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The Department of Chicano and Latino Studies is housed in the School of Ethnic Studies and Languages in the College of Education, Counseling, and Ethnic Studies at Sonoma State University and offers several programs of study. Our degree programs offer students the opportunity to employ an interdisciplinary approach to the study of one of the fastest growing populations in the United States. Courses in CALS invite students to critically examine the experiences and contributions of Latino populations in relation to issues of political representation, linguistic policy, educational inequality, poverty, immigration, and symbolic struggles in media, literature, and the arts.

  • KNOWLEDGE: Students in our programs explore the concerns, social problems and political issues that inform contemporary Latino experiences. They become familiar with the history of Latino populations in the United States, including forms of resistance and activism such as Chicano rights movement, labor activism, the Puerto Rican struggle for independence, and others.
  • SKILLS: The CALS curriculum aids in the development of students’ writing ability, critical thinking, group project planning and public speaking. All of our majors are required to design and conduct an original capstone research project to hone their skills in qualitative data collection and analysis, written communication, and time management.
  • FUTURE CAREERS: CALS alumni have embarked on a variety of career paths after graduation in fields such as banking, sales, law enforcement, administration and labor organizing. As broadly trained and culturally astute professionals, CALS graduates can take on the challenges of careers in either public service or private enterprise. Graduates who select a Spanish emphasis further enhanced their marketability by refining their oral and written skills in a second language.

Our programs are designed to make a double major/minor possible. We encourage our students to develop a flexible, interdisciplinary approach to the study of Latinos in the United States.



SSU Giving Day in One Week
SSU Giving Day!

Sonoma State's Giving Day is back on Thursday, April 4, 2024. For 24 hours, our entire community will come together to transform the future of Sonoma State. The Chicano and Latino Studies Department is thrilled to be part of Giving Day!
Alumni, donors, parents, faculty, staff, students, and community members can participate in the celebration and festivities. Donations of all sizes have a huge impact and help support student life initiatives, academic programs, athletics, student scholarships, enhancing research, and so much more! 

Support the Chicano and Latino Studies Department!
Your support will support student efforts in attending academic conferences and community events to gather additional insight to the CALS Discipline through community involvement and research opportunities outside of Sonoma State University.

Donate to the department here!

Learn more and give on April 4, 2024 at

X'andri Bautista
Student Spotlight

FELICIDADES a X'andri Bautista! They got their Capstone Research publishes by the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges, COPLAC. Refusing to “Just Survive”The Experiences of Chicana Activistas in Higher Education 

Natalia Villanueva-Nieves
Natalia Villanueva-Nieves is a 2023-2024 AAHHE Faculty Fellow

Assistant Professor of Chicano and Latino Studies, Natalia Villanueva-Nieves, is an American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education faculty fellow for 2023-2024. The AAHHE Faculty Fellowship Program’s (FFP) primary goal is to prepare Latina/o/x faculty for successful careers in academia and beyond by increasing the number of tenured and promoted Latina/o/x faculty. The program is geared towards new faculty who are beyond their first year on the tenure-track. 

Natalia also recently published an article in Zócalo Square titled "In Mexico, A New Vocabulary for Grief and Justice." 

Faculty Spotlight

Associate Professor of Chicano and Latino Studies, Silvia Soto gave a talk at CSUN Center for the Study of the Peoples of the Americas.

SSU News

Chicano and Latino Student, Jessica Valdez "Joins VP Kamala Harris Roundtable Discussion On Abortion Rights".

Silvia Soto
Faculty Spotlight

CALS & NAMS professor, Silvia Soto,  is featured as part of the School of Arts and Humanities Faculty Spotlight.

Faculty Spotlight

 AMCS/CALS lecturer and filmmaker Malinalli López has released her latest film Hyena.

Dr. Ron Lopez
Controversial program "Ethnic Studies with a Cop" prompts community backlash

Dr. Ron Lopez spoke out in an interview with Bohemian “When the farmworkers’ struggle was going on, the police did not represent the farmworkers or Dolores Huerta; they were there to protect the landowners and property,” López says. “They attacked farmworkers, arrested them and participated in their deportations. And now you’re telling me that a police officer is going to be assisting in instruction of Huerta’s story? It just sort of stretches the imagination.”