All the counts, percentages, and averages included in the narrative below are estimates generated from data collected for the third round of the Humanities Department Survey (HDS 3). The survey response rate for race and ethnic studies departments was 58%. (For more on how to interpret the results, see the Introduction in the complete profile for this discipline.)

This was the first time the discipline of race and ethnic studies was included in the HDS. The sampling frame for this discipline was developed from a list of institutions that awarded an average of at least one degree in each of the previous five years in a subject classified by the U.S. Department of Education as focused on one of the nation’s racial or ethnic populations, and also a careful staff review of the web sites for those institutions to identify departments and degree-granting programs in the subject area.1

Although the disciplinary category has been included from the beginning in the HI’s definition of the humanities, a small but notable number of respondents objected, because they identified their department as being either within the social sciences or as falling into a category somewhere between advocacy and social service. (The HI staff welcomes recommendations regarding the construction of this category for future rounds of the study.)

In fall 2017, 272 departments were granting degrees in race and ethnic studies.

Download the full profile (PDF) or see the the main HDS 3 report.


  • 1Indicators staff used the following categories in the Department of Education’s Classification of Instructional Programs: 05.0200 Ethnic Studies; 05.0201 African-American/Black Studies; 05.0202 American Indian/Native American Studies; 05.0203 Hispanic-American, Puerto Rican, and Mexican- American/Chicano Studies; 05.0206 Asian-American Studies; and 05.0299 Ethnic, Cultural Minority, Gender, and Group Studies, Other.
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