The University of Colorado Denver is one of the few universities that offers a Bachelor of Arts in Ethnic Studies degree as an entirely online program. Our online Bachelor of Arts in Ethnic Studies was designed to focus on the history and contemporary issues connected to diversity in the United States and globally. Ethnic studies is the interdisciplinary study of race, ethnicity, and indigeneity. As an ethnic studies student, you will focus on fundamental theoretical and political questions regarding race, ethnicity, gender, class, and nation. 

This liberal arts degree program emphasizes human relations, cultural sensitivity, and cultural awareness. Therefore, in addition to gaining a strong understanding of the struggles of ethnic, racial and other underrepresented groups, you will also leave the program with a liberal arts skill set that will serve you well in any career or industry. 

Regardless of whether you are planning on pursuing a career in ethnic studies or using your learnings at the graduate level, an online Bachelor of Arts in Ethnic Studies from CU Denver will provide you with the skills you’ll need to succeed. Additionally, you will be prepared to address and understand the role of diversity in world events, workplaces, and daily interactions.

Program at a Glance

Degree Program:

Bachelor of Arts in Ethnic Studies

Offered By:

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences


Cost Per Credit:


* To get this rate, students must elect College Opportunity Fund (COF)

Cost Per Credit:


Credit Hours:


Program Details

The online Bachelor of Arts in Ethnic Studies program, first and foremost, addresses the cultural struggles of different ethnicities and other underrepresented groups. While the program does have an emphasis on ethnic studies in the United States, you will not learn just about these minority groups in America. Our multifaceted curriculum also addresses ethnic studies from an international perspective so that students walk away with a well-rounded vision. As an Ethnic Studies student, you will learn about historical groups in the United States from an ethnic and racial perspective, what their experiences have been, and how these historical groups have shaped history and continue to shape public policy nationwide.

As a liberal arts oriented program, we can assure you that you will also graduate from this program with a strong liberal arts skill set including writing, speaking, research, analytical and creative thinking, and evaluation skills. These skills are valuable in any industry and career, helping you walk into any profession ready for success.

Many of our students are double majors who are pursuing the ethnic studies degree out of interest or to gain a wider understanding of different ethnicities and how culture impacts our lives at home and in the workplace. An online Bachelor of Arts in Ethnic Studies pairs well with degrees in communications, public service, public administration, and sociology, among others.

The Bachelor of Arts in Ethnic Studies degree will set you up to pursue a career in any industry upon graduation or pursue your graduate education. Students who choose to look for work upon graduation can use their degree in occupations including teaching, journalism, marketing, social work and even working for a nonprofit or government agency. But if you’re more interested in continuing your education at the graduate level, you might be interested in medicine, law or another graduate degree. Regardless of your path, our ethnic studies students graduate with a cultural competency unmatched in other degree programs and are prepared to be leaders in the workplace and in society.

Tuition and Fees

Investing in your future is a big decision. However, becoming a fully online student at CU Denver is a high-quality and affordable option for learners of all types. Tuition and fees are based largely on the degree program you enroll in.

Tuition is determined based on which CU Denver program is chosen, undergraduate or graduate level, and finally your resident status. Visit our tuition and financial aid page for more information.

Financial aid and scholarships are available for those who qualify.


The online Bachelor of Arts in Ethnic Studies degree requires a minimum of 33 credit hours in ethnic studies made up of: 

  • 21 required hours
  • 12 elective hours

This program can be completed at the same pace as an on-campus undergraduate degree, or you can complete it at your own pace. Students taking a full course load can expect to graduate in four years. However, one of the biggest benefits of online degrees is the ability to structure the degree program around your specific needs. Our online program offers the flexibility to study and complete classes on your schedule.

Career Outlook

Ethnic studies is a liberal arts degree that provides you with a variety of skills and knowledge that can be utilized in various different industries. According to studies from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), employers often rank skills such as critical thinking and communication above technical aptitude as essential for career readiness. The Bachelor of Arts in Ethnic Studies degree is designed to provide students with a strong understanding of ethnic issues as well as setting students up with interchangeable skills that can be valuable in any industry and career. Ethnic Studies students go into a wide variety of careers that cross the spectrum of public, nonprofit and private agencies. 

Here are some of the top career opportunities that you could expect after graduating with a degree in Ethnic Studies, along with average median salaries:

  • Victim Management: $34,836
  • Writer: $48,555
  • Case Management: $38,955

If you are interested in pursuing a graduate degree, the field of ethnic studies provides an outstanding base from which to apply to law school and graduate programs in most liberal arts and social science programs, along with MA and PhD programs in ethnic studies. 

Additionally, among students aspiring to careers in medicine, ethnic studies is increasingly recognized as a valuable major. Human relations and cultural sensitivity are such key elements in successful health care delivery that the Association of American Medical Colleges MCAT exam requires students to demonstrate competency in cultural diversity. Many of our current double majors are in health-related departments.​


Courses at CU Denver are offered three times a year — fall, spring and summer. Not all courses are available every semester. For most programs, courses last 15-weeks, plus one week for finals. This is a big commitment, but we believe the extra time you spend dedicated to your studies pays off!

Example Courses

ETST 2000 — Introduction to Ethnic Studies
Multi-disciplinary survey of contemporary and historical research analyses of the diverse social, economic, political, and cultural facets of African American, American Indian, Asian American and Latino communities and cultures.

ETST 2155 — African American History
Surveys the history of African Americans. Study interpretations and analysis of major problems, issues and trends affecting the African American population from pre-slavery to present.

ETST 4000 — Research Methods in Ethnic Studies
Emphasizes the acquisition of a variety of data or information collection and analytic skills, especially those applicable to historical and social inquiry in ethnic studies.


Admission requirements and deadlines vary based on the program. In addition, you will have different requirements depending on if you are a first-time student, a transfer student or an international student. 

Learn more about the admissions process by filling out the form above or contacting the CU Denver Enrollment Team today.