A Guide to Online Cultural Studies Degrees Accredited Online Degree Programs in Cultural Studies

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Cultural and ethnic studies teach students the concepts and theories developed around cultural and ethnic identity. They are taught how to interpret cultural biases and practices, as well as how to dispel stereotypes that have to do with race, sexuality, ethnicity, gender, and class. Religion, music, and artistic expression are strong, cultural elements that are used to identify ethnic groups. Thus cultural and ethnic studies are typically highly interdisciplinary in nature, including elements of the liberal arts, sociology, foreign language, psychology, and even biology.

The United States has a very diverse population. There are individuals from almost every ethnic group in the world living in the United States. Understanding the unique cultural differences between each group helps us to embrace our own culture more fully. It also allows students who are interested in cultural studies or ethnic studies degree, get the information they need to embark on a career in almost any industry where understanding ethnic differences is a must. Being able to work well with individuals from other cultures and ethnic groups is a must if you plan on being successful. 

Most Popular Schools with Online Critical/Cultural/Ethnic Studies Degree Programs

Top Paying States for Graduates of Accredited Online Cultural Studies Degree Programs:

StateEmployment (1)Annual mean wage (2)
Rhode Island140$120,050
New Hampshire50$116,200
New York1,670$104,470
Source: 2019 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2018-28 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

Most Affordable Online Critical/Cultural/Ethnic Studies Degree Programs

What Can You Do with an Accredited Online Cultural Studies Degree?

Ethnic and cultural studies degree jobs can be found in almost every industry. Cultural diversity and understanding the differences between ethnic groups will allow you to create a welcoming and comfortable work environment for everyone involved. With a cultural and ethnic studies degree, students are able to understand the unique aspects of each culture and make accommodations for them.

Individuals who work in very large companies that have offices across the globe can benefit from a cultural studies degree because it offers them an opportunity to understand how things work in different countries. Cultural and ethnic studies can even be a solid foundation for working in medicine and nursing, due to the highly diverse nature of the fields and the need for cultural sensitivity in hospitals and the public health system.

Cultural or ethnic studies degree jobs include counseling, education, social work, community health worker, and service coordinator. Individuals who pursue a cultural studies degree can find work in many different public service positions. Large businesses will often look for someone who has a cultural or ethnic studies degree for positions like business development manager or coordinator. With this type of degree, a person can work in the United States or abroad and have the skills needed to tie together two culturally diverse groups allowing them to work together for the good of the company.

Degree Types: Associates, Bachelor’s, Master’s, Doctoral

Accredited Online Associates

There are many different types of online degree programs. An Associate’s degree offers primarily foundation courses that will be helpful in establishing a solid framework of information for you to build on. In most cases, these are the basic courses that are required for almost any degree program. Some colleges and universities also include enough of the major courses that are needed to provide a degree that will stand on its own. As a “foundation” degree, an Associate’s degree is often the first degree people earn on their way to advanced programs like Master’s and PhD programs.

In terms of cultural and ethnic studies degree programs, an Associate’s degree may provide enough of a head start to get a student’s foot in the door. Most Associate’s degree programs are two years long, depending on whether or not the student takes summer classes. Working with different cultures can be extremely exciting and provide many once in a lifetime experiences. Completing an Associate’s degree program may also spark a student’s natural curiosity to continue to move forward and earn a Bachelor’s degree or higher. Many students who start with an Associate’s degree in cultural studies, often return to school, not as a student, but as a teacher.

Accredited Online Bachelor’s

A baccalaureate (also known as a Bachelor’s) degree is the second step in the educational process and is often considered a secondary or undergraduate program. Most Bachelor’s degrees last from three to, in some cases, seven years. This will depend on the school and the academic program a student is entering into it. In many colleges and universities, to enroll in a Bachelor’s degree program in cultural or ethnic studies, a student must complete an Associates degree. Once the Associates degree has been successfully completed, it may only take another one or two years for the student to reach earn their Bachelor’s degree.

A Bachelor’s degree includes essential courses that are needed for a student to excel in their chosen career field. When it comes to ethnic and cultural fields of study, this can mean learning a new language, understanding religious and spiritual ceremonies, gender roles, and many other factors that make an ethnic group so culturally diverse. Taking the time to truly learn about and understand these different elements, reduces the negative impact of stereotypes and dispells harmful myths that can lead to various types of cultural bias.

Accredited Online Master’s

A Master’s degree is the next step in the educational process after a student has earned a Bachelor’s degree. While a Bachelor’s degree provides essential information and skills, the Master’s degree is a testament to the student’s ability to “master” the subject matter. This type of degree is used to acknowledge that a student has surpassed the basic knowledge of the subject matter and can now be considered an expert or professional in the field. Mastering the subject matter often means bcoming emersed in the topic to the point where it can become second-nature. It also means being able to explain different aspects of a cultural to others in an accurate and professional manner.

To earn a Master’s degree, the student must be able to exhibit specific skills, such as in-depth analysis, theories, applied concepts, and the ability to apply what they know in a professional manner. Being able to critically evaluate specific situations and scenarios is an essential part of cultural and ethnic studies. With a Master’s degree, a graduate has the knowledge to not only understand the cultural differences between people and countries but to also assist in bringing them together so they can work in unison with one another.

Accredited Online Doctorate/PhD

Doctorates and PhD degrees are very close in nature due to the time and work involved in earning each one. They area significantly different, however, when it comes to what they allow you to accomplish. A doctorate is more on the practical side of the table. Individuals who earn a doctorate and work in a chosen field, normally are very hands on and use their degree in ethnic and cultural studies to help others. This can be as a legal professional, a medical doctor, counselor, business or marketing manager, or any number of careers where working with a large, very diverse population is required.

Earning a PhD also indicates an in-depth mastery of the subject matter at hand. While a doctorate usually involves practical hands-on utilization of the course material, a graduate who earns a PhD will often work in the field of research or return to the classroom to teach others. Professors who are involved in the research part of the equation often are responsible for new cultural discoveries or for developing new programs that bring about change in terms of cultural and ethnic bias. Both PhD and doctorate degree programs are valuable tools and can be essential in bringing cultures and different ethnic groups together.


For a cultural and ethnic studies degree program to be considered “accredited”, it must meet or exceed specific standards that have been determined by specific accreditation bodies. These organizations work to guarantee that a specific degree program contains all of the necessary information needed to be considered accurate and credible. Quality assurance standards are adhered to through the use of both self-review programs and peer-review in which other learning institutions compare themselves to others who offer similar degree programs. One of the most common standards that is used in the accreditation process is diversity and multiculturalism.

Understanding how diversity affects a learning environment is very important. An inclusive environment guarantees that all minorities and cultural entities are welcome. Ethnic representation is just as important as that of the LGBTQ community. One of the most well-known of the accrediting agencies is the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (also known as CACREP). Although the organization is primarily focused on counseling and other similar programs, their views on diversity are important because they recognize each culture as unique and distinctive. An ethnic and cultural studies program that earns accreditation ensures that important topics are addressed ensuring that students graduate with a full understanding of the concepts and theories that are involved when it comes to diversity.

Certifications and Licensure

Once a student has graduated with a degree in ethnic and cultural studies, their next step may be to become certified or licensed in their chosen career field. While many positions do not require any type of certification, graduates who want to work in the legal or medical field will require some type of license or certificate, aside from their diploma, that states they are eligible in their state and have the necessary skills and abilities to perform the duties related to their individual career choice. Colleges sometimes offer certification programs or will at least include study prep for state certification as one of the resources they offer new graduates.

Becoming licensed or certified requires applying for and taking a state exam. Once you have graduated, you can apply to take the state exam. After your application has been approved and you are deemed eligible, you will be given a test date. On the day of your test, you will be required to pay the fee to take the test and show up at the appointed time. Upon completion of the test, you will be required to wait until you receive the results of your exam before you can legally begin to work as a professional in your field. If you are already working in your chosen career field, testing for your certification or licensure can open the door to many new opportunities. In som cases, your employer may offer to pay for your certification test. They know that the credentials you have will make you an asset to the company. It will also add credibility to the company showing the high caliber of the professionals they have on staff.


Scholarships and grants are a great way to defray the cost of earning your degree. A college education can be extremely costly, especially if you are interested in pursuing a post-graduate degree like a Doctorate or PhD. Scholarships are offered by non-profit organizations, churches, communities, and even large corporations who understand the importance of helping students reach their academic goals. Scholarships are considered to be gifts to the student and do not have to be paid back. Most scholarships are given in the form of a check so the student can spend the money in whatever capacity is needed. Other scholarships are strictly allotted for tuition and books.

Many scholarships have specific designations. One may be set aside for a student who is going to school to earn a cultural and ethnic studies degree so they can go into journalism. Another scholarship may be for a minority athlete. Some scholarships are unique in that they can be in any amount and used in a variety of ways. There are even multi-year scholarships that can be used for every year the student returns to school to earn a specific degree. When a student applies for a scholarship, they are often asked to sit for an interview to find out if their goals align with those of the organization offering the award. 

Scholarships are mostly awarded for Associates and Bachelor’s degree programs. For students who are trying to find additional financial resources for their post-graduate degree programs in ethnic and cultural studies, a grant may be more in line with what they need. Similar to a scholarship, a grant does not have to be paid back. Grants have one primary difference. Where a scholarship may be for only a small amount and one year, post-graduate grants can be rather large, especially if the student is exploring research opportunities.





Ready to start your journey?

Ready to start your journey?