Graduate Studies Program

Graduate study in the César E. Chávez Department of Chicana/o and Central American Studies provides graduate students with the interdisciplinary research tools to advance knowledge in the field, provide academic leadership, and serve community needs. Graduate students are trained to critically analyze the lives, histories, and cultures of Chicana/o/x and other Latina/o/x groups in an increasingly complex global context. Our location in Los Angeles, home to several sizeable Latina/o/x groups as well as the largest Mexican-origin population in the country, places us in a unique and exciting position to draw from its large and diverse communities, social experiences, historical realities, cultural practices, and literary and artistic productions.

The department includes internationally recognized scholars in Chicana Feminism, day labor and informal markets, Chicana/o art history, sonic and spatial resistance, undocumented Latina/o/x immigrants, socio linguistics, Central Americans in the US, and several other concentrations. These outstanding scholars form one of the foremost departments of Chicana/o Studies in the country.

The Ph.D. Program in Chicana and Chicano Studies at UCLA prepares students for careers in academia, arts, and beyond. The program combines rigorous work in theory and careful study of Chicana/o/x and Latina/o/x communities.

The Ph.D. is the degree objective of the graduate program. This degree is awarded to students who demonstrate professional competence by passing written qualifying exams and by completing a major piece of individual research (the Ph.D. dissertation).

During the first three years of study, students prepare for the Master’s thesis and qualifying exams through coursework and independent study. Thereafter the focus shifts to independent research and finally to the writing of a Ph.D. dissertation.