Graduate Certificate in Chicano/Latino Studies

The Chicano/Latino Studies (CLS) program at Michigan State prepares graduate students interested in the historical and current experiences of Chicanos and Latinos, with an emphasis on transdisciplinary, global, comparative, and applied approaches. The director of CLS is Dr. Eric González Juenke; there are over 15 affiliated faculty members from a wide range of disciplines, including two from social work, Dr. Pilar Horner and Dr. Daniel Vélez Ortiz.

The CLS program offers outstanding resources for research, such as funds for travel to present at scholarly conferences, as well as the opportunity to work closely with affiliated faculty members. In addition, the CLS office provides a “home base” for students to network, develop community, and share ideas and perspectives across disciplines.

To earn the graduate certificate, a student must take three core courses offered by CLS, for a total of nine credits:

  1. Historiography and Social Science: Methods in Chicano/Latino Studies
  2. Literary and Cultural Theory in Chicano/Latino Studies
  3. Seminar in Chicano/Latino Studies
Additionally, three credits in related content from another department as approved by the CLS director must be taken, for a total of 12 credits.

This means that social work PhD students interested in Chicano/Latino Studies would take these CLS courses toward their electives requirement (i.e., their focused cognate, which must include at least 12 credits outside of social work). In other words, a student would earn her PhD in social work, with a graduate certificate in Chicano/Latino Studies. This is an exciting opportunity for social work doctoral students!

For more information, please contact Dr. Angie Kennedy, director of the PhD program in social work ( or visit the CLS website at