Skip to main content

ESU Launches Ethnic, Gender, Identity Studies Major

A new major in Emporia State’s Interdisciplinary Studies Program provides a working knowledge that will be valuable to hiring companies and to creating change within communities. The ethnic, gender and identity major is ideal for people who are interested in a variety of careers and who want to make a difference in their world, especially in areas of social justice, diversity and inclusion, equality and human rights.

First, the bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies allows students to create their own degree from classes offered in a variety of subjects and departments across campus.

“Students have much more say in what classes they take that count toward their degree, to be able to build and craft a particular study that makes sense to them and is interesting,” explained Mallory Koci, director of ethnic and gender studies.

Second, the ethnic, gender and identity studies major lets students engage in analyzing and understanding personal and social identities including, but not limited to, race, ethnicity, sex, sexuality, gender, class, age, and ability with the purpose of making graduates socially aware critical thinkers, advocates of social justice, and agents for change regarding the complex issues of modern society.

“The major is also unique because new courses are added every semester that students can choose from,” said Koci, “so there are new classes and topics that are relevant to today's society and culture.”

Career paths for graduates with a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies degree with a major of ethnic, gender, and identity studies include diversity officer, communication professional, public service administrator, training and development manager, marketing executive, human resources, social justice nonprofit work, community outreach, student affairs and outreach librarian. The degree also opens up avenues of graduate student in race/ethnic studies, gender/sexuality students or cultural studies.

“Students who graduate with a major in ethnic, gender, and identity studies will be able to use the skills and concepts they learned to help their communities, their schools, their workplaces, their organizations and their families,” Koci said. “They will be resources for multiple perspectives, challenging world views and assumptions and drawing connections between difficult and separate ideas. And we believe that's how students can manifest change in the spaces and places they care about.”

For more information, go to