Graduate Certificate in Indigeneity, Race, Ethnicity, and Politics

  • "It may take time to prove you're right, but you have to stick with it." - Fred Korematsu, American Civil Rights Activist

Build your understanding of the political importance of racial and related differences with a 12-credit graduate certificate.

As an admitted or enrolled UConn master’s or Ph.D. student, you have the opportunity to earn a graduate certificate in indigeneity, race, ethnicity, and politics (IREP) at no additional cost to you.

Students must complete four pre-approved, 3-credit courses related to IREP to meet the certificate’s requirement.

UConn graduate students studying social sciences, social work, law, history, or public policy will find this Storrs-based certificate an excellent opportunity to build strong intellectual foundations and enhance analytical skills.

In this program, you will...

  • Develop abilities to think, write, and teach about the relationships between indigeneity, race, ethnicity, and politics in the U.S. and globally.
  • Be mentored by strong core and affiliate faculty researchers.
  • Join a community of graduate students from across the University with shared IREP interests.
  • Craft dissertation projects compatible with contemporary demands of academic book publishing markets.

Outcomes and Benefits

Students who earn the IREP graduate certificate will be able to:

  • Evaluate and produce research in a fast-growing political science subfield.
  • Engage classic and contemporary scholarship on indigeneity, ethnicity, and race in the U.S. and beyond.
  • Use their professional and personal networks with faculty and graduate students around common intellectual interests.
  • Certify to future colleagues and employers that they have received a substantial education in race, ethnicity, and indigeneity from faculty with relevant expertise.

Program Details

Courses and Requirements

The Graduate Certificate in Indigeneity, Race, Ethnicity, and Politics (IREP) is available to students already admitted to and enrolled in a graduate program at UConn.

Students are required to complete a total of four pre-approved 3-credit courses with significant IREP content, earning a grade of B or higher in each.

In addition, all students enrolled in the certificate program are expected to participate in one reading group session each year in which all core faculty in the Department of Political Science (POLS) and enrolled students will read and discuss one IREP book not assigned in any classes. IREP graduate certificate students must also participate in one conference each year, sharing research undertaken in one of their IREP courses.

Required Courses

Twelve 5000/6000-level course credits are required to complete the IREP graduate certificate.

The coursework, approved by the Director of the IREP graduate certificate program, shall include:

  • At least two, but no more than three, graduate seminars in political science
  • One graduate seminar with a U.S. focus
  • One graduate course that is international or global in scope

By “U.S.-focused,” we mean that at least three-quarters of course readings and discussions will deal with questions of race, ethnicity, and politics in the U.S. context. By “international” or “global,” we mean that at least three-quarters of course readings and discussion will deal with questions of race, ethnicity, and politics in an international or global context. To determine whether a particular course satisfies requirements (b) and (c), students selecting classes should consult with the director of the IREP Graduate Certificate program, who will maintain a file of existing syllabi for pre-approved courses in and outside of POLS.

The graduate certificate program director may approve other courses in addition to those that are pre-approved.

Course Offerings for Fall 2021-Spring 2022

Fall 2021
Catalog number Course title Instructor Day Time/Place
POLS5800 Race in the Formation of the Human Sciences Lewis Gordon Th 4-6:30 pm Storrs
SWEL 5377 Urban Policy Issues Louise Simmons Tu 6:45-9:15 pm Hartford
WGSS 5395 Decolonial Feminism Elva Orozco Mendoza Tu 4-6:30 pm Storrs
Spring 2022
Catalog number Course title Instructor Day Time/Place
EDCI 5847 Human Rights and Social Justice in Education Glenn Mitoma M 4:40-7:40 pm Storrs
ENGL 6400 Multi-Ethnic Graphic Narrative and the Idea of History Martha Cutter Th 9:30 am-12 pm Storrs
HIST 5570 Making the Black Atlantic Dexter Gordon Tu 2-5 pm Storrs
LAW 7529 Immigration and Workplace Rights Sachin Pandya M 10:30 am-12:30 pm Law School
LAW 7655 Employment Discrimination Law Jon Bauer MW 4-5:30 pm Law School
POLS 5010 Political Bodies and the Body Politic (pending approval) Sandy Grande Tu 4-6:30 pm Storrs
POLS 5409 American Race, Gender, and Ethnic Politics Evelyn Simien Th 1:30-4 pm Storrs
PSYCH 6750 Stigma Diane Quinn M 9 am-12 pm Storrs

Pre-Approved Courses

The following 3-credit courses have been pre-approved by the IREP graduate certificate program. All instructors have consented to have their courses included. Because some of these courses use generic course numbers, the particular course title and instructor are also listed, along with the frequency of the course offering.

  • AMST 6000. Proseminar in American Studies; Chris Vials, English and American Studies; course offered each year.
  • AMST 6850. Crime, Policing, and Punishment in the US; Melanie Newport, History and American studies.
  • ANTH 5035. Anthropology of Social Justice and Injustice; Sarah Willen, Anthropology and Human Rights; course offered every 3-4 years.
  • ANTH 5305. Race, Gender, and Science, Deborah Bolnick; Anthropology.
  • BASC 5300. Human Oppression, Miriam Valdovinos; Social Work.
  • COMM 5220. Group Communication, Shardé Davis; Communication.
  • COMM 5895. Cross-Cultural Communication; Diana Rios, Communication.
  • EDCI 5875. Multicultural Education; Mark Kohan, Education; each semester.
  • EDCI 5830/5847. Human Rights and Social Justice in Education; Glenn Mitoma, Human Rights and Education; course offered every two years.
  • ENGL 5530. World Literature in English; Eleni Coundouriotis, English and Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies.
  • ENGL 6400. American Ethnic Literature: Post-Reconstruction African American Literature; Shawn Salvant, English.
  • ENGL 6450. Special Topics in American Literature: Black Girl Magic; Katherine Capshaw, English.
  • ENGL 6450. Special Topics in American Literature: Black Abolitionists and Print Culture; Mary Ann Duane, English.
  • ENGL 6540. Seminar in Literature and Human Rights: Narratives of the Refugee Experience; Eleni Coundouriotis, English and Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies.
  • ENGL 6400. American Ethnic Literature: Abolition and Slavery in Literary and Popular Culture; Martha Cutter, English.
  • ENGL 6400. American Ethnic Literature: Multi-Ethnic Graphic Narrative and the Idea of History; Martha Cutter, English.
  • ENGL 6400. American Ethnic Literature: African American Literature: Post-Bellum, Pre-Harlem; Shawn Salvant, English.
  • ENGL 6530. Cold War Assemblages: Postcolonial Perspectives; Bhakti Shringarpure, English.
  • ENGL 6752. Feminism and Its Discontents; Bhakti Shringarpure, English.
  • GEOG 5840. Advanced Topics in Urban Geography; Carol Atkinson-Palombo, Geography.
  • GERM 6480. German-African Connections; Katharina Von Hammerstein, German; course offered in German every two years.
  • HDFS 5312. Diverse Families: Adaptations Across the Lifespan; Linda Halgunseth, Human Development and Family Studies.
  • HIST 5195. Reconstruction; Manisha Sinha, History.
  • HIST 5235. The Making of the African Diaspora.
  • HIST 5525. Society and Culture in the Civil War Era.
  • HIST 5543. Social Change in 19th Century America.
  • HIST 5565. Topics in the History of Urban America.
  • HIST 5570. Making the Black Atlantic; Dexter Gabriel, History.
  • HIST 5610. Comparative Transnational Latin(o) Am. History.
  • HIST 5622. Historical Literature of Latin America.
  • HIST 5630. Historical Development of the Caribbean.
  • LAW 7380. Critical Identity Theory; Jamelia Morgan, Law.
  • LAW 7529. Immigration and Workplace Rights; Sachin Pandya, Law; every other year.
  • LAW 7655. Employment Discrimination; Peter Siegelman, Law and Jon Bauer, Law and Human Rights; every spring.
  • LAW 7703. Election Law, Doug Spencer; Law and Public Policy; every year.
  • LAW 7810. Indian Law, Bethany Berger; Law; every two years.
  • LAW 7814. Refugee Law; Jon Bauer, Law.
  • LLAS/SOCI 5525. Race, Immigration, and Reproduction; Marysol Asencio, Sociology.
  • LLAS 5105. Race and the Critical Traditions of U.S. Law in Latin America; Charles Venator, political science and Latino/a, Caribbean, and Latin American Studies; every 4-5 years.
  • LLAS 5610. Comparative Transnational Latin@ American History; Mark Overmyer-Velazquez, History and Latino/a, Caribbean, and Latin American Studies; every two years.
  • PHIL 5310/POLS5800. Race in the Formation of the Human Sciences; Lewis Gordon, Philosophy; every three years.
  • PHIL 5325. Africana Philosophy; Lewis Gordon, Philosophy
  • PHIL 5397. Alienation and Freedom; Lewis Gordon, Philosophy.
  • POLS 5105. Critical (Race) Theory; Fred Lee, political science and Asian and Asian American Studies; every two years.
  • POLS 5105. Settler Colonialism/Indigenous Thought and Practice; Jane Gordon, political science; every four years.
  • POLS 5409. Special Topics in American Race, Gender, and Ethnic Politics, Evelyn Simien, political science and Africana Studies; every four years.
  • POLS 5410. Black Feminist Theory and Politics; Evelyn Simien, political science; every four years.
  • PSYC 6750. Stigma; Diane Quinn, Psychological Sciences; every other year.
  • PSYC 5170. Behavioral Sciences of HIV/AIDS; Seth Kalichman, Psychological Sciences; every year.
  • PSYC 5170. Cross-Cultural Psychology; Narian Ramirez-Esparza, Psychological Sciences; every two years.
  • PSYC 5370. Ethnic Minority Psychology; Monnica Williams, Psychological Sciences; every year.
  • SOC 5501. Racism Theory; Noel Cazenave, Sociology; Simon Cheng, Sociology; Manisha Desai, Sociology; Davita Silfen Glasberg, Sociology; Matthew Hughey, Sociology; Bandana Purkayastha, Sociology; every year.
  • SWEL 5377. Urban Policy Issues; Louise Simmons, Social Work; every fall.
  • SWEL 5385. Human Rights and Social Work; Kathryn Libal (Community Organization and Human Rights) and S. Megan Berthold, Casework; offered each year.
  • WGSS 5395. Decolonial Feminism; Elva Orozco Mendoza, Political Science.


Our core faculty explore the relationships among salient social identities; persistent, structuring inequalities; and the nature of domestic and international politics under the framework of indigeneity, race, ethnicity, and politics. These scholars bring their work into their classes, giving students direct access to cutting-edge research.

Our affiliated faculty span a variety of fields, from political science and law to health and public policy, exposing you to a wide range of perspectives.

Access to faculty of color as well as course content focused on questions of indigeneity, race, ethnicity, and politics will contribute to the diversification of those teaching and what is taught in the university of the future.

Required Reading

All students enrolled in the graduate certificate program will meet yearly with core faculty to discuss a new IREP book. This 2021-22 academic year, we discuss Sandy Grande's Red Pedagogy, 10th Anniversary Edition, on 11/11/2021 at 1:00 p.m. in 408 Oak. Paperback copies are free of charge for all IREP core faculty and graduate students. Please contact for more information.

Red Pedagogy, 10th Anniversary Edition

This ground-breaking text explores the intersection between dominant modes of critical educational theory and the socio-political landscape of American Indian education. Grande asserts that Indigenous people and Indian education have been either largely ignored or indiscriminately absorbed within critical theories of education. American Indian scholars and educators have largely resisted engagement with critical educational theory, tending to concentrate instead on the production of historical monographs, ethnographic studies, tribally-centered curricula, and site-based research. While the author acknowledges the dire need for practical-community based research, she maintains that the global encroachment on Indigenous lands, resources, cultures and communities points to the equally urgent need to develop transcendent theories of decolonization and to build broad-based coalitions.

Professor Grande also suggests these readings:

  • The Red Nation, The Red Deal: Indigenous Action to Save our Earth
  • Juliana Pegues, Space-Time Colonialism
  • Destin Jenkins and Justin Leroy, eds., Histories of Racial Capitalism


The IREP graduate certificate is available to students already admitted to and enrolled in a MA, MS, MPH, MA/Ph.D. or Ph.D. program at UConn.

Before applying, all interested students must meet with the program director to make sure that the certificate can meet their interests. Before being admitted, interested students must also obtain consent from their advisor.

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis in accordance with Graduate School guidelines.

Applicants are required to submit:

  • A graduate application form
  • A personal statement (approximately 350 words) explaining the relationship of the IREP graduate certificate to your larger intellectual aims and endeavors
  • One letter of recommendation (when you enter the name and contact information of your letter writer, a link will be sent to them so that they can upload their letter)
  • Unofficial transcript of your course work completed to date
  • Major advisor approval form (this is only necessary if your letter of recommendation is not written by your major advisor)

Costs and Fees

There are no additional costs for enrolling in and completing the IREP graduate certificate.

Since eligible applicants are already enrolled in a graduate program at UConn, they are also eligible to waive the $75.00 Graduate School application fee. To do so, please contact

Contact Us

Potential applicants should contact the program director to make sure that their interests can be well met by the program.

Fred I. Lee

Director of the Graduate Certificate in Indigeneity, Race, Ethnicity, and Politics
Associate Professor of Political Science and Asian/Asian American Studies
Oak Hall, Room 431
Email Professor Lee