The emphasis in Chicano/Latino Studies is available in conjunction with all Ph.D. programs offered at UC Irvine.  As a supplementary program of study, it provides substantive, theoretical, and methodological training in Chicano/Latino Studies.  Additional coursework allows you to develop an interdisciplinary understanding of Chicano/Latino issues to further your research program and be better prepared to engage with diverse communities. 


Students are required to take four courses:
  • CHC/LAT 200A: Theoretical Issues in Chicano/Latino Research
  • One CHC/LAT elective offered in a Department outside of your home Department.
  • One CHC/LAT elective offered in a School outside of your home School.
  • One additional CHC/LAT elective, potentially in your own Department.


Additionally, the student's qualifying examination and dissertation topic should incorporate U.S. Latinos and/or issues relevant to Chicano/Latino Studies as a central focus of analysis. The dissertation committee should include a Chicano/Latino Studies faculty member.

After fulfillment of the requirements a letter of completion of the Emphasis will be issued, upon request, by the Chair of the Chicano Latino Studies Department.

Graduate students who have completed the emphasis note that it helped them further their research interests, build relationships with more faculty on campus, and demonstrate official training in Chicano/Latino Studies when on the job market.
For more information contact: Graduate Emphasis Director, Louis DeSipio,
To apply, submit the application form, which can be found herevia email to Graduate Emphasis Director, Louis DeSipio,




Frequently Asked Questions


I want to do the emphasis. What do I do now?

There is an easy application process to declare an emphasis. Applicantsmust submit an application via email to the Graduate Emphasis Director, Prof. Louis DeSipio ( The application can be found "here."


I have never taken a Chicano/Latino Studies class. Can I still apply for the emphasis?
Yes. Lack of prior course work does not preclude admission, so long as the statement of purpose makes a compelling case for how your research interests relate to Chicano/Latino Studies.


My dissertation topic does not address Chicano/Latino Studies or related issues? Can I still do the emphasis?
Yes. In special cases you can petition for an exception to this requirement. In its place, we ask that, upon completion of your coursework, you develop a 10-15 page paper that addresses how Chicano/Latino Studies as a discipline can inform how you engage with your discipline and shape your future research and/or service endeavors. Upon completion of the requirements we will petition the Graduate Division to approve this exception.


When should I apply to do the emphasis?
It is beneficial for you to apply as soon as you decide you would like to do the emphasis so that you can be notified about graduate student opportunities and programming offered by the Chicano/Latino Studies Department. Applying for and being admitted to the emphasis also allows you to include your profile on the department website and list it as part of your coursework on fellowship applications. However, you can apply at any time.


I have space in my schedule to take a class but there are not any Chicano/Latino Studies courses being offered this quarter or they don't fit in my schedule.
You can look at other classes that address Chicano/Latino issues, such as courses on immigration or race/ethnicity. You might also consider taking an independent study course with one of our department faculty. You will need to petition for these courses to count and are encouraged to check with the graduate emphasis director ahead of time to confirm that the course will meet the requirements.


What courses have emphasis students previously petitioned to count?
Emphasis students have been able to petition many courses that are not listed in Chicano/Latino Studies to count. Common ones include:
  • Sociology 233. Immigration and the New Second Generation
  • Sociology 264. Immigrant America


I took a class that addressed Chicano/Latino issues but was not cross-listed with Chicano/Latino Studies. Does that count?
You can petition to have such a class count as an elective class. To do so you would need to provide the syllabus and write a short 1-2 page memo detailing the extent to which the course covered Chicano/Latino issues and how it has informed your understanding of Chicano/Latino Studies.


Can independent study classes count for an elective course?
You can petition to have one independent study class count as an elective class. You would need to develop a syllabus for an independent study course that includes reading and writing assignments commensurate with a regular seminar class. The faculty member, optimally a member of the Chicano/Latino Studies faculty, would provide guidance in developing the syllabus and overseeing the course.


Why do I need to take classes in other departments and schools?
We know that graduate students are busy but we believe that it is important to develop a holistic and interdisciplinary understanding of Chicano/Latino issues. You are encouraged to take courses that align with your research area to increase the breadth of the methodological and theoretical tools you bring to your research.


Can I list the emphasis on fellowship applications or my CV before completing it?
Yes, admitted students are encouraged to include their intention to complete the emphasis on their CVs and in fellowship application statements. You can list it as in progress. This can help you demonstrate your commitment to studying marginalized communities for fellowships that target diversifying academia, such as the Ford Foundation fellowships. It can also be included as a reason why UC Irvine is a good fit for your graduate training.


What do I get when I complete the emphasis?
The department will issue you a formal letter of completion and you are encouraged to list the emphasis on your CV and other materials. Unfortunately, it does not appear on your degree or transcript.


What other support or opportunities does the department offer to emphasis students?
The Chicano/Latino Studies Department offers a rich interdisciplinary atmosphere to develop your research, teaching, and service interests. We host quarterly colloquium events featuring cutting-edge research in Chicano/Latino Studies and annually offer the Gilbert G. Gonzalez Graduate Student Research Paper prize. We also collaborate with graduate emphasis students to provide desired programming. Our faculty are happy to meet with students to discuss their research and professional development.


I'm interested in Chicano/Latino Studies but I don't know if I have time to do the emphasis.
We're glad you're interested and hope you take a class when you can and participate in our programs. You may find yourself on your way to completing the emphasis before you know it. To keep up to date, you can email Debbie Michel,, to join our mailing list.

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