Chicana-Chicano Studies

Master of Arts Degree Requirements

"The struggle is inner: Chicano, indio, American Indian, mojado, mexicano, immigrant Latino, Anglo in power, working class Anglo, Black, Asian--our psyches resemble the bordertowns and are populated by the same people. The struggle has always been inner, and is played out in outer terrains. Awareness of our situation must come before inner changes, which in turn come before changes in society. Nothing happens in the "real" world unless it first happens in the images in our heads."
— Gloria E. Anzaldúa

"What most failed to recognize was that activism alone would not transform society as a whole. That could note happen without the constant critique of the social order and a correction of its imperfections. For many, this was the pedagocial mission of Chicano Studies; to empower Chicana and Chicano students and the whole community through the act of critical thinking. This was what San Francisco State, the Chicano Walkouts, and the establishment of Chicano Studies was about. The stemming of the dropout problem was essential to this mission."
— Rudolfo Acuña

"To be CHICANO is (NOT) to hate the gabacho or the gachupin or the pobre vendido. ... To be CHICANO is to love yourself, your culture, your skin, and your language. ... And once you become CHICANO that way you begin to love other people otras razas del mundo. . . because they need us more than we need them." 
— Luis Valdez

A total of 33 units are necessary to graduate from the Masters program in Chicana and Chicano Studies. In particular, students are required to take 30 units of course work and 3 units for the thesis or graduate project. A 3.0 grade point average or higher is required for all coursework in the program. The university provides students seven years from the date students are admitted to complete the requirements for this degree.

It is important to note that most 500 level courses are offered once a week in the late afternoon (4:20-6:50pm) and/or evening (7-9:50pm). Some courses may be offered Saturday mornings.

Year 1

All students are required to take the following courses in their first year of the program:

  • ChS 500: Seminar in Chicana/o Studies (3 units),
  • ChS 501: Seminar in the Social Sciences and the Chicana/o (3 units), and
  • ChS 502: Seminar in the Humanities and the Chicana/o (3 units)
  • Enrollment in ChS 500 and 501 occur in the Fall semester and ChS 502 occurs in the Spring.

Year 1, 2, & 3

Students are required to take seven elective courses (21 units) throughout the course of the program. Four of the seven elective courses (12 units) must be 500 level courses in Chicano Studies. There is some flexibility with the nine remaining units. For example, graduate students can take up to 9 units (3 courses) of 400 level courses with prior approval from the program coordinator. Also, 6 of the flexible 9 units can be taken outside of the department with prior approval. It is critical that you meet with the program coordinator to determine the best course of action given your time constraints, and future academic and career goals.

The following is a list of current upper division electives in Chicano Studies:

  • ChS 503: Seminar in Chicana/o and the Arts (3 units)
  • ChS 504: Xicana Visual Art
  • ChS 505: Advanced Field Work in the Barrio (3 units)
  • ChS 506: Studies in the Education of the Chicana/o (3 units)
  • ChS 507: Seminar in Chicana/o Studies Research Methods (3 units)
  • ChS 560: Seminar in Chicana/o Politics (3 units)
  • ChS 584: Novel of the Mexican Revolution (3 units)
  • ChS 587: The Contemporary Mexican Novel (3 units)
  • ChS 595A-Z: Selected Topics (3 units)

Year 2 or 3

  • Lastly, enrollment in CHS 698 thesis course (3 units) or graduate project (3 units) occurs the semester of anticipated graduation. The university grants students two years from the point of enrollment in CHS 698 to complete thesis.

    The final requirement to complete your masters is known as a culminating experience which in our department takes the form of either a thesis or a creative project with a thesis. A thesis is an original scholarly contribution to the field of Chicana and Chicano studies. The graduate project is an art or creative project which blends art/craft and political discourse and/or use art for social or political and cultural purposes.

    It is critical that you work with Graduate Student Services during the semester that you are enrolled in ChS 698. They will provide you with deadlines for thesis or project review and the final date the university will accept your final product. It is your responsibility to be aware of these dates and to meet all university deadlines regarding your thesis or graduate project.

    If the thesis or graduate project is not completed as anticipated and an additional semester is needed graduate students can enroll in the Culminating Experience with department approval. This option allows students to remain enrolled in the university and provides library privileges, but not health center services and has no unit value. The fee is $265 and is paid to the College of Extended Learning. In order to enroll, a student must have: (1) applied for graduation (or, if previously applied for graduation, file a date change form with Admission and Records, $8 fee); (2) classified standing, and (3) filed a formal program with the Graduate Studies Office. Enrollment is required in the semester the degree is awarded.

Time Limit for Completion

Students must complete requirements for the degree within seven calendar years from the date they were admitted. Courses that were completed seven years prior to the final date of completion of the thesis must be petitioned by the faculty who taught the course(s). A maximum of nine "overage" units taken in residency at CSUN only may be validated in this manner. Although the university allows seven years , Chicana and Chicano Studies does not encourage more than two or three years to complete the M.A. degree. Beginning Fall 2012, Chicana and Chicano Studies will NOT consider approving more than nine "overage" units.