Applications are accepted for fall semester admissions only. The application deadline is February 1. The Ethnic Studies M.A. program does not require GRE scores as part of the application process. More details regarding the application process are outlined below.

The following application materials must be submitted online via Cal State Apply


Statement of Purpose

The Statement of Purpose is your opportunity to provide more information to the admissions committee regarding your interest in SF State’s Master’s Program in Ethnic Studies. You should include information on your particular research interest area and identify two tenured or tenure-track faculty that you hope to work with while at SF State (see list of faculty). Please explain how your undergraduate degree relates to the M.A. in Ethnic Studies and address your background in Ethnic Studies. You can do this by referencing one of the following: a.) Twelve semester (or 16 quarter) units of Ethnic Studies related coursework that you’ve taken; b.) a combination of coursework and experience; or c.) experience comparable to 12 semester units of coursework in Ethnic Studies. The statement of purpose should provide information on your background including experiences and involvement with communities of color. Please also describe your career objective and how the M.A. in Ethnic Studies will assist you in achieving your goals. The statement of purpose should have a word count of approximately 2,000 to 4,000 words.


Please submit a current curriculum vitae/resume that outlines your academic history, teaching or relevant job experience, conference presentations, publications, community service, etc.

Writing Sample

Please submit a research paper (10-15 pages) that best reflects your proposed area of graduate study. If applicants have not yet written a research paper in their proposed area of graduate study, they should submit a research paper that demonstrates how they structure ideas, present arguments, and write in a persuasive and sophisticated manner relevant to Ethnic Studies.

Two Letters of Recommendation

The two letters of recommendation should be submitted by individuals who have direct knowledge of your academic abilities.


A complete set of unofficial college transcripts must be submitted by the applicant's previous institutions of higher education (including transfer institutions). The Division of Graduate Studies may request official transcripts after applicants have been offered admission into the program. 

Note to current SF State student applicants and alumni: Students admitted after Spring 1985 can access their unofficial SF State transcripts through the Student Center. Instructions on how to do these are available on: Transcripts

Funding Your Education

Information regarding tuition, fees, financial aid, scholarships, and fellowships is available through the Division of Graduate Studies.

In addition, we are pleased to announce that the Ethnic Studies MA program is part of the Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP), which enables students in 16 Western states and territories to enroll in participating graduate programs as nonresidents, yet pay the lower resident tuition rate.