History of Mexican American Studies

Important Documents

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The Mexican American Studies Department at San José State University was created in 1968 and is the oldest Graduate Program in Chicana/o Studies in the country.  Today, MAS at San José State is still one of only five Graduate Programs in Chicana/o Studies in California and the only one north of Santa Barbara.   

The Mission of the Mexican American Studies Department is to serve SJSU students and diverse communities through an interdisciplinary Chicana/o Studies Program that is based on principles of Social Justice.  The program prepares students to critically examine and address intellectual traditions and contemporary issues resulting from race, class, and gender intersections in Chicana/o-Latina/o and other communities. 

The curriculum is grounded in the interdisciplinary Chicana/o Studies tradition of pursuing carefully developed, culturally grounded solutions to community needs.  The individual courses and programs are intended to bridge the worlds of theory, cultural analysis, and practice.  Students build on a solid foundation of historical and cultural analyses and attempt to develop new approaches to long-standing social, economic, educational, political, and intellectual problems that face Chicana/o, Latina/o and other communities.   

The department is committed to being a cutting edge Chicana/o Studies department as we respond to the ever-changing needs of our students and communities.  We train students to become leaders in a number of professional fields, including: teaching, social services, policy, health care, government, and community service.  We also prepare students for doctoral study in Chicana/o Studies, Ethnic Studies and other academic fields.