The emphasis of the Chicano/Latino Studies Program is on the experience of Chicanos/Mexican-Americans and other Latinos/Hispanics in the United States.
The Chicano/Latino experience predates the mid-nineteenth century, when territories belonging to Mexico were occupied by the United States. Chicanos and other groups of Latin American origin have been central actors in growth and development of the United States as a nation, and in the course of this rich history they have made significant contributions to every facet of U.S. society. Latinos are currently the largest part of the demographic change that is reshaping the United States in the 21st century (much in the same way that Irish, Italian, and Jewish populations changed the face of the nation in the 19th and early 20th centuries).
Chicano/Latino Studies brings together the tools, approaches, and methodologies of the social sciences and the humanities to study the growing Latino segment of the United States-its history, the diversity of its culture and ethnic heritage, its contributions, and its challenges in the twenty-first century-and the United States and the ways it is changing as a result of the rich and varied Latino cultural influence.