Diversity Studies

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Q: What is Diversity Studies?

People are different.  So are the languages they use, the bodies they inhabit, the racial and ethnic groups they identify with, the religions they do or don’t profess, the economic realities they face, and the natural and cultural landscapes they occupy.  Diversity Studies tries to understand variety—from the biological to the cultural—and explore what difference all this difference makes.  Why do earthquakes kill millions in one place and very few in another?  Just how diverse are the sexual behaviors of non-human species?  Do white people have ethnicity? How does diversity evolve over time? How has it been represented? Click here for catalog description. 

Q: What kind of courses will I take in this Pathway?

Courses like: Philosophy of Race (PHIL 337); California Cultural Landscapes (GEOG 105); Work, Wealth, and Income Distribution (ECON 340); Biology of Sex (BIOL 323); Bilingualism in North America (FLNG 355); Religion and America’s Ethnic Minorities (RELS 224); American Indian History (HIST 230); Disability and Physical Activity in the Media (KINE 295); and Politics, Power, and Performance (THEA 252), to name only a few.  You’ll learn from scholars in the arts and humanities, the social sciences, and the natural sciences, and have opportunities to see countless connections across these fields. Click here for a full listing.

Q: Why study Diversity?

Because the days of living in cultural isolation are gone, if they ever existed.  You are likely to live near, work with, and befriend people who are different from you in important ways.  Diversity Studies offers the chance not only to learn about these different groups but also to think through some important—and hard—questions.  Like whether you can believe in one religion without condemning others.  Or whether race has any basis in science. Or whether art should have political agendas.  Or whether "standard" English should be the standard for all. Or why diversity might be the key to functional environments and innovative communities.

Q: Why get the Minor in Diversity Studies?

Three reasons.  First, it's a relatively easy way to significantly enhance your diploma.  With only six courses in this Pathway you can complete your General Education in a way that adds real and visible value to your degree.  Second, in a super-competitive marketplace, a minor in Diversity Studies tells potential employers that you are knowledgeable about diverse groups and prepared to work effectively across lines of difference of all sorts.  Finally, the faculty in this pathway believe you will find the discussions, lectures, and readings in these courses to be among the most fascinating—and challenging—of your college career.

Need more information?

 How to earn a GE Pathway Minor in Diversity Studies