Major Requirements

A minimum of 60 credits (12 courses total) are required for completion of the AES major:

***30 credits must come from the core courses, 25 credits from the student’s concentration area, and 5 credits from an upper-division course in an area other than the student’s concentration—students who qualify and choose to do so, may comply with the latter 5 credits by taking AES 496 (Honors Thesis)***

  • 25 credits in the student’s major concentration area (AA/PIA Studies, African American Studies, Chicano/a Studies, or Comparative AES)
  • 5 credits: one upper-division course in a concentration area other than the one chosen by the student for her/his major focus. Students admitted to the Honors track can satisfy this requirement by taking AES 496 (Honors Thesis). For more information on this option see the section on the AES Honors Program.

Courses that can be Applied to the Concentration Area

Comparative American Ethnic Studies:

The Comparative American Ethnic Studies track focuses on the study of American ethnic groups in relation to each other. The emphasis of this track is on interdisciplinarity and the multiple, overlapping, and heterogeneous experiences of these local, regional, national, and transnational communities as they inform and are informed by each other. These comparative-inflected courses endeavor to enlarge the breadth and expand the depth of the social, political, and cultural investigation of the relevant communities.

African American Studies:

Asian American/PIA Studies:

Chicano/a Studies:

*Language course, such as Swahili and Tagalog, do not count toward the major. However, they may be used to fulfill the UW foreign language requirement or can be counted as electives.

AES Honors

AES 496 (Honors Thesis) is a supervised individual and independent/tutorial study for seniors who have been admitted to the honors track. It usually involves research, writing, and completion of a thesis of at least 30 pages. Other projects (such as a video production, dramatic play, or other suitable endeavor) may be approved to fulfill the thesis requirement. The student must identify a faculty person willing to act as sponsor for the course. The AES Honors Program Application is available from the AES Academic Adviser, or it can be downloaded from the Honors Program page. For more information, please visit the AES Honors Program page.

Recommended Courses

After completing the 60 credits required for the AES major and fulfilling the University requirements (English composition, foreign language, quantitative or symbolic reasoning, and areas of knowledge), a student may have to take additional courses to accumulate the 180 credits the University requires for graduation. Thus, AES majors are encouraged to take other AES, AAS, AFRAM, or CHSTU classes beyond the 25 credits required in the concentration area. In addition, they are encouraged to enroll in American Indian Studies courses in order to broaden their ethnic studies knowledge.

Language Courses

Swahili, Tagalog and other language courses do not fulfill AES requirements.

However, these classes can be used to satisfy the University’s foreign language requirement, or may be applied to the electives category.

Visit our Language Courses page for more information on language courses including scheduling placement tests. 

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