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Born out of the Chicano Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s and ’70s, MSU Denver’s bachelor degree program in Chicana/o Studies is a rich, interdisciplinary major that is as much about community involvement as it is about individual learning.

MSU Denver’s Chicana/o Studies Department is the only full-fledged Chicana/o Studies program in Colorado. While emphasizing research and the development of strong critical thinking and creative skills, your Chicana/o Studies major will take you on an immersive journey through the language, history, culture and social justice roots of this dynamic and emerging discipline.

It will also take you into the world. Whether through events like the Richard T. Castro Distinguished Visiting Professorship with activist Chicana/o scholars and Lalo Delgado Poetry Festival or service learning experiences and community-based internships, you will develop a deep sense of the challenges and opportunities confronting the Chicana/o community today.

Choose the Social Practice concentration if you’re considering a career working with the Chicana/o community in civic engagement and nonprofit organizations. Select the Cultural Studies concentration if you want a career related to art, film, music, literature, pop culture or religion. Or opt for a Chicana/o program with teacher licensure, if teaching is in your future.

Whether you want to pursue a graduate degree or begin a career, your Chicana/o major will provide both the intellectual and professional foundation to do so.

Benefits of Earning Your Degree at MSU Denver

The Chicana/o Studies program offers internships at the Colorado State Legislature as well as Denver nonprofits such as: Padres/Jovenes Unidos, Servicios de la Raza, Statewide Parent Coalition, Café Cultura, the Gang Rescue and Service Program (GRASP) and Victim Offender Reconciliation Program (VORP).

Students can also take part in the Richard T. Castro Professorship, which brings famous Latina and Latino scholars to MSU Denver to teach, perform and give lectures to the campus community.

Career Opportunities for Our Graduates

four images holding hands, embracing a child, speaking at an event, educator instructing a class

What can you do with an MSU Denver bachelor’s degree in Chicana/o Studies from MSU Denver? 

Politics, law, government, social services, business, education, politics, journalism, education and the arts. These are just some of the sectors open to you as a major in Chicana/o Studies. 

Chicana/o Studies majors can become:

  • Teachers
  • Business owners
  • Diversity consultants
  • Writers
  • Lawyers
  • Teachers
  • Social workers
  • Professors
  • Advocates
  • Community organizers
  • Professors
  • Organizational leaders

Learn more about Chicano studies careers.


MSU Denver offers the only university-based program in Colorado with major and minor degrees in Chicana/o Studies.


Ramon Del Castillo_Chicano StudiesRamon Del Castillo

Professor and Chair Ramon Del Castillo is an award-winning activist scholar with professional experience in the fields of mental health, community and economic development and education. He is also a published poet and musician.




Chalane Lechuga_Chicano StudiesChalane Lechuga

Assistant Professor Chalane E. Lechuga has a sociology background and is an expert on race and identity, youth of color, Latina teens and empowerment, among other topics. She encourages students to bring their life experiences into the classroom, understanding that everyone is an active teacher-student and co-investigator in her classes.




Adriana Nieto_Chicano StudiesAdriana Nieto

Associate Professor Adriana P. Nieto grew up in Denver and has research interests in the Latina/o religious experience, borderlands history and religions, U.S. Latina/o protestants, Chicana feminisms and women of color feminisms. She has been working on developing courses about the acequia irrigation methods in the San Luis Valley.



Adriann Wycoff_Chicano StudiesAdriann Wycoff

Associate Professor Adriann C. Wycoff serves as director of the MSU Denver Family Literacy Program and is co-principal investigator of the College Assistance Migrant Program. She has spent years working in community-based, non-traditional education settings and is an expert on the role of Chicana/o Studies in higher education, issues facing adult learners, migrant farmworkers and other non-traditional students and the feminization of poverty.



Jose Quintana_Chicano StudiesJose Quintana

Affiliate faculty members Jose Quintana, M.A., Christina Sigala, M.S.W., M.A.R. and Tony Garcia teach classes in poetry, folklore and drama and Amanda Gonzales, J.D., teaches a course in law.




Learn more about Chicana/o Studies faculty.

Featured Alumni

Meet Bobby LeFebre

MSU Denver ’04





Meet Kali Fajardo-Anstine

MSU Denver ‘09




Alumni at Work

Graduates from MSU Denver’s Chicana/o Studies program have gone on to become:

  • Teachers
  • Writers
  • Public sector and nonprofit administrators
  • Lawyers
  • Organizational consultants

Chicana/o Studies alumni have been accepted for graduate study at the following schools:

  • University of Denver
  • Arizona State University
  • Metropolitan State University of Denver
  • University of Wyoming
  • University of Colorado Denver
  • Colorado State University



Sample Classes

students view art in a gallery

MSU Denver offers wide array of that look at history, social justice, literature and society through the lens of the Chicana/o experience. Here are some courses you might take:

  • Social Justice and Activism in the Community
  • Chicana Feminisms
  • Research Experience in Chicana/o Studies
  • Elementary Spanish I
  • Education of Chicano Children
  • Chicanos and the Law
  • Chicano Folklore of the Southwest
  • Chicano Poetry and Drama
  • Chicana/o History

Facilities and Resources

Located on the Auraria Campus, MSU Denver is a vibrant and multicultural university, which has strong historical connections to Denver’s Chicana/o Movement. MSU Denver is approaching Hispanic Serving Institution status and is near the locus of Denver City Government and the Colorado State Capitol.

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