A 2002 review of the course requirements and electives of Economics, History, Political Science, and Sociology programs in thirty randomly selected state and private, “doctoral-level” and “masters-level” institutions produced 201 courses relating to the study of race-and ethnic-related issues. Only two courses (History offerings on a single campus) were required for completion of a major. While some departments offered “concentrations” with mandated content, the concentrations themselves were elective. Diversity in America today is a truly important component of social (re)organization and change and, thus, a major source of social friction. Why is it, then, that students, those majoring in the social sciences in particular, are able, by uninformed or informed choice, to complete a degree with but cursory attention to the topic? This essay addresses the reasons for relegation of diversity-related issues to optional status and argues that the situation can and should be reversed.

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