College of Ethnic Studies


The College of Ethnic Studies (COES) was established in Fall 1969 and was the first program of its kind in the United States. Many of the founders of the college played pivotal roles in the 1968 campus-wide protests and strike, in which courageous students, faculty, and community members demanded that institutionalized inequities at the University be reversed and addressed.
Today, the college plays a major role in the education of undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in its Africana Studies, American Indian Studies, Asian American Studies, Latina/Latino Studies, and Race and Resistance Studies departments. The college also offers minors in Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas, Critical Pacific Island and Oceana Studies, Queer Ethnic Studies, Critical Mixed Race Studies, and serves students from other disciplines through its many courses which fulfill general education requirements. The college offers over 350 courses a year, serving 6000 students. 
Studies show that taking courses in the College of Ethnic Studies raises graduation and retention rates, both for students who are majors/minors as well as for those from other disciplines who take the college’s classes. 
The ethnic studies field is unique as an educational experience that redefines the lives of people of color from their own perspectives. This is implemented through the cooperative efforts of students, faculty, and members of the community invested in meaningful education who provide resources and curricula to the university and the community at-large.
Our graduates are educated to think critically, communicate their views, and have compassion for themselves and the communities that surround them. Our alumni play a central role in social movements, their communities, and businesses through providing direct services and advocacy, to inspiring societal shifts in perspectives and rights, through reversing inequities. 


News Article:

Dean Amy Sueyoshi On the Power of Ethnic Studies

We recently sat down with Dean Sueyoshi to learn about her perspectives on leading the College of Ethnic Studies into the future, amidst a pandemic, Black Lives Matter, and the rise of antiracism.




College of Ethnic Studies Funding Initiatives

Studens at Commencement


Scholarships provide much-needed support to students to defray the cost of attending the University.

SFSU Ethnic Studies building

Community University
Empowerment Fund (CUE)

CUE provides seed grants to innovative, socially engaged projects that improve conditions and the quality of life for communities of color.

Metro College Program participants

Metro College Success Program

The Metro Program supports first-generation, low-income and/or historically underrepresented students in their success at the University.

Members of the SFSU community distributing information

Queer Ethnic
Studies Initiative

The Initiative is part of the College’s strategic plan to mobilize faculty expertise, support graduate student scholarship, and investigate the creation of a major on queers of color.




An original SF State striker, Juanita Tamayo Lott (B.A. ’70) played an instrumental role in the creation of the College of Ethnic Studies. She is also a generous donor to the college, and the author of a book about the strike: "Golden Children: Legacy of Ethnic Studies, SF State. A Memoir."

The San Francisco Chronicle tells the story of Ethnic Studies and the College of Ethnic Studies' role in growing this important area of study.

Read this story

While a graduate student at San Francisco State, Alicia co-founded Black Lives Matter and was instrumental in the development of the anti-racism movement.

Read this story

As the COVID-19 virus spread across the globe, Asian American Studies Professor and Chair Russell Jeung was busy tracking a different corrosive contagion: xenophobia. 

For more information about donating to the College of Ethnic Studies:


Alex Sanchez

Director of Development
College of Ethnic Studies
Phone: (415) 338-1032