Master of Arts in Race, Ethnicity, and Politics

Earn a master's degree in a one-of-a-kind program that focuses on the intersections of race, ethnicity, and politics.

Whether in conflicts over immigration and border control, the rights and treatment of refugees, or violent encounters between law enforcement and racialized and colonized communities, countries throughout the globe are polarized over how to respond to dramatic, transformational social and economic changes.

UConn’s Master of Arts in Race, Ethnicity, and Politics offers students the chance to critically explore the historical and structural factors behind these changes in ways that can inform their work, their practice, and their worldview.

This graduate degree is one of few programs that focus on race, ethnicity, and politics (REP) in the United States, and it is the first MA program of its kind in Connecticut. It is especially valuable for current UConn undergraduates seeking a fifth-year graduate degree or current professionals working in the public sector seeking an independent master’s degree.

Program Details

Courses and Requirements

The Master of Arts in Race, Ethnicity, and Politics plan of study requires a minimum of 30 credits, including POLS 5600, POLS 5605, POLS 5610, POLS/ANTH/LLAS 5800, the two-semester POLS 5620 Master’s Project course, and four elective three-credit 5000/6000-level courses with significant REP content. At least two, but no more than three, of the REP electives must be taken in 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 students in the MA program must participate in one reading group session in which all core POLS faculty, REP Graduate Certificate and enrolled MA students read and discuss one non-course book of relevance to REP.

Students must also participate in one state, regional, or national conference, sharing research undertaken in their Master’s Project I and II courses. MA students can elect to undertake a traditional research paper in Master’s Project I and II 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 four semesters 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

  1. POLS 5600: Nature of Political Inquiry
  2. POLS/PHIL/ANTH/LLAS 5800: Proseminar on Race and Human Sciences

Semester 2

  1. POLS 5605: Quantitative Methods
  2. First REP Elective (for instance, POLS 5515: Critical Race Theory or POLS 5410: Black Feminist Theory and Politics)
  3. Second REP Elective

Semester 3

  1. POLS 5615: Qualitative Methods
  2. Third REP 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)
  3. POLS 5620: Master’s Project I

Semester 4

  1. Fourth REP Elective (for instance, POLS 5407: Politics of Inequality or POLS 5505: Race and the Critical Traditions of U.S. Law in Latin America)
  2. POLS 5620: Master’s Project II

The MA program coordinator may approve additional classes, however, the following 3-credit courses have been pre-approved for the MREP: 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.


Political science scholars have historically explored the relationship among salient social identities; persistent, structuring inequalities; and the nature of domestic and international politics under the framework of race, ethnicity, and politics. The UConn faculty who specialize in this area includes scholars within all subfields in the Department of Political Science, as well as scholars from a diverse array of academic departments throughout the University.

Core Faculty

Alexander Anievas (Political Science)

David Embrick (Sociology/Africana Studies)

Jane Gordon (Political Science)

Lewis Gordon (Philosophy)

Sandy Grande (Political Science/Native American and Indigenous Studies)

Thomas Hayes (Political Science)

Fred Lee (Political Science/Asian and Asian American Studies/American Studies/Philosophy)

Bhakti Shringarpure (English/Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies/Asian and Asian American Studies/Digital Humanities and Media Studies)

Evelyn M. Simien (Political Science/Africana Studies/American Studies/Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies)

Charles Venator (Political Science/El Instituto/Asian and Asian American Studies/American Studies)

Affiliated Faculty

Mohamad Alkadry (Public Policy)

Edith Barrett (Public Policy)

Bethany Berger (Law)

S. Megan Berthold (Social Work)

Lloyd Blanchard (Public Policy)

Katherine Capshaw (English)

Kristen Cooksey Stowers (Allied Health)

Kenneth Couch (Economics)

Thomas Craemer (Public Policy)

Martha Cutter (English/Africana Studies)

Manisha Desai (Sociology)

Anna Mae Duane (English)

Davita Silfen Glasberg (Sociology)

Preston Green III (Educational Leadership)

Linda Halgunseth (Human Development and Family Sciences)

Mark Healey (History)

Matthew Hughey (Sociology/Africana Studies/American Studies)

Kathryn Libal (Social Work/Human Rights)

Glenn Mitoma (Dodd Center/Education)

Nancy Naples (Sociology/Women’s, Gender, Sexuality Studies)

Kenny Neinhusser (Education)

Mark Overmyer-Velazquez (Hartford Campus/History/El Instituto)

Sachin Pandya (Law)

Grace Player (Education)

Nairán Ramírez-Esparza (Psychological Sciences)

Shawn Salvant (English/Africana Studies)

Peter Siegelman (Law)

Louise Simmons (Social Work/Urban and Community Studies)

Christopher Vials (English/American Studies)

Katharina von Hammerstein (German/Human Rights)

Sarah Willen (Anthropology/Human Rights)

Robert H. Wilson (Public Policy)

Degree Value and Outcomes

  • The master’s degree is the fastest-growing post-high school credential sought in the United States, with as many as 8% of the national population having earned one in 2015 and many calling the MA “the new BA.” According to the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce, regardless of one’s undergraduate major, an MA translates into an immediate boost in earning power.
  • UConn’s Master of Arts in Race, Ethnicity, and Politics degree is the first MA specifically focused on race, ethnicity, and politics (REP) in the United States. There are currently no graduate-level degrees or certificates on this topic in Connecticut. While there are a few graduate degree programs and opportunities to concentrate on Race, Ethnicity, and Politics in other graduate-degree programs, our program holds a unique place in the country.
  • Given the strong core of faculty doing REP work both within and beyond political science at UConn, we are well-equipped to encourage and mentor students seeking to pursue REP questions. As part of a coherent community of interlocutors, including peers and faculty, MA nurtures the meaningful cross-pollination of ideas and the networks necessary to support the completion and advancement of this kind of inquiry.
  • Graduates of our program could certainly use their coursework to prepare them to apply for a Ph.D. in the social sciences or the humanities. Their methods training would enable them to move at an accelerated pace through political science and other social science programs.
    Access to faculty of color as well as course content focused on questions of race, ethnicity, and politics will contribute to the diversification of those teaching and what is taught in the university of the future.
  • We envision that the skills and content of the MA will equip students working in or hoping to enter careers in public policy, community development, non-profit work, lobbying and advocacy, law, think tanks, social work, and counseling, with a degree that would increase their competitiveness, potential earnings, and likelihood for leadership at their jobs.
  • Upon successful completion of the MA, recipients will be better prepared to think, write, teach, and engage in ways that center and critically illuminate the relationships among race, ethnicity, and politics.

Admissions and Requirements

In 2021, the Department will begin accepting applicants for our Master of Arts in Race, Ethnicity, and Politics. Applicants are not required to take the GRE. View specific admissions requirements for this program and apply through the Graduate School's website.

Contact Us

Potential applicants should contact the program coordinator to assure that their interests can be well met by the program.

Evelyn Simien
Director of the Race, Ethnicity, and Politics Program, Department of Political Science
Professor of Political Science
Oak Hall, 4th Floor