College of Ethnic Studies


The College of Ethnic Studies is the first such college to be established at a university in the U.S. in 50 years. We will develop leaders who engage in rigorous, self-reflexive study that motivates critical engagement, self-determination and decolonial understandings of the world. The college provides an interdisciplinary intellectual space that centers the histories, traditions, cultures, experiences, struggles and accomplishments of diasporic communities of color, making connections between the local and transnational.

Dean Search

Cal State LA seeks an innovative and resourceful leader to serve as founding dean of the College of Ethnic Studies. We invite applications from individuals knowledgeable about the history, evolution, and new directions in Ethnic Studies. In leading the college, the dean will bring together the varied departments, articulating and implementing a strategic plan, and guiding the college through the process of creating a scholarly and social justice identity, refining its academic culture of excellence, and strengthening external partnerships to advance research and community impact.

Message from Acting Dean

Octavio Villalpando

Dean's Welcome

Welcome to the newly established College of Ethnic Studies! As only the second such college in the country, we embrace this exciting opportunity to offer current and future students a transformative educational experience grounded in the principles of academic excellence and social justice.


Asian and Asian American Studies

Asian and Asian American Studies is committed to the teaching and study of the languages, cultures, peoples and societies throughout the Pacific region. Explore Asian and Asian American Studies.

Chicana(o) and Latina(o) Studies

Chicana(o) and Latina(o) Studies offers undergraduate and graduate degrees grounded in interdisciplinary curricula and community engagement that focus on Chicanx/Latinx peoples locally and transnationally. Explore Chicana(o) and Latina(o) Studies.

Pan-African Studies

Pan-African Studies is a transnational approach to the systematic investigation of the history, culture, social relationships, political economy, literature, arts and languages of African peoples and their contribution to world civilization. Explore Pan-African Studies.


Carlos Munoz

The Birth of Chicano Studies

Cal State LA alumni played key roles in creating the first Chicano Studies program in the U.S. in 1968, helping usher in a new era of ethnic studies.

U.S. Representative Barbara Lee

Pan-African Studies at Cal State LA celebrates 50 years

The Department of Pan-African Studies at Cal State LA is the second-oldest Black Studies department in the nation.

Photos from the Chinese American Oral History project

Project collects history of local Chinese American community

The Chinese American Oral History Project collected and preserved life stories of Chinese Americans in Southern California.