About the Critical Race Studies Program


Critical Race Studies Program: Think. Teach. Transform.

The mission of the Critical Race Studies program is to:

think new ideas
teach future leaders and scholars and
transform racial justice advocacy.

The only program of its kind in the United States, UCLA Law’s Critical Race Studies (CRS) program is the premier institutional setting for the study of the intersection between race and the law. Anchored by renowned scholars whose research represents the cutting edge of critical race theory in legal scholarship and related disciplines, our CRS program has no parallel in American legal education.

The cornerstone of the program is an academic course of study, the CRS specialization, which attracts the top students committed to racial justice scholarship and legal practice. Established in 2000, the specialization quickly emerged as a training ground for a new generation of practitioners, scholars, and advocates. 

The CRS program augments coursework with research colloquia, symposia, interdisciplinary collaborations and community partnerships in order to integrate theory and practice.

To hear about about upcoming events and symposia, join the CRS mailing list.

Critical Race Studies Specialization

The CRS Specialization is appropriate for law students who seek advanced study and/or practice in race and the law, critical race theory, civil rights, public policy and other legal practice areas that are likely to involve working with racial minority clients and communities or working to combat racial inequality.  This Specialization in CRS consistently attracts the top students committed to testing and advancing new ideas for racial and social justice.  CRS research and courses deepen our understanding of race and provide tools and strategies to help dismantle racism across the globe.  In particular, the CRS specialization trains students to analyze how the law and legal institutions erect racial hierarchies.  Students are simultaneously trained how to use law and legal institutions to dismantle those same hierarchies, to further basic civil and human rights.


Combining intellectual rigor and a passion for social justice and racial equality

Although the faculty and the coursework are outstanding, it is our heartfelt sense of community that makes the program extraordinary. CRS faculty actively participate in the Program and regularly share their research in academic fora, enjoy informal conversations with students, and provide valuable career advice. CRS alumni regularly return to talk about their jobs, and how a CRS education has helped them in their real world projects. Some have even organized workshops for first-year students interested in CRS to strengthen legal writing skills. Finally, CRS students take ownership of the program and innovate constantly, for example, by producing a critical race theory reader to complement the first year curriculum and organizing independent study workshops. Students enrolled in the specialization are also at the heart of the broader law school’s life. They have included editors-in-chief of journals such as the UCLA Law Review, presidents of the Student Bar Association, and chairs of the major student organizations.