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Ethnic and Area Studies Bachelor's Degree (B.A.) EthnicandAreaStudies 1.jpg

Ethnic and Area Studies Bachelor's Degree (B.A.)

Ethnic and Area Studies Bachelor's Degree (B.A.)


Ethnic and Area Studies at Messiah University

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 area 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 goal of this program is to teach students how to become an effective agent 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 University, you'll be able to:

  • Choose from a concentration in U.S. Ethnic Studies, African and African American Studies or Asian Studies.
  • 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

As a graduate of the ethnic and area studies program, you will be equipped to secure positions in areas such as:

  • Business
  • Missions
  • Non-governmental organizations
  • Research
  • Communication
  • Analysis

For more information on career planning for the ethnic and area studies program, visit the Messiah College Career and Professional Development Center

Messiah's nationally recognized internship program students in a variety of ethnic and area studies internships. A few examples include:

  • Food for the Hungry in Washington, D.C.
  • Center for Public Humanities at Messiah College
  • Work with women and immigrant services
  • Internships in social work
  • Young adult mentor internship

The ethnic and area studies major combines core courses from several academic disciplines, including communication, history, politics, sociology, theology, English and religion. 

While your courses will cross many different academic departments, please contact Bernardo Michael, program coordinator and professor of history, with any additional questions about the ethnic and area studies major.


Senior thesis

As an ethnic and area studies major at Messiah, you will complete a thesis involving supervised research and writing on a topic of your choice. You may, at your discretion, apply for research grants and present your findings are various public events such as conferences and workshops, on or off campus. This experience is a highlight of the ethinic and area studies experience at the Messiah.

Want a scholarship?

These $1,000 Humanities scholarships are renewable each year, and are available to 10 new or transfer students majoring in the Humanities.
Find out more