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In the Ethnic and Gender Studies program, students will critically and creatively explore the experiences of marginalized groups and develop a fuller and richer understanding of the exclusive and inclusive construction of community within the U.S. and around the globe.

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“The minor and Institute are powerful examples of Siena’s Dominican values, highlighting education, diversity, community and the fight for social justice in order to empower the vulnerable and disenfranchised.”
Julie Barst
Julie Barst

Learn About What “The Siena Effect” Can Do For You!

In the Ethnic and Gender Studies minor, students will critically and creatively explore the experiences of marginalized groups and develop a fuller and richer understanding of the exclusive and inclusive construction of community within the U.S. and around the globe.

Ethnic Studies, Women’s Studies, and other interdisciplinary fields explore the intersections of power and knowledge and seek to empower the disenfranchised and marginalized.

The Ethnic & Gender Studies minor is a 21-credit program. All students take Humanities 110: Introduction to Ethnic & Gender Studies, and then choose 6 electives from a list of pre-approved courses from a variety of disciplines, including psychology, literature, business, religious studies, history, sociology, communications, philosophy, and political science.

Humanities 110 is an interdisciplinary course that explores cultural pluralism as an essential dynamic of cultural history and introduces students to the academic study of race, ethnicity, class, gender, and sexuality. Though this course focuses on the United States, it also considers global cultures and transnationalism.

Julie Barst
Assistant Dean of Humanities
Leland Harper
Assistant Professor of Philosophy

  • HUM 110 Introduction to Ethnic and Gender Studies (3)

Choose six (6) approved electives from the list below:                            

  • BAM 450 Women in Business
  • COM 340 Intercultural Communication
  • ENG 348 Multiethnic U.S. Literature
  • ENG 351 African-American Literature
  • ENG 354 Gender, Sexuality and Literature
  • ENG 357 Postcolonial Literature
  • HIS 201 Native American History
  • HIS 202 African-American History
  • HIS 203 Hispanic American History
  • HIS 204 Women in U.S. History
  • HIS 323 History of Middle East
  • RST 321 Women and Religion
  • PSC 430 Civil Rights and Civil Liberties
  • PSY 275 Psychology of Gender
  • SOC 244 Social Perspectives on Race and Ethnicity
  • ____ 285 Special Topics  

Or other elective(s) approved by the EGS Program Coordinator.

Total for Minor: 21 credit hours         


Only two (2) courses may be double-counted towards the student’s major or a second minor.A maximum of two (2) courses from a single academic program can be counted towards the six required electives.Students should note prerequisites for PSC 430 and SOC 244.   

Siena Heights University offers three certificate programs that will help people understand and work with marginalized and disenfranchised peoples and contribute to meaningful change within society.

There are three different certificate options, and each certificate contains three courses for a total of nine credit hours. They are:

  • Ethnic and Gender Studies
  • Race and Ethnicity Studies
  • Gender and Sexuality Studies

“The certificates would showcase an officially recognized area of competency to candidates’ transcripts and resumes,” said Ethnic and Gender Studies Institute Director Julie Barst. “A certificate would distinguish them for graduate school or on the job market. Especially in the midst of current social movements for racial and gender justice, these certificates could prove very valuable. Candidates could discuss with potential employers or graduate schools why they chose to pursue the certificate, what they learned in the set of courses they completed, how this experience will benefit their graduate studies or careers, and ways that the knowledge and skills earned could be beneficial to the employer or educational institution by contributing to valuable conversations and actions related to diversity and inclusion.”

There will be options for completing the certificates fully online as well as on the main Adrian campus. These programs are open to not only Siena students, but also current or former students at other institutions, and “really anyone who is interested in this field,” Barst said.

The certificates can be integrated into a current SHU student’s major or minor, however, a maximum of two EGS-related certificates may be earned, and they must be in Race and Ethnicity Studies and Gender and Sexuality Studies. 

In fall 2016, Siena Heights University announced the creation of the Ethnic and Gender Studies Institute.

The institute – the first of its kind at SHU – will build on the university’s current Ethnic and Gender Studies minor program. It will also work closely in partnership with SHU’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion, various SHU student groups and the Adrian community.

The institute will serve students, faculty and staff in an interdisciplinary fashion by further helping the community explore the ways that race, ethnicity, gender and sexuality are constructed within society and influence lives in powerful ways.

The institute will also offer a film and speaker series and expand educational opportunities in numerous curricular areas.

For more information about the Ethnic and Gender Studies Institute at Siena Heights University, contact Barst at

Costs & Aid

We know that college can be expensive, but we don’t want cost to keep you from attending Siena Heights University! We offer numerous financial aid opportunities. Federal aid is available to students who qualify by completing the FAFSA. Feel free to contact us with questions about financial aid opportunities, or click on one of the links below.