Identity Studies

Major | Minor

Embrace many perspectives to better understand yourself and others. Make connections across disciplines. Get hands-on experience making change in and out of the classroom.

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Why Pursue Identity Studies?

By pursuing identity studies, you’ll examine these questions and other theoretical concepts and in-depth subjects. Topics in the field include race and ethnicity, gender and sexuality, and body studies.

Luther prepares identity studies majors to be critical advocates, activists, scholars, and social justice educators.

Why Pursue Identity Studies at Luther?

The identity studies program at Luther is an interdisciplinary major and minor. It combines women and gender studies, Africana studies, dance, and Asian studies. You’ll use many perspectives to better understand yourself and others, appreciate diversity, and understand and challenge systems of power.

As an identity studies major, you can choose an area of emphasis including:

  • Race/ethnicity—courses celebrate the unique contributions of peoples of color and interrogate constructs of race and ethnicity
  • Gender/sexuality—courses are centrally informed by questions about gender and sexuality
  • Body studies—courses emphasize bodily practice, movement, demeanor, and inhabited/lived space

Studying identity at Luther will help you learn, grow, respond, lead, investigate, connect, and empathize.

Program Highlights

Interdisciplinary Major

Luther’s identity studies program combines four areas of focus (women and gender studies, Africana studies, dance, and Asian studies). You’ll learn from a variety of scholars in different focus areas who share concepts, theories, and methods. This approach generates a comprehensive appreciation for investigation.

Diverse Faculty

Learn from faculty in a variety of areas. Areas of expertise include dance, religion, sociology, Africana studies, and communication.

Preparation for Advocacy

At Luther, you’ll examine the intersection of race, ethnicity, class, gender, religion, neurotypes, age, and body types. You’ll develop an understanding of systems of power and oppression across the globe that will allow you to appreciate and participate in various forms of resistance to them.

What You’ll Learn

As an identity studies major at Luther, you’ll receive a liberal arts education. That foundation will help you make change in and out of the classroom.

Identity Studies Major

Identity studies majors complete 10 courses and a senior project. Required courses include an introduction to systems of power, identity and power, global traditions, an internship, and a seminar. You must also complete five electives.

You can choose to specialize in one of three emphasis areas: gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity, or body studies.

Identity Studies Minor

The identity studies minor consists of seven courses. This includes two required courses, two electives, and one seminar. You must complete at least one course from each focus area.


Careers and Outcomes

Identity studies graduates enter a variety of professions as critical advocates, activists, scholars, and educators for social justice. The identity studies degree is multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary in its scope. If you’re interested in continuing education, you’ll be ready for diverse graduate programs.

Career Fields

  • Social services
  • Human services
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Community development

Graduate Studies

  • Law
  • Political science
  • Women and gender studies
  • American studies
  • Religion
  • French
  • Literary studies
  • Business
  • Sociology
  • Medicine
Systemic oppression is operating across a vast network of institutions and systems of power, even if we don't see it firsthand. This project is a form of activism which encourages me to invest my heart and soul into it.
Sam Schillinger '22
Identity Studies Major
The Color of Change

Connection with Faculty

“My favorite part of teaching at Luther is the time I get to spend with students one-on-one. There is nothing more rewarding than working closely with a student and seeing their growth year by year.” —Holly Moore, associate professor of philosophy and identity studies

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