The interdisciplinary Minor in Mexican American Studies was proposed by the UNT History Department and authorized by the University during the 2000-2001 academic year. The Mexican American Studies Minor was formally approved in May 2001. Dr. Roberto R. Calderón, Associate Professor in the Department of History, is the MAS Minor faculty adviser.
The Mexican American Studies Minor is intended to make available for the first time at the University of North Texas a formally organized program of study that examines the complex social, cultural, political, and economic realities that represent the Mexican American community in Texas and the nation. Together with other Latinos in Texas, moreover, Mexican Texans are on a path to become the demographic majority in Texas, the nation's second most populous state next to California, by 2030. In the immediate Metroplex area serviced by the University, including Collin, Dallas, Denton, and Tarrant counties, over 1 million Mexican and Latino Texans were counted by the 2000 US Census (16 percent of Texas's Chicano and Latino population). And this is the fastest growing segment of the region and state's overall population, and also the youngest on average. Historically speaking, Mexican Americans and Latinos are a people on the move.
Indeed this is a population whose growing significance to the nation, state, and region will continue to grow in the immediate years and decades ahead. The best available demographic projections point toward this increased strategic role for Mexican Americans and Latinos generally. The University of North Texas in recognition of these conclusions has sought to respond initially through its offering of the Mexican American Studies Minor.
Because existing curricular resources at the University of North Texas pertaining to the research and study of this important ethnic community are only now beginning to be reexamined and expanded, the current MAS Minor constitutes a selection of that existing curricula. In the future as the available faculty to teach additional courses in the areas of Mexican American Studies increases, so will the MAS Minor expand and be modified to reflect this changing intellectually enriching policy and academic agenda of the University. The MAS Minor is evolving as it addresses this changing reality at the University of North Texas.
All students on campus regardless of their existing Major or area of study are eligible to Minor in Mexican American Studies. The Mexican American Studies Minor offers these students the ability to better and more effectively understand and apply their knowledge of this important regional, state, and national community toward their chosen fields of study or professions.
Whether students enter into any number of careers including those in the public service, government, finance, education, culture, health, and other sectors of the socioeconomy, they will be better prepared to negotiate and plan for success in their chosen careers by being appraised of, and sensitive to, the needs, strengths, and potential contributions that the Mexican American and Latino communities will invariably bring to society in the present and a future that involves not only them, but every American.
We highly encourage our students to seriously consider minoring in Mexican American Studies.