Cultural Education, Career Preparation

Gain a deeper understanding of the historical development and cultural experience of the fastest growing population in the United States: Mexican Americans. Emphasizing community engagement and culturally-based education, the program offers extensive opportunities to learn by doing, such as:

  • Teaching Mexican American culture as part of an after-school arts program at Dos Rios Elementary School.
  • Taking part in faculty-sponsored and scholarly-based cultural events such as the celebration of Día de los Muertos and the Chicana/o Festival de Artes.
  • Conducting interviews with former Mexican farm laborers still living in the area as part of the Colorado Bracero Project.
  • Gaining hands-on experience via numerous internship opportunities at local businesses, agencies, schools and hospitals.

Small classes are guided by top faculty who are native speakers of the Spanish language, many of whom have experience living in bilingual and bicultural homes. There’s also our vibrant Mexican American Studies Club that allows you to converse with students in the same major and celebrate the culture.

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FACULTY SPOTLIGHT

Priscilla Falcon, Ph.D.

Program Coordinator of Mexican American Studies

Priscilla Falcon, Ph.D., is a Chicana activist who works to promote greater awareness of the Chicano culture and the injustices that are committed against its population. She has worked across the United States West and Southwest, as well as Mexico, to promote social justice for people on both sides of the border. She has also worked in Chiapas, Mexico, with the Zapatista guerrilla movement. Currently, she is working on the Colorado Oral History and Migratory Labor Project, which seeks to document the history of Mexican migratory labor in northern Colorado, from 1942 to the present. 

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Degree Options

Choose a program option that best meets your personal interests and career goals. You can pursue your bachelor’s degree in Mexican American Studies with a Liberal Arts or Secondary Teaching emphasis. We also offer a Bilingual Bicultural Endorsement.

Liberal Arts

Examine contemporary reality of Mexican American life through the lens of history, literature, sociology, political science, gender studies and psychology. The Liberal Arts Emphasis offers five areas of concentration you can pursue based on your interests:

  • Community Health and Nutrition
  • Globalization, Border and Migration
  • Youth Advocacy
  • Social Justice and Public Policy
  • TESL, Bilingualism: Mexican Americans and the U.S. Educational Experience

Not only will you develop critical thinking and writing skills that provide a solid foundation in the liberal arts, you will gain essential tools for making informed judgments about the complex nature of our diverse society.    

Social Studies Secondary Teaching

Prepare to teach social studies to culturally diverse students at the middle and secondary levels. With an interdisciplinary focus that includes contributions and perspectives of people of Mexican American origin, the Secondary Teaching emphasis offers valuable student teaching and field experiences through the UNC partner school program.

Minor and Endorsement Options

Mexican American Studies Minor

In this 18-credit minor, you’ll learn about the largest Latino population in the United States while developing your understanding and appreciation for diversity. Covers topics including Mexican American history, culture, education, psychology, demographics, politics and contributions to literature.

Bilingual Bicultural Education Endorsement

Designed for elementary, secondary and K-12 education licensure students and students earning a K-12 ESL endorsement, the Bilingual Bicultural Education Endorsement teaches Spanish language skills, children’s literature in Spanish and K-12 curriculum in Spanish.

Related Programs

Your Future in Mexican American Studies

According to the Pew Research Center, the Latino population, already the nation’s largest minority group, will triple in size and will account for most of the nation’s population growth from 2005 through 2050. Much of this population will originate from our closest neighbor, Mexico. With a rich understanding of Mexican culture, you’ll be well positioned to help shape the political, economic and educational future of the United States.

Consider UNC's Mexican American Studies B.A. if you want to:

  • Gain a deeper understanding of Mexican American history and culture
  • Teach social studies to culturally diverse students
  • Study in small classes while actively engaging with the surrounding community

You’ll learn:

  • Mexican American history, culture, education, psychology, demographics and politics
  • Contemporary issues in Mexican American society
  • How to integrate Mexican American culture and intellectual history into pedagogy

Sample courses:

  • Mexican American Politics and Leadership
  • Global Population and Human Needs
  • Dynamics of Racism
  • Masterpieces in Chicano/a Literature
  • Education of the Mexican American Student
  • Human Services Helping Skills

Beyond the Classroom

A major in Mexican American Studies offers valuable insight into government and public policy, the study of law and immigration, international studies, education and more. It also gives you a better understanding of the unique challenges and opportunities facing this growing demographic. 

Where can your degree take you?

With a bachelor’s degree in Mexican American Studies, you can pursue careers in law, urban affairs, business relations, environmental studies, human development and international relations as well as other fields of public service. With the Secondary Teaching Emphasis, you’ll be licensed in UNC's Professional Teacher Education Program as a Social Studies teacher with an Emphasis in Mexican American Studies.

Current Research in Spanish Language Study

In addition to being caring, dedicated educators who work closely with students, our professors are noted researchers in their fields of study. Our current research projects include:

History Colorado

Priscilla Falcon, Ph.D., Program Coordinator of Mexican American Studies

Priscilla Falcon’s participation with History Colorado, to chronicle the voices and actions of the Colorado Chicano Movement of the 1960’s, culminated with an exhibit entitled El Movimiento. The exhibit immerses the viewer in the urgency and vitality of one of Colorado’s most important social movements, artifacts, images and voices of activists reveal the struggle for social justice and civil rights. Learn more about History Colorado.

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What You Need to Know Right Now