Critical Diversity Studies

The major in Critical Diversity Studies major (CDS) is an interdisciplinary program of study that explores diversity in the United States, addresses the complex histories of our nation, and imagines solutions for the challenges we face.


40 units

Core Courses (20 units)

History (4), Theory (4), Research (4), Arts (4), and a Capstone Course (4)

  • 101 History (4 units) - A Peoples' History of the U.S. focusing specifically on the history of social justice movements around race, gender, and sexualities. Women's movements, civil rights, LGBT rights, Chican@/Latin@ rights, workers movements, and so on.
  • 200 Intersectional Theory (4 units) - A course in Intersectional Theories of gender, race, ethnicity, and class including introductions to Critical Race Theory, Feminist Theory, Queer Theory, and Class analysis. Prerequisite: CDS 101
  • 201 Research Methods (4 units) - A methods course that focuses on community engagement and specific problems of research in diverse communities. Special focus on Participatory Action Research models. Prerequisite: CDS 200.
  • 300/301 Cultural Expressions of Diversity (4 units) - A core course in literary, artistic, and creative inquiry and production, focusing specifically on critical diversity in the arts and humanities. Course will be comparative and interdisciplinary. Prerequisite: CDS 101
  • 400 Critical Diversity Studies Capstone (4 units) - A capstone course in which students choose a thesis or a community-based research and action project. Prerequisites CDS 100, 200, 201, 300/301.

Concentrations/Tracks (20 units)

* To complete the Comparative Diversity Studies concentration/track students must select one course from each of the four concentrations/tracks and one additional course.


Student can minor in a concentration/track.

To minor in Comparative Diversity Studies student must complete 20 units, one course from each of the four concentrations/tracks and an additional course.

Note: The specialized tracks in the CDS major necessarily overlap with existing Diversity Studies minors, but students cannot simultaneously acquire a minor in the track they choose for the major. Students may take the CDS major and an additional Diversity minor not covered in depth in their major - e.g. a CDS major specializing in African American Studies may also take the Gender and Sexualities Studies minor as long as there are no more than two courses overlapping.

Contact Info

Critical Diversity Studies

Mon-Fri, 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Kalmanovitz Hall 260 (415) 422-5706