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Comparative Mexican American Studies

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The Bachelor of Arts degree and minor in Comparative Mexican American Studies (CMAS) are designed to train a new generation of scholars to research and analyze the experiences, histories, and artistic expressions of Mexican-origin people in the United States. The comparative focus of the program places the study of Mexican American communities within global and transnational frameworks and in relation to other minority groups including Afro-Latinx and Indigenous peoples of the Americas. The curriculum centers the U.S.-Mexico transborder region and explores how race, class, gender, and sexuality have shaped the interdisciplinary study of culture, history, religion, and politics as well as expressive arts, literature, and language.

CMAS is an interdisciplinary field of study that integrates the methodologies and disciplinary insights of various scholarly fields to gain a comprehensive understanding of the histories and contemporary experiences of people of ethnic Mexicans (broadly defined) from multiple perspectives and from within local, transnational, and comparative frameworks. The program embodies the university’s mission and identity as a Hispanic Serving Institution.

The CMAS bachelor's degree program and minor in Mexican American Studies are unique in the region. They integrate ethnic studies, history, anthropology, theology, literature, and the arts. 

The curriculum is interdisciplinary while maintaining the integrity of the field of study for Mexican American Studies (MAS) approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Therefore, all MAS courses taken at the Alamo Colleges are transferable to OLLU.  

CMAS majors pursue careers in education, museum studies and the cultural arts, non-profit management, social work, public health, as well as law and politics. The CMAS program also prepares students for graduate education in the social sciences and humanities.  

Programs Offered

Biliterate Certificate Program

Spanish-speaking students can earn a degree with dual-language (English/Spanish) emphasis through the Biliterate Certificate Program. Students take specialized courses taught in Spanish and fulfill a portion of their major requirements by completing a practicum or learning experience in a Spanish-speaking setting. Earning the certificate certifies that a student is proficient in both English and Spanish.

Special Collections

OLLU maintains special collections of historical documents and information including the Maria Antoinetta Barriozabal collection and the Mexican American Collection. OLLU also holds the Old Spanish Missions Collection, which reflect the period from 1680-1820 and include maps, photographs, drawings, and writings about the mission, many of which are duplicates from archives in Mexico, Spain, Italy, England and France. In July 2015, San Antonio's five historic missions were recognized as a "World Heritage Site" by the World Heritage Committee of the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Center for Mexican American Studies and Research

The Center for Mexican American Studies and Research (CMASR) was established in 2001 as a university-wide resource for research, teaching, and scholarly activities related to Mexican American culture. The CMASR supports student, faculty and staff involvement in curricular and extracurricular programming, international and bilingual programs, as well as research and community engagement.


Learn more about the College of Arts and Sciences faculty members.

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The new OLLU 4U tuition lock is just one of the many ways the university provides you a great value to help you access a private education. You will not be a statistic at OLLU, but instead will receive individual guidance and mentorship on your path to a four-year degree, all with the reassurance that your tuition rate will not increase.

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