Graduate Program


Chicana and Chicano Studies Graduate Program

The Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies Ph.D. program trains scholars as interdisciplinary researchers equipped to work from a broad range of perspectives, approaches, and methodologies. Chicana and Chicano Studies graduate work foregrounds theoretical research and structures a curriculum that centralizes the multiplicity of Chicana/o identities. Graduate training in Chicana and Chicano Studies empowers students to challenge traditional research paradigms that assume objectivity and neutrality while ignoring layers of race, gender, class, and other privileges. The Ph.D. degree in Chicana and Chicano Studies furthers the struggle toward social justice by linking theory with practice, scholarship with teaching, and the academy with the community.

The Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies graduate curriculum implements interdisciplinary study under the understanding that all social phenomena are produced by a complex interplay of three factors:

History and Narrativity

A wide variety of critical approaches, perspectives, and methods on the writing and construction of Chicana and Chicano history and literature, from its origins to the present. It addresses how historians have themselves conceptualized Chicana and Chicano historiography, including the pivotal influence of the Chicana/o Movement for the writing of historical narratives. Exploring historicity, narrativity, and the literary imagination, the subfield investigates how writing and historical research in Chicana and Chicano communities have engaged new subjectivities, bodies, and voices, informed by a new generation of scholars in Chicana/o Studies, LGBT/Queer studies, literary studies, and urban studies that incorporate new approaches and sources alongside traditional tools.

Cultural Production

Cultural production refers to social products, practices, and aesthetics that emerge from economic and political exchanges.  Specific forms can include theatre, music, art, and religion, among others.  Cultural Production approaches recognize that, like written and spoken language, culture has a structure, syntax, and hierarchy that can be read as a text.

Social Processes

The social processes subfield applies social scientific approaches and various social and cultural theories to the study of empirical factors that impact Chicana and Chicano lives, including law, public policy, economic practices and informal norms and discourses.  Disciplinary approaches from various social sciences are studied alongside interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approaches and diverse theoretical frameworks including Marxism, poststructuralism, and other constructivisms, as well as queer and feminist theories. 

The interrelationship of these three factors produces the outcomes and experiences that are of central interest in Chicana and Chicano Studies. The three subfields of the graduate program thus correspond to these areas and represent an interdisciplinary approach that incorporates understanding from all three areas—historical, social/political, and cultural. In this sense, the three subfields are a grounding foundation of the interdisciplinary mission of the department’s graduate program.

For more information about applying for Graduate School, please visit the Graduate Division webpage for the online application: Graduate Program Overview

Degree Timeline

Year 1

Individual Faculty Advisor appointment Course Work: either CHST 200A, CHST 200B and CHST 210; or CHST 200C and CHST 220; along with 1 to 3 Electives

Annual Evaluation: Progress will be reported in advisor’s letter to the student.

Year 2

Course Work: either CHST 200C and CHST 220; or CHST 200A, CHST 200B and CHST 210; along with 1 to 3 Electives.

Other Requirements:

  • Foreign Language
  • Teaching Experience
  • M.A. Comprehensive Exam (Late Summer)
Year 3 Course Work: 4 to 6 Electives.
Other Requirements:
  • Establish Ph.D. Committee & Chair

Milestone: Award M.A. Degree

Year 4

Doctoral Dissertation Prospectus and Oral Defense of the Prospectus

  • (Spring Quarter)

Milestone: Advance to Ph.D. Candidacy (Spring Quarter)

Year 5-7 Dissertation Research and Writing Conducted
Year 7

Dissertation & Public Defense (Spring Quarter at the end of the 7th year)

Milestone: Award Ph.D. Degre


Graduate Advising

Graduate Program Faculty Chair

Aída Hurtado

Graduate Program Committee Member

D. Inés Casillas


Graduate Program Advisor

Fallon Leung


Main Office Hours: 

Monday through Friday

9:00 AM - 12:00 PM and 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Graduate Student Campus Resources

Browse through the list of resources provided below and feel free to reach out to the Graduate Program Advisor if you need any help connecting to any resources at any time. 

Covid-19 Information and Resources

Basic Needs Resources

Graduate Student Housing

Financial Crisis Response Team

Career and Professional Development

The Graduate Division provides all graduate students with the resources to be successful in securing your desired career. Online resources are available at the Career Services website.

Diversity and Inclusion


TA Resources

Childcare Reimbursement

Graduate students who are working as teaching assistants (at 25% or more FTE time) are eligible to particiapte in a childcare reimbursement program. This program allocates eligible teaching assistants to receive up to $1100 per quarter for expenses incurred during the regular academic year. 

For more information, please go to this link:

Childcare Reimbursement Program

Childcare Reimbursement Fact Sheet


For more information about UAW 2865, the labor union that represents Teaching Assistants (TAs), Graduate Student Instructors (GSIs), Readers, and Tutors, please visit their website or contact the PSGSA union rep.