University
Undergraduate Education

Since November 1996 when the Faculty Senate of Stanford's Academic Council unanimously approved the establishment of the new undergraduate degree-granting Interdepartmental Program in Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity (CSRE), students have had the opportunity to major or minor in comparative ethnic studies or focus their course work in a single ethnic studies area. Six majors and minors: Asian American Studies, Comparative Studies, Chicana/o Studies, and Native American Studies in addition to the long existing Programs in African and African American Studies and Jewish Studies are offered as part of CSRE. Together they constitute the undergraduate teaching division of the CCSRE.

The foundation of the curriculum has been developed over many years as most of the nearly one hundred affiliated faculty of CCSRE contribute courses relevant to the study of race and ethnicity in the U.S. and abroad. During the early 1990s, a generous grant from the James Irvine Foundation to support Stanford's "Multicultural Curriculum" resulted in the development of approximately fifty new courses and modification of existing courses that addressed the study of ethnic and racial minorities in the United States. In addition, a grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation to the School of Humanities and Sciences provided support for the development of additional CSRE core courses.

Students who declare any of the majors enroll in a common CSRE "core” curriculum consisting of two introductory "core" courses and a senior seminar. They have the opportunity to choose from more than 150 approved courses to fulfill major requirements. Sixty units of course work are required for each major; specific requirements and options vary. Students who wish to minor in the program must complete six courses (a minimum of thirty units) from the approved CSRE course list. Each of the six majors of CSRE is directed by a senior faculty member and is guided by a curriculum committee composed of faculty.

Three graduate students are selected on a competitive basis annually to serve as Graduate Teaching Fellows; they serve as Teaching Assistants in the CSRE core courses, teach their own course, and have one quarter free to work on dissertation research and/or writing.

CSRE is one of the fastest growing majors at Stanford. By the end of its second full year of operation, over 100 students were declared as majors and minors.

Faculty advising is a key component of the undergraduate majors. Students have significant flexibility in fulfilling the requirements for the CSRE major, and they develop their specific focus in close consultation with their advisers. All students receive general advising from the faculty chair of their major or minor. After students are engaged in their coursework, they select a faculty "mentor" from the Affiliated Faculty of CCSRE as they prepare for their senior year research project.

Majors in each of the study areas who meet academic qualifications (at least a "B+" grade average in CSRE-related courses) may apply for admission to the Honors Program. Majors are expected to participate in a Spring Quarter junior workshop in preparation for their honors thesis research. Prizes for the best undergraduate honors theses are awarded annually by the Curriculum Committee of CSRE.

For more information please contact Margarita Ibarra, Student and Academic Services Coordinator, at (650) 723-8449 or at

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