Welcome to the Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies! You will find that our department has a rich and rigorous set of interdisciplinary course offerings across the humanities, social sciences, and the arts, to prepare you well for your academic and professional interests. Did you know the minor in Chicana/o Studies is only 5 classes? We encourage you to explore our website and learn more about the Chicana and Chicano Studies minor, major, and dynamic courses across the G.E. program. In addition, you can learn about our professors and the exciting research they are conducting and research specializations by visiting our faculty webpage. More importantly, we have phenomenal students who are preparing to be exceptional leaders in their communities. A select number of our students have been awarded a department scholarship in recognition of their service and dedication to social justice. Please do not hesitate to make an appointment with a faculty advisor to learn how we can work together to support your academic and professional goals.
"The Chicano Studies Department was more than a "major" or "minor," it was a resource many of us never had before. Being a first generation college student, this department was home away from home. I had professors who understood my personal background. I had and continue to have tremendous support and guidance from my mentors. All the courses and events helped me learn more about myself, my culture and inspired me to give back. Several career opportunities I had after I graduated were thanks to my Minor in Chicana/o Studies. My advice to students is check the department out! You will not regret it!"
- Sonia Vasquez, Class of 2008
"A major benefit of joining the Chicana/o Studies Department is that you are welcomed into a family. For many first time college students, a four-year university becomes a strange place to navigate without guidance. For me, The Chicana/o Studies Department became a place I felt at home and a place where many mentors guided me towards the right direction."
- Jose Macias, Class of 2011
People should major in Chicana/o studies for various reasons. One, it helps individuals identify social structures that affect the underrepresented population. By identifying these structures, individuals could analyze and objectify these same structures and develop arguments that counter unfair social structures. A Chicana/o study major gives individuals tools that help build knowledge that can be used to defend the underrepresented and one's own culture and background. Also, by majoring in Chicana/o studies individuals are able to evaluate themselves, which helps them find their true selves and strengthen their self identity, as well as make them better people who could contribute positively to society. By majoring in Chicana/o studies I was able to rediscover my identity as a Mexican American male that has the strength to advocate not only for Latinos, but for other underrepresented groups. With the knowledge that I have gathered by this major I could strongly defend my culture and background and others as well."
- Arturo Cortes, Class of 2016
"The Chicana/o Studies Department is one of the best departments at CSUF by providing students a space and tools where they can engage in conversations challenging the societal norms without feeling like you're out of place. The professors provide guidance and the tools that allow students to use academic language to frame ideas that otherwise would be ignored in other departments, as well as mentoring students in their own academic research. Chicana/o Studies courses are not only academically challenging, but are enjoyable allowing students and faculty to bond and learn from each other. As a Chicana/o Studies and Political Science major, I have been exposed to more public and internal policies in Chicana/o Studies courses compared to Political Science courses. Overall, the Chicana/o Studies Department provides students the tools to become self empowered thus engaging in community empowerment."
-Yesenia Altamirano, Class of 2014
"After taking a Chicana/o Studies course, I knew where I belonged; I knew this is what I wanted to dedicate my time and life to: a movement for higher education and equal oppotunities for everyone. Being part of the Chicana/o Studies Department is about giving back to our community, remembering our roots, where we come from, researching our identity, who we are, and how we have been shaped. It's a department that offers the best resources to their students. Today, I can say I have been truly blessed to be part of such an amazaming department; a department that is more like a family."
- Anonymous, Class of 2013
"The courses offered in the Chicana/o Studies Department were without a doubt more challenging than the courses offered in Political Science, both academically and personally. I graduated magna cum laude, and I attribute much of that success to the Chicana/o Studies Department. The professors and the material assigned challenged me and helped me to interrogate my common sense, to examine the dominant discourse used in textbooks, media, and socially, and to ultimately deconstruct what I thought I knew. It was in my Chicana/o Studies courses that I grew as a writer and learned how to use theoretical frameworks in my writing and as a filter in the real world. None of this could not have been possible without the professors who pushed us to really think, to ask questions, and that know how to facilitate a conversation that makes us question our common sense. The professors are highly committed to seeing their students succeed. Every course made me feel as though I was receiving an Ivy League education at CSUF. The most important thing I learned was how to humanize those that society marginalizes. The Chicana/o Studies Department helped me to realize the course I want to go with law - to specialize in Immigration Law and Civil Rights and prompted me to transfer to the Public Defender's Office where I am currently employed. I will forever be grateful to the Chicana/o Studies Department at California State University, Fullerton."
-Melissa Padilla, Class of 2014
"Chicana/o Studies expanded my critical reading, critical thinking, and critical writing skills through its amazing interdisciplinary program. As a double major, Child and Adolescent Studies and Chicana/o Studies, this program has provided me great insight and an edge in my career as a future teacher. Rooted in social-justice this program has inspired me to be a teacher who is committed to serving her students, their families, and community.
- Alma Lorenzo, Class of 2014
"I am and will forever be grateful to the CSUF Chicana/o Studies Department for sparking a fire in me. I felt restricted in my other major. I felt like my writing lacked creativity and passion. An insatiable hunger for knowledge and history grew within me. I looked forward to each and every class. At a time when I was ready to give up on my education and myself, Dr. Gradilla, through his mentorship and encouragement, motivated me and challenged me in a way no other professor had. Chicana/o Studies developed my critical thinking, reading and writing skills. It added depth to my writing and experiences. I am proud to be a product of this program and to see the students and the department flourishing."
- Cristina Rodriguez, Class of 2015