Master of Arts in Intersectional Indigeneity, Race, Ethnicity, and Politics

  • "You cannot change any society unless you take responsibility for it." - Grace Lee Boggs, American author, activist, philosopher, and feminist

Earn a degree in a one-of-a-kind program that focuses on the intersections of identity, place, and politics.

Countries across the globe are witnessing dramatic, transformational social and economic changes. Governments and citizens are polarized over how to respond to conflicts over immigration and border control, the rights and treatment of refugees, or violent encounters between law enforcement and racialized and colonized communities.

UConn’s Master of Arts (MA) in Intersectional Indigeneity, Race, Ethnicity, and Politics (IIREP) offers you the chance to critically explore the historical and structural factors behind these changes.

It is one of the first programs of its kind in the U.S. that focuses on the relationships among politics, race, ethnicity, and indigeneity. IIREP scholars at UConn study the political identities forged through historical and ongoing struggle by nations of people for whom the Americas were home prior to the 15th century. These struggles, while involving responses to being racialized, focus foremost on interrupted and forcibly severed relations to land.

In this program, you will...

  • Gain experience that will increase your competitiveness on the job market, whether you work in academia, industry, or the public sector.
  • Be mentored by strong faculty researchers.
  • Join a community of graduate students from across the University.
  • Develop the ability to think, write, and teach about the relationships between indigeneity, race, ethnicity, and politics in the U.S. and globally.
  • Craft dissertation projects compatible with contemporary demands of academic book publishing markets.

Degree Outcomes

UConn’s MA in IIREP is especially valuable for current UConn undergraduates, recent graduates, or current professionals working in the public sector.

Our academic rigor and methods training prepare graduates to move at an accelerated rate through Ph.D. programs in the social sciences or the humanities.

Our alumni are well-positioned for careers in public policy, community development, non-profit work, lobbying and advocacy, law, think tanks, social work, and counseling.

Graduates will increase their professional competitiveness, potential earnings, and likelihood for leadership positions.

Program Details


Courses and Requirements

The Master of Arts in Intersectional Indigeneity, Race, Ethnicity, and Politics plan of study requires a minimum of 30 credits, including POLS 5000 (3 credits), POLS 5605, POLS 5615, POLS 5620, POLS 5625, ANTH/LLAS/PHIL/POLS 5800, and four elective three-credit 5000/6000-level courses with significant IIREP content. At least two, but no more than three, of the IIREP electives must be taken in the Department of Political Science (POLS). At least one of the four elective courses must have a U.S. focus while at least one must be global in scope.

Students are required to maintain an overall GPA of B or higher.

In each year that they are enrolled, all IIREP MA students must participate in one reading group session in which all core IIREP POLS faculty, IIREP Graduate Certificate, and enrolled IIREP MA students read and discuss one non-course book of relevance to IIREP.

Students must also participate in either a spring UCONN-based graduate student IIREP conference or one state, regional, or national conference, sharing research undertaken in their 3-credit POLS 5000 Independent Study course. For their Independent Study, MA students can elect to undertake a traditional research paper or projects related to their larger career goals and trajectory.

Sample Plan of Study

Students who are enrolled full-time may complete the MA program over three or four semesters or one and a half or two years in a plan of study resembling the one below. To create offerings that are amenable to the schedules of working professionals, we plan to offer some hybrid (online and in-person) and evening courses and some that meet in Hartford rather than in Storrs. Such courses are open to all students.

Semester 1
POLS 5620: Master's Project I
ANTH/LLAS/PHIL/POLS 5800: Proseminar on Race and Human Sciences

Semester 2
POLS 5605: Quantitative Methods
First IIREP Elective (for instance, POLS 5515: Critical Race Theory or POLS 5410: Black Feminist Theory and Politics)
Second IREP Elective

Semester 3
POLS 5615: Qualitative Methods
Third IIREP Elective (for instance, GERM 6480: German(y)-Africa(n): Dialogic Constructions of Self and Other in German Literature or LLAS 5610: Comparative Transnational Latinx American History or PSYCH 5170: Cross-Cultural Psychology)
POLS 5000: Independent Study

Semester 4
Fourth and Fifth IIREP Elective (for instance, POLS 5407: Politics of Inequality or POLS 5505: Race and the Critical Traditions of U.S. Law in Latin America)

The MA program director may approve additional classes, however, the following 3-credit courses have been pre-approved for the MA in IIREP: AMST 6000, ANTH 5035, EDCI 5875, EDCI 5830, ENGL 5530, ENGL 6400, ENGL 6450, ENGL 6540, GEO 5840, GERM 6480, HIST 5235, HIST 5525, HIST 5543, HIST 5565, HIST 5610, HIST 5622, HIST 5630, LAW 7529, LAW 7655, LAW 7703, LAW 7810, LLAS 5105, LLAS 5610, PHIL 5310, POLS 5105, POLS 5409, POLS 5410, PSYCH 6750, PSYCH 5170, PSYC 5370, SOCI 5501, SOCI/WGSS 5613, SOCI 6505, SWEL 5377, SWEL 5385.

Faculty

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 intersectional 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.

Admissions

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis by the core faculty; however, candidates are encouraged to apply as early as possible so that they can be considered for the Graduate School’s merit fellowships. Applicants are not required to take the GRE.

Applicants are required to submit:

  • A graduate application form
  • An official transcript with degree and conferral date (if applicable) displayed, from all undergraduate and graduate academic institutions
  • Two letters of recommendation that speak specifically to the applicant’s research potential and interest in/commitment to intersectional indigeneity, race, ethnicity, and politics (when you enter the name and contact information of your letter writer, a prompt link will be sent to them so that they can upload their letter)
  • A personal statement outlining the applicant’s aims for seeking admission in the program
  • A writing sample

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

Costs and Fees

You will be asked to provide a valid credit card for a non-refundable payment of the application fee ($75.00).

In some circumstances, your application fee may be waived. Please refer to the UConn Graduate School Fee Waiver Policy.

Tuition and fee schedules for the MA in IIREP can be found on the Office of the Bursar's page for graduate students.


Frequently Asked Questions

When does the IIREP master’s degree program begin accepting applications? When is the deadline to apply?

Applications for the IIREP master’s degree program are reviewed on a rolling basis; however, applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible to ensure consideration for the Graduate School’s merit fellowships. The application typically opens in September of each academic year. Find the precise dates and deadline for the current application cycle.

How do I apply to the IIREP master’s degree program?

Complete and submit an online application. Note: you will be asked to provide a valid credit card for a non-refundable payment of the application fee ($75). In some circumstances, your application fee may be waived. Please refer to the UConn Graduate School Fee Waiver Policy. Your application is not considered complete or submitted until your application fee payment is fulfilled.

Is the GRE required for admission to the IIREP master’s degree program?

IIREP applicants are not required to take the GRE.

What is the cost of graduate school attendance at UConn?

The total cost of attendance includes estimated direct educational costs and an estimate of indirect costs based on full-time (9-credit) attendance for both fall and spring semesters. Students are billed separately for each semester, and annual amounts are detailed on the Bursar’s Office website.

Is financial aid available?

Determining how to pay for educational expenses can be challenging and overwhelming. The Office of Student Financial Aid Services (OSFAS) is here to assist you in identifying options and provide information that will help you decide what works best for you.

Are international students eligible for financial aid?

To be considered for need based financial aid, the applicant must be a U.S. citizen. However, there are other options for funding such as Teaching Assistantships and Research Assistantships. For more information, contact the Director of the IIREP master’s degree program to ask if these opportunities are available, and peruse the Graduate School’s list of external funding opportunities.

What are the conditions under which students must take the TOEFL exam?

Regardless of visa status, students whose primary language is not English must show evidence of proficiency in the English language by one of the methods detailed on the Graduate School’s website.

Is there a preferred GPA?

While a GPA of 3.5 or higher is preferred, there are no cut-off GPAs below which an application will not be considered for admission. Many people have had to put their academic, professional, and personal plans on hold for several reasons due to circumstances beyond their control, like the COVID-19 pandemic. We understand this and realize that it might be more impactful for you to explain your situation to us via the personal statement or an addendum to your application. There are no computational methods for making our admission decisions. There is no substitute for careful assessment of each applicant based on the totality of available information, including past accomplishments and future promise.

Is an applicant with IIREP coursework viewed differently than other applicants? What is the preferred curriculum?

The admissions committee will consider applications from all majors, every academic discipline. There are no fixed requirements, or preferred curriculum; however, the quality of your academic performance in a field of your choice, will carry significant weight. We look closely at the coursework for evidence of broad, interdisciplinary training to determine your potential for success in the program.

Who should I ask to write my letter of recommendations?

We recommend that at least one letter come from a professor, academic advisor, or other educational contact who can speak to your scholarly abilities. Applicants who have been out of school for several years and struggle to find an academic recommender may solicit letters from employers or others who have collaborated closely with them.

How should I approach the personal statement?

The personal statement should give the admissions committee a better sense of who you are as a person and as a potential graduate student. In many instances, applicants have used the personal statement to tell the admissions committee why they wish to pursue the master’s degree in IIREP, highlighting specific personal and professional experiences that speak to their career goals, and how the degree would better prepare them. Some applicants also identify a prospective mentor with whom they share common intellectual interests—preferably, a member of the IIREP core or affiliate faculty.

What length should my personal statement be?

The personal statement should be limited to two pages, with a minimum of 11-point font, 1-inch margins, and double spacing.

Contact Us

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

Evelyn M. Simien, Ph.D.

Director, Master of Arts in Intersectional Indigeneity, Race, Ethnicity, and Politics
Professor of Political Science, with affiliations in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, American Studies, and Africana Studies
Oak Hall, room 416

Email Professor Simien