Jul 14, 2024  
2024-2025, 2nd ed. General Catalog 
2024-2025, 2nd ed. General Catalog

American Multicultural Studies

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Department Office
Nichols Hall 214
(707) 664-2486

For faculty information, please see Faculty  or the AMCS faculty-staff web page.

Since 1971, the American Multicultural Studies Department (AMCS) has taken an interdisciplinary and comparative approach to teaching students about the importance of race and ethnicity to people living in the United States. The AMCS Department provides students with the theoretical foundation to understand the complexity of these issues while training them to develop cultural competence, critical thinking, and leadership skills that will empower students to navigate the fast-changing multicultural and multiracial American landscape.

The AMCS Department is listed under American Studies programs in the CSU system. The AMCS program reflects an innovative trend in American studies that is truly interdisciplinary. The core program remains grounded in Critical Ethnic and Race Studies and the concentration and pathways draw upon concepts and methods in a select variety of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences. The program enables students to develop intercultural competence, critical thinking, and leadership skills that will help them navigate the fast-changing multicultural and multiracial American landscape.

The classes that comprise our AMCS BA program focus on the histories and cultures of African Americans, Chicanos and Latinos, Asian Americans, Multiracial Americans, and Native American Indians so that students may understand more deeply America’s multicultural heritage and future. Correspondingly, the teaching and research interests of our faculty explore how race, ethnicity, and gender intersect with power and inequality. Some of the areas of expertise of our faculty include: Race and Representation; Race and Equality in Education; Race and Popular Culture; Race and Ethnicity in the Arts, Literature, and Media; Race and Globalization; Multiracial Experience; Civil Rights Movement; Social Policy; Decolonization and Indigenization.

AMCS is committed to graduating students who have the knowledge and skills to live and work productively and competently in an increasingly diverse world. The faculty is committed to shaping students into culturally informed citizens who can make positive impacts on their communities. Students who complete our major or minor program will have the tools to adapt and contribute to a rapidly changing multicultural environment. At the core of our mission is the hope that our work will lead to a better world.

Through the various “AMCS Pathways” and the “Concentration in Africana Studies,” students who major in AMCS can choose to focus on an area of interest and have a wide range of courses to choose from across selected departments in the university. This approach to learning will enhance students’ multicultural awareness and competence and serves as a vibrant and imperative aspect of our contemporary society. The AMCS degree is versatile as evidenced by our graduates who are now practicing lawyers, college professors, social workers, educators, student affairs professionals, academic counselors, nonprofit administrators, arts administrators, and social entrepreneurs.

Careers in American Multicultural Studies

The AMCS major encourages students to develop an in-depth understanding of American cultures and ethnicities in the 21st century. Since it is predicted that the U.S. will be fifty percent non-white in 2050, our goal is to teach the analytical tools for understanding the United States as a multiracial, multi-ethnic, multicultural, and multilingual nation and to help students shape their vision of leadership, civic engagement, and professional development for the future.

We invite students to explore our multifaceted course offerings focused on issues of justice, equity, and equal access to opportunity for all.

The AMCS Department offers a Concentration in Africana Studies that includes an array of courses within the AMCS Department as well as participating departments across the university. Students pursuing this concentration will learn about African American and African Diasporic history and culture.

The AMCS Pathways allow students to choose from participating departments across the university in the following areas of interest:

  • Comparative Ethnic Studies
  • Hemispheric Studies
  • Critical Race, Sex, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
  • Literature and the Arts
  • Multicultural Education
  • Native American Studies

Faculty advisors will work closely with students in choosing their Pathway.


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