dcsimg

Online Colleges for Ethnic Studies

The field of ethnic studies was developed in response to the 1960s civil rights movement in the U.S. A group of scholars concerned with the marginalization of communities of color founded what they then called the "National Association of Interdisciplinary Studies for Native-American, Black, Chicano, Puerto Rican and Asian Americans" in the early 1970s. In 1985, this group renamed itself the National Association for Ethnic Studies (NAES). Ethnic studies draws on academic disciplines such as anthropology, history, literature, politics and the law, combining these topics to create a unique framework that helps scholars to address many aspects of personal identity.

Graduates of programs in ethnic studies are all around us, working in fields like social services, counseling, criminal justice and law. Learning about the history of one or various ethnic groups enables individuals who are not members of that group to foster a deeper appreciation and understanding of that group, and of culture and society as a whole. Members of an ethnic group may find that their insight and understanding of their own cultural heritage, as well as the heritage of others, expands in valuable ways. In fact, the field's versatility is what can make it so enticing, providing people with opportunities to find jobs right within their own communities or to explore ways to make the world a more fair and equitable place. As a result, those interested in pursuing ethnic studies should be creative, tolerant, and above all, intellectually curious.

Best Online Colleges for Ethnic Studies

To assist with career exploration in the field, we have compiled a list of the five best online programs for ethnic studies in the U.S. To create this list, we accessed a range of data from sources that included the National Center for Education Statistics' Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) and analyzed the data using a unique methodology. More details about this methodology are available at the bottom of this page.

1

Florida International University

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$6,556
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
52.91%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
19
School Type
4-year

Among Florida International University's many quality offerings is a Bachelor of Arts in Latin American and Caribbean studies. In this program, students are expected to become moderately proficient in a language of the Latin American or Caribbean area, such as French or Portuguese. The online program also sets expectations for learning about the culture and political climates of those areas. And diversity at FIU does not stop there. The university also offers online programs for pursuing an undergraduate certificate, a B.A. or a graduate certificate in women's and gender studies, as well as an online undergraduate certificate in queer studies.

One of the many reasons FIU tops our list of the best online colleges for ethnic studies is its second-place ranking in the most affordable tuition metric. Out of all 10 schools analyzed for this list, the university also ranked second for the percentage of ethnic studies degrees awarded to its graduating students in 2015. That's two second-place spots out of all of the metrics we analyzed -- no mean feat, to be sure! Between the number of diversity studies programs offered at FIU and the school's quality performance on our metrics, it's no surprise that it takes first place in our study.

Accreditation:

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)

Location:

11200 S.W. 8 Street
Miami, Florida 33199
2

University of Arizona

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$10,877
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
22.68%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
23
School Type
4-year

The University of Arizona (UA) offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Africana studies that would seem to be quite popular. UA ranked a runaway first for the percentage of ethnic studies degrees awarded in 2015, an achievement that is beautifully complemented by the third-highest graduation rate of all 10 schools reviewed in this study. Students would be wise to consider this online degree program, which focuses its curriculum on African American history as well as contemporary experiences of Africana peoples. Race and gender are both emphasized by the program, as important aspects of the study of diversity. To top it all off, this online degree program is interdisciplinary in scope, providing students with the opportunity to pursue a wide variety of related electives.

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

Location:

1401 E. University Blvd.
Tucson, Arizona 85721-0066
3

California State University-East Bay

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$6,564
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
49.48%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
9
School Type
4-year

The online Bachelor of Arts in ethnic studies degree program available through California State University-East Bay provides an opportunity for students to focus either on Asian American studies, or genders and sexualities in communities of color. Transfer students may be able to transfer some of their previous credits into these programs, but it is recommended to speak to the school's Department of Ethnic Studies to learn specifics. Please note that if you were looking to study a different ethnicity, the university also offers online courses in Latino/a Studies, African American Studies and American Indian Studies, albeit not enough to earn the required 20 units for a primary program option; as such, you may be able to take those courses as electives while completing a different program, even online.

While CSU-East Bay was not a stand-out performer in any one field of our study, as FIU and UA were, the university stands out nevertheless due to its solid performance on all of our metrics rather than just one. CSU-East Bay ranked No.4 out of 10 for affordability of tuition and percentage of ethnic studies degrees awarded in 2015, and it scored No.5 for graduation and admissions rate as well.

Accreditation:

  • WASC Senior College and University Commission

Location:

25800 Carlos Bee Blvd.
Hayward, California 94542
4

Wichita State University

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$7,528
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
52.55%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
13
School Type
4-year

At Wichita State University, students can pursue either an online Bachelor of Arts (BA) or an online Bachelor of General Studies (BGS) degree in women's studies. Both of these are degree completion programs, allowing students to finish up the last two years of a bachelor's degree through the university's online format. The primary difference between the BA and the BGS degree at Wichita State is that the the BGS program has slightly more relaxed requirements -- no foreign language requirement, fewer restrictions on what credits can be taken -- while the BA program allows you to focus your studies more specifically -- a maximum of 45 credit hours can be from any one department in the BA program, as compared to the BGS program's 30.

This university ranked second out of all 10 schools when it came to our admissions rate metric, which was the highest admissions score of the five schools that made it onto this list. The accessibility of Wichita State should not be understated! It is also well worth noting that Wichita earned the No.3 spot in our study for percentage of ethnic studies degrees awarded in 2015.

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

Location:

1845 N. Fairmount St.
Wichita, Kansas 67260-0124
5

The University of Central Florida

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$6,368
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
52.47%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
38
School Type
4-year

Last but certainly not least is a university renowned for its emphasis on innovation: the University of Central Florida (UCF), which offers an online Bachelor of Arts degree program in the field of Latin American studies. Students enrolled in this program can learn about nationalism, national identities, human rights and migration issues related to Latin American countries. The interdisciplinary curriculum sets out to take a look at the Latin American populations in the U.S. and the contemporary issues that citizens in this country and elsewhere face.

In case you thought "last but not least" was just lip service, rest assured that UCF earned its place on this list with grit, determination and the No.1 spot on our tuition metric, making it the most affordable of all 10 schools analyzed for this list. The university also scored the No.1 rank for graduation rate -- an indication of the quality of the school's education.

Accreditation:

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)

Location:

4000 Central Florida Blvd.
Orlando, Fla. 32816

Degree Overview: Ethnic Studies

Students pursuing a religious studies degree can expect exposure to a wide range of beliefs, customs and traditions from around the world. With so many different cultures and faiths to learn about, it's difficult to know what to expect from a degree program in religious studies -- what kinds of courses might you encounter? What kind of skills should you be focusing on while you take them? Let us shed some light on what to expect from online education in religious studies.

Online Religious Studies Courses

Programs in religious studies are available at every level of higher education, from the associate to the doctorate, and each degree level offers a different approach that can be beneficial to a prospective student. Students who enroll in an online associate degree program should prepare for a curriculum that provides a broad foundation in religion, covering all kinds of faiths and concepts in context with one another. This foundation can be helpful for somebody who wants to quickly get their feet wet in preparation for a religious career. Here is a sampling of courses that might be offered at the two-year level:

  • World Religions
  • Introduction to Philosophy
  • Cultural Anthropology
  • Introduction to Sociology

Four-year online bachelor's degree programs in religious studies typically start with foundational coursework, similar to that of an associate program, and gradually allow students the freedom to focus their studies onto the religions and/or concepts that interest them. Courses such as Ritual, Symbol and Myth, Religious Thought, Non-Western Religious Traditions and Approaches to Studying Religion are examples of what might be made available in a bachelor's degree program.

Though a bachelor's degree can be a great endorsement to potential employers for many entry-level careers in faith-based organizations, some employers prefer to see a master's degree on a resume. The curriculum of a master's degree program usually results in a much more specialized experience than that of an undergraduate degree program, and the courses taken will depend heavily upon which areas of religion you choose to study. For instance:

  • Buddhist Studies may be complemented by similar philosophy courses.
  • History of Christianity will likely be accompanied with courses on European history.
  • Jewish Thought and Culture has a strong connection to Jewish history and Kabbalah studies.
  • Religions of South Asia is closely tied to South Asia-focused ethnic studies courses.

Should you wish to pursue your studies even further, out of faith or the desire for knowledge, a doctoral degree program is the pinnacle of an education in religious studies. Designed to be highly research- and critical thinking-based, a PhD in religious studies might include courses such as Islamic Studies, Religion in the Americas or Medieval and Early Modern Studies.

Career-Related Skills to Develop

A religious studies program is not meant just to teach you about religion, but also to teach you how to prepare for a career in religious service. There are many skills that can be useful to a professional of religious service, and an online religious studies program can help to hone several of these skills. One of the most vital skills to be had in a religious career is communication, including both the ability to listen to others and to engage listeners in a congregation, classroom or the like. Pastors must convey their thoughts to a congregation; counselors must work closely with individuals who need guidance; teachers must capture and hold the attention of students… and doing all of this requires strong communication skills.

There are many other aspects of a religious career that these degree programs can assist you in learning, however. Since many religious texts are quite in-depth and can be difficult to read, strong reading comprehension skills, especially of extensive or translated text, are certainly helpful. Fortunately, religious studies students will likely be working with such texts throughout their college career, helping them not only with reading comprehension but to become familiar with religious texts and the way they are written. Finally, religious figures will find themselves interacting with many very different people, often people with different -- sometimes contradictory -- viewpoints. Learning to establish and maintain interpersonal relationships and help others work through conflicts is a critical skill for a religious professional, be they a researcher, a minister, a counselor or any other such position.

Ethnic Studies Career Outlook

Students who earn degrees in ethnic studies can use what they learn in their program to pursue a variety of career paths. The following describes some of these paths, including information on the daily duties of the career and the skills necessary to be successful in it.

Historians
Average Salary Average salary refers to the 2016 mean salary for all U.S. workers in this job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
$60,990
Projected Job Openings Projected job openings refers to the estimated number of job openings from 2014-2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
500
Projected Job Growth Projected job growth refers to the estimated rate of increase in the number of jobs in this profession from 2014-2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
1.7
Entry-level Education This refers to the typical entry-level education needed to obtain a position in a particular job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016
Master's degree
Those who appreciate cultural history can feed their passion by pursuing a position as a historian, studying the way past cultures have evolved into the present day and predicting how they might evolve into the future. Historians can work in a variety of settings, including government agencies, historical societies, nonprofit organizations and private businesses. Job duties include activities such as collecting data from archives, photographs, books, magazines and court records; conducting research and publishing findings; archiving historical materials and artifacts found in museums; compiling historical information about regulatory and legal issues; and determining the authenticity of historical data.
Archaeologists
Average Salary Average salary refers to the 2016 mean salary for all U.S. workers in this job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
$66,440
Projected Job Openings Projected job openings refers to the estimated number of job openings from 2014-2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
1,200
Projected Job Growth Projected job growth refers to the estimated rate of increase in the number of jobs in this profession from 2014-2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
3.8
Entry-level Education This refers to the typical entry-level education needed to obtain a position in a particular job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016
Master's degree
Archaeologists are responsible for uncovering information about how people lived in different areas of the world by examining artifacts, human remains and the ruins of buildings. In order to do this, professionals in archaeologist careers excavate objects and structures to determine their significance; manage workers at excavation sites; record what is found at archaeological digs by using drawings, photographs and notes; restore and preserve artifacts from all over the world; and use computer aided design software to recreate what a location may have looked like in the past. This work requires a specific set of qualities, including leadership skills, innovative and analytical thinking, independence and persistence.
Community Health Workers
Average Salary Average salary refers to the 2016 mean salary for all U.S. workers in this job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
$41,170
Projected Job Openings Projected job openings refers to the estimated number of job openings from 2014-2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
18,800
Projected Job Growth Projected job growth refers to the estimated rate of increase in the number of jobs in this profession from 2014-2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
14.9
Entry-level Education This refers to the typical entry-level education needed to obtain a position in a particular job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016
High school diploma or equivalent
Community health workers give back to their community in a tangible way, ensuring it has the information it needs to maintain a healthy lifestyle. This work involves creating educational materials, like brochures and flyers, to keep the community abreast of health issues; educating the public on medical services, such as cancer screenings; and developing outreach programs. In addition, it's imperative for these professionals to have an intimate knowledge of the communities they serve, which they obtain by collecting data on specific health issues that affect the area. The skills that those in community health worker careers need include instructional, problem solving, writing and interpersonal abilities.
Social and Community Service Managers
Average Salary Average salary refers to the 2016 mean salary for all U.S. workers in this job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
$70,870
Projected Job Openings Projected job openings refers to the estimated number of job openings from 2014-2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
49,800
Projected Job Growth Projected job growth refers to the estimated rate of increase in the number of jobs in this profession from 2014-2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
9.5
Entry-level Education This refers to the typical entry-level education needed to obtain a position in a particular job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016
Bachelor's degree
Professionals in social and community service manager careers work to create social service programs and ensure they are run properly. To that end, these workers consult with local stakeholders to identify what types of programs are needed in a community; determine the programs' goals and how those goals can best be met; and budget both time and money for the programs in order to get them off the ground. Once a program has been implemented, social and community service managers collect data to determine how effective their program is, allowing them to identify room for improvement and make changes to enhance performance. People in this job are also often responsible for hiring, training and overseeing other workers in their organization.
Counseling Psychologists
Average Salary Average salary refers to the 2016 mean salary for all U.S. workers in this job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
$78,690
Projected Job Openings Projected job openings refers to the estimated number of job openings from 2014-2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
63,800
Projected Job Growth Projected job growth refers to the estimated rate of increase in the number of jobs in this profession from 2014-2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
19.6
Entry-level Education This refers to the typical entry-level education needed to obtain a position in a particular job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016
Doctoral or professional degree
Those with emotional, mental and behavioral disorders often rely on the help of people in counseling psychologist careers for the treatment they need. These professionals must be able to provide care for people going through serious life challenges -- such as the death of a loved one or a domestic violence situation -- as well as patients with mental health conditions like anxiety and depression. In addition to an understanding of treatment methodologies, workers must have listening, speaking, critical thinking and time management skills. Counseling psychologists may find employment in hospitals, health clinics, prisons and research facilities. In some cases, they may also work for themselves in private practice.
Sources and Methodologies

Methodology

To be included in these rankings, all colleges had to meet the following criteria for the specific subject being ranked:

  1. Offer at least one degree or certificate in that subject online
  2. Have awarded at least one degree or certificate in that subject in 2014-15

Once we had our list of schools for each subject, we ranked them on six criteria, using the weights specified:

  1. In-state tuition, National Center for Education Statistics, 2014: 20%
  2. Graduation rate, National Center for Education Statistics, 2014: 10%
  3. Accessibility, based on the admissions rate, National Center for Education Statistics, 2014: 10%
  4. Program prominence, based on how many of the degrees and certificates awarded by the school in 2014-15 were in this particular subject, National Center for Education Statistics, 2014: 30%
  5.  Related subjects, based on the number of similar programs that the school offers at any level, National Center for Education Statistics, 2014: 15%
  6. Variety of degree levels, based on the number of degree and certificate levels out of a possible nine that the school offers in this particular subject, National Center for Education Statistics, 2014: 15%

Methodology Sources

  • Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2014-15, National Center for Education Statistics, Accessed January 2016, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/

Sources

  1. Academic Programs, Florida International University, Accessed September 2017, http://womenstudies.fiu.edu/academics/
  2. Degree Completion online program options, Wichita State University, Accessed September 2017, http://webs.wichita.edu/?u=onlineed&p=/program_pages/fieldmajors/#WOMS
  3. Department of Ethnic Studies, California State University-East Bay, Accessed September 2017, http://www.csueastbay.edu/class/departments/ethnicstudies/index.html
  4. Latin American Studies B.A., University of Central Florida, Accessed September 2017, https://www.ucf.edu/online/degree/latin-american-studies-b-a/
  5. Online BA Africana Studies, University of Arizona, Accessed September 2017, http://uaonline.arizona.edu/program/africana-studies-ba
  6. Online BA in Women and Gender Studies, Florida International University, Accessed September 2017, http://fiuonline.fiu.edu/programs/online-undergraduate-degrees/bachelor-of-arts-in-women-and-gender-studies.php
  7. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/historians.htm
  8. https://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/19-3093.00
  9. http://study.com/articles/Research_Historian_Job_Description_Duties_and_Requirements.html
  10. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/anthropologists-and-archeologists.htm
  11. https://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/19-3091.02
  12. https://www.prospects.ac.uk/job-profiles/archaeologist
  13. https://www.thebalance.com/archaeologist-525984
  14. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/health-educators.htm
  15. https://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/21-1094.00
  16. https://explorehealthcareers.org/career/allied-health-professions/community-health-worker/
  17. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/social-and-community-service-managers.htm
  18. https://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/21-1094.00
  19. http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Social_or_Community_Service_Manager/Salary
  20. https://www.livecareer.com/occupation-overview/community-public-service/social-community-service-managers
  21. https://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/19-3031.03
  22. https://www.prospects.ac.uk/job-profiles/counselling-psychologist
  23. http://work.chron.com/counseling-psychologist-job-description-15626.html
  24. Arbitrators, Mediators and Conciliators, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016-17 Occupational Outlook Handbook, Accessed September 2017, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/legal/arbitrators-mediators-and-conciliators.htm
  25. Careers in Ethnic Studies, UC Berkeley, Accessed September 2017, http://ethnicstudies.berkeley.edu/programs/undergrad/careers
  26. Department of Ethnic Studies, Cal State East Bay, Accessed September 2017, http://catalog.csueastbay.edu/preview_entity.php?catoid=4&ent_oid=363&returnto=843
  27. Ethnic & Multi-Cultural Studies, Minnesota State University Mankato, Accessed September 2017, http://grad.mnsu.edu/programs/bulletin/ethnicstudies.html
  28. Mental Health Counselors, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016-17 Occupational Outlook Handbook, Accessed September 2017, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/mental-health-counselors-and-marriage-and-family-therapists.htm
  29. Multi-Ethnic Studies Courses, American University, Accessed September 2017, http://www.american.edu/cas/multiethnic/courses.cfm
X
Sources and Methodologies