Chicano/Latino Studies, Minor


Department of Chicano and Latin American Studies

Dr. Cristina Herrera, Chair
Social Science Building, Room 211

Degrees and Programs Offered

BA in Chicano Studies, B.A.
BA in Latin American Studies, B.A.
MN in Chicano/Latino Studies, Minor
MN in Latin American Studies, Minor

Courses Offered

Chicano and Latin American Studies (CLAS) is an interdisciplinary department that has been successful in presenting a highly informed, active, and challenging view of the Chicanx/Latinx experience in the United States, Latin America, and U.S./Latin American relations. Chicano and Latin American Studies provides an opportunity for a pluralistic exchange of ideas in an interdisciplinary academic setting, where faculty, students, and visiting scholars can share experiences and create a dynamic, intellectual environment.

The Chicano and Latin American Studies Department is designed to meet the following objectives:

  1. to promote an awareness of the historical and cultural roots of Chicanx/Latinx people in the United States
  2. to enhance an understanding of Latin America
  3. to cultivate an appreciation of ethnic and national differences among all people
  4.  to critically analyze the Chicanx and the Latin American experience in terms of significant issues, theories, current problems, and solutions, and
  5. to provide students with a set of important professional skills to be utilized as they interact creatively and constructively with Chicanx/Latinx communities and multicultural society at large.

The department emphasizes an interdisciplinary approach to the study of family life, history, politics, culture, and the arts of Chicano and Latin American communities. The courses reflect an integrated approach in providing students with greater knowledge and understanding of the social reality and diversity of Chicanxs and Latin Americans.

Los Danzantes de Aztlán. Los Danzantes de Aztlán is the premier Mexican Dance group founded in the department in 1970 by Professor Ernesto Martinez, a pioneer in Mexican folkloric dance in the Central Valley. The troupe has captivated audiences with its beautiful, authentic costumes and precise dance execution.  Under the current direction of Dr. Victor M. Torres, the troupe has consistently earned top awards in national and international competitions. It is the only Mexican dance group in the entire San Joaquin Valley (Stockton to Bakersfield), and the only University organization in California to be invited to perform at the prestigious San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival on three occasions.  The group also plays an important role in student recruitment as it inspires young dancers to attend Fresno State and participate with Los Danzantes de Aztlán. The troupe achieves this via its many events, such as the High School Folklorico Summit and the Cal State University Folklorico Show. Due to its professionalism, its exemplary role as a cultural bridge between the University and the community, and its vital artistic and educational contributions to the university and to the region, Los Danzantes de Aztlán has been designated as an official ambassador of the University. Los Danzantes de Aztlán is the only organization of its kind in the entire CSU system to have this distinction.


Chicano/Latino Studies Minor Requirements

The Chicano and Latin American Studies Department offers two minors - one in Chicano/Latino Studies and one in Latin American Studies. Students intending to pursue a minor in either area must see a CLAS adviser. The CLAS adviser must approve the selected courses.

Note: The minors also require a 2.0 GPA and 6 upper-division units in residence.

Students are encouraged to focus on an area of interest in Chicano/Latino studies or on a social issue affecting the Chicano/Latino population in the United States. General Education can be double-counted for the minor. See Minor Advising Note 2.

Lower division:CLAS 3, 5, and 9 (9 units)
CLAS upper-division or acceptable substitutes (9 units)
Total (18 units)

Minor Advising Notes

  1. *Special topics or directed reading courses must have subject matter dealing with Latin America, the Caribbean, or must focus on issues affecting those areas.
  2. Courses taken to complete major requirements cannot be double-counted for the minor.
  3. Courses taken to complete General Education Integration requirements can be double-counted for the minor.
  4. Other acceptable courses can be substituted to satisfy minor requirements with approval of your CLAS adviser.


The Chicano and Latin American Studies Department consists of faculty whose teaching and research expertise cover a broad spectrum, including anthropology, education, history, sociology, political science, Latin America, Latinx literature, and the arts. CLAS hosts the yearly Latin American Film Festival to bring Latin American films and filmmakers to the Central Valley. The department is home to one of Central California’s premier Mexican folkloric dance programs, Los Danzantes de Aztlán. This performance troupe is the only group of its kind in the entire CSU system to be designated as an official representative of a CSU campus (Fresno). The offices of the department also serve as a resource center for many of the Chicanx/Latinx student organizations and as an information center for the community.

For faculty phone numbers and e-mail, see the campus directory.

For more on the faculty, see the faculty pages.
The faculty pages are updated by the department or program.