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Chicana and Chicano Studies banner

Master of Arts in Chicana and Chicano Studie The department offers a Masters Degree in Chicana and Chicano Studies. This program is designed to develop advanced studies in the Social Sciences, the Arts, Education, Community Studies, the Humanities, and other areas related to the Chicana/o experience in the United States. The deadline to apply for Fall 2104 has been extended to April 30, 2014. Applicants will be notified by May 10, 2014.

Graduate Coordinator

Lara Medina

Dr. Lara Medina
(818) 677-6142
Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies
18111 Nordhoff Street
Northridge, CA 91330-8246

Professor Medina received her Ph.D. in American History from Claremont Graduate University (1998) with an emphasis on Chicana/o history. Her research focuses on Chicana/o religious/spiritual practices; religious history; religion and social change. Her published work includes Las Hermanas: Chicana/Latina Religious - Political Activism in the U.S. Catholic Church (Temple University Press, 2004), "Nepantla Spirituality: An Emancipative Vision for Inclusion" in Wading Trough Many Voices (2011) and several chapters in various anthologies.

Academic Organizations, Scholarly Societies, and Artistic / Musical Groups / Professional / Advocacy Institutions

  1. National Association for Chicana/o Studies
  2. National Association of Hispanic and Latino Studies
  3. Cultural Studies Association
  4. American Studies Association
  5. American Anthropological Association
  6. American Sociological Association
  7. National Association for Ethnic Studies
  8. American Political Science Association
  9. Latin American Studies Association
  10. American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese
  11. American Historical Association
  12. National Women's Studies Association
  13. Native American and Indigenous Studies Association
  14. Society for Ethnomusicology
  15. Congress on Research in Dance
  16. International Traditional Music Society
  17. The American Folklore Society
  18. American Academy of Religion
  19. Hispanic Theological Initiative
  20. Mujeres Activas de Letras y Cambios Social
  21. Mujeres de Maiz
  22. National Council For La Raza
  23. Mexican American Legal Defense Education Fund
  24. Save Ethnic Studies
  25. Bad Subjects: Political Education for Everyday Life #81 Arizona Biopower Issue
  26. Tia Chucha's Centro Cultural
  27. Bienestar: Access, Education, Mobilization... Our Communities Solution!
  28. Interntational Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association
  29. Danza Mexica Cuauhtemoc
  30. M.E.C.H.A.de CSUN
  31. Ballet Folklorico Aztlán de CSUN
  32. Mexican (Latin/o) Music Ensemble


Education: Ph.D., 1985, University of California, Los Angeles in Sociology

Areas of Interest: Women’s/Feminist Studies, Ethnographic Field Research, Immigration and Public Policy, Economic Development, Race and Class Studies, and Urban Sociology.


YARMA VELÁZQUEZ is Assistant Professor.

She received her Ph.D. from the Florida State University (2008) in Communication Studies with an emphasis on gender, media, and queer studies. Her research interests include gender, queer studies, Latina studies and political economy. Her published work includes: “Materialism, Disposal and Consumerism: Queer Eye and the Commodification of Identity” in Ideological Similarities Between Dating and Makeover Reality Television Shows, and "Marco Said I look Like Charcoal; A Puerto Rican’s Exploration of Her Ethnic Identity" in Qualitative Inquiry.



Education: MFA, 1989, University of California, Los Angeles

Areas of Interest: Visual arts; Painting; Print making; Muralism; Chicana and Chicano art; Xicana feminist art and aesthetics.


CHRISTINA AYALA-ALCANTAR received her Ph.D. in 1998, from Michigan State University.

Her Areas of Interest include Latin@s and education; K-12 teacher preparation; teacher educators; critical pedagogy; and Latina sexuality


DR. RAMÓN GARCÍA has a Master’s and Ph.D. in Literature from the University of California, San Diego.

Dr. Garcia’s research focuses on visual culture and literary studies. His scholarly work has appeared in Critica; Wide Angle; Chasqui: Review of Latin American Literature and Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies. He has also published poetry and fiction in a variety of journals and anthologies. He has two forthcoming books of poetry: Other Countries (What Books Press, Fall 2010) and The Chronicles (Red Hen Press). He has been awarded a National Endowment for the Arts residency fellowship from the MacDowell Colony and residency fellowships from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and the Ragdale Foundation. He has also been a recipient of a research grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities


Graduate Admissions Information


Download Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader

racunaDr. Rudy Acuña, Founder of Chicana and Chicano Studies at CSUN and also regarded as one of the academic fathers of Chicano Studies


Applications for the Chicana and Chicano Studies department are accepted for fall semester only. There is no spring admission. Students interested in applying to the graduate program must apply to the university and to the department. Make sure to send separate transcripts for each application


  • University application must be completed by April 15, 2014.
  • The departmental deadline is April 30, 2014. Your departmental application is considered incomplete if you did not apply to the university by April 15, 2014.
  • Students will be notified of their acceptance or denial no later than May 10, 2014.

University Admission Criteria

To be admitted to CSUN, as a graduate student, students must meet the following requirements:

  • Have baccalaureate degree from an accredited university or college.
  • Have been in good standing at the last institution attended
  • Have at least a 2.5 grade point average in the last 60 semester/90 quarter units attempted, independent of when the baccalaureate was granted.
  • GPA is lower than a 3.0, the university requires that you take the GRE.
  • Have passed the CSU Upper-Division Writing Proficiency Exam (UDWPE). If you have not taken and passed the exam, the university is willing to accept you conditionally with the understanding that you must pass the exam within the first 12 units of graduate coursework. If you are not classified within this time frame you will not be allowed to continue your enrollment in the Masters program.

University Application Process

The CSUN applications is available on the CSU Mentor website: www.csumentor.com. The application fee is $55 and official transcripts are required.

Department Admission Criteria

The department endorses the university admission criteria. However, it is important to note that the department does not require a particular GRE score to be admitted into the program; it solely requires that students with a GPA lower than a 3.0 take the exam to adhere to the university policy.

Departmental Application Process

  1. Complete a Statement of Purpose – The objective of the statement of purpose is twofold. First, it will be used as writing sample and provide the admissions committee an opportunity to examine your writing skills. Second, it allows you to share with the admissions committee why you want to pursue a graduate degree in our department. Please include your name on the first page of your document. The Statement of Purpose is two to three pages in length, double-spaced, and answers the following questions:
  • How did you become interested in the field of Chicana and Chicano Studies?
  • What experiences have contributed toward your preparation for further study in the field?
  • What are your future goals?
  • What are your research interests?
  • How are you a match to the program and department? That is, what faculty member(s) would you like to work with?
  • What experience do you have as an activist/scholar in the field of Chicana and Chicano Studies?
  1. Letters of Recommendation - Obtain two letters of recommendation from current or former professors. An optional third letter from an individual outside of academia who can speak of your work in the community can also be included. The recommendation forms with letters must be received by the department no later than April 30, 2014. The following form must accompany letters of Recommendation: CHS Masters Recommendation Form
  2. Submit a curriculum vitae or resume
  3. Official transcripts

Departmental Application Checklist

All items below must be mailed or hand-delivered in one packet:

  1. Statement of purpose
  2. Curriculum vitae or resume
  3. Official transcripts in a sealed envelope for every college and/or university attended

Mail or hand-deliver the entire application packet by April 30, 2014 to:

Dr. Lara Medina
Chicana and Chicano Studies Department
California State University, Northridge
18111 Nordhoff Street
Jerome Richfield Hall, 148
Northridge, CA 91330-8246


Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies Master Degree Requirements

cesar chavez

"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.

Completed Thesis since 2009

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.

Steps to Graduate (Word doc)

How To Organize Your Thesis by Yarma Velasquez Vargas Thesis Organization


punishment decolonizing enchantment
protest protest
Las Hermanas book cover Occupied America
Pardo Encyclopedia
Big Baby Yarma
"Big Baby Balam" by Yreina D. Cernvantez
Gamboa Ana

AnaDr. Ana Sánchez-Muñoz is assistant professor in the Department of Chicana/o Studies where she teaches Language Acquisition, especially related to English Language Learners (ELL), and other linguistics/language courses including Spanish for heritage speakers. She is also a faculty member in the Linguistics program at CSUN.
Dr. Ana Sánchez-Muñoz is currently serving as President of the Southern California Chapter of AATSP (American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese)



Ph.D., 2003, Stanford University, Psychological Studies in Education
Areas of Interest:
Achievement motivation; Child and adolescent development; Ethnic identity; Multicultural education pedagogy; Resilience of youth placed “At-Risk”.

Ed.D., 1996, University of California, Los Angeles in Education
Areas of Interest:
Latino Educational Equity; Critical Multicultural Education; Bilingual/ELL education; Teacher education.


Dr. Peter J. García completed his Ph.D in Latin American ethnomusicology at the University of Texas at Austin 2001 with a research specialization in Southwest Borderlands music-cultures including Native-American, Chicana/o, Anglo-American, Afro-American, and "new mestizo" immigrant and indigenous communities.