Ethnic and Area Studies (B.A.)

Ethnic and Area Studies Major

Do you have a deep desire to learn about and understand other cultures and their traditions? Are you concerned about social justice and racial reconciliation? If so, then majoring in Ethnic and Areas Studies at Messiah is something you’ll definitely want to consider!


In this major, you’ll gain a multidisciplinary understanding of culture combined with an in-depth knowledge of at least one culture or cultural/racial/ethnic tradition. The program’s goal is to teach students how to apply this knowledge to become effective agents of social change and reconciliation.

Messiah’s Ethnic and Area Studies major is unique to other similar programs in two important ways:

  • In addition to the major’s core courses, you also can focus on one of three specific areas – U.S. Ethnic Studies, African and African American Studies or Asian Studies.
  • Messiah’s program offers a unique dual focus of conflict resolution AND cultural understanding.

As an Ethnic and Areas Studies major at Messiah College, you’ll be able to:

  • Learn theories of culture, ethnicity, race and identity.
  • Gain understanding of cultural diversity in the U.S. and other world cultures.
  • Learn about historical experiences and contemporary challenges of at least one ethnic/racial/cultural group.
  • Learn a variety of Christian theological understandings of culture and cultural diversity.
  • Be prepared for jobs that require cross-cultural knowledge and understanding.
  • Develop strong research, analysis and communication skills that are of great benefit in many careers.
  • Study in a foreign culture at one of the 40 exciting study abroad locations offered by Messiah.

Major requirements:

Choose from the following concentrations:

African and African American Studies
Asian Studies
U.S. Ethnic Studies


Ethnic studies

Messiah’s new Ethnic and Area Studies major provides students with the opportunity to understand the sources and means of resolving cultural conflict.