Born out of the activism of the civil rights movement, the Center for Mexican American Studies (CMAS) was established in June 1970, with Professor Américo Paredes as one of its principal founders and first director. The establishment of CMAS represents the institutional recognition that the Mexican American people are important in the history of the United States.
The mission of CMAS is to serve Texas and the nation as a leader in the intellectual development of Mexican American studies. Faculty and students affiliated with CMAS have worked to enhance our understanding of Mexican American cultural practices, historical development, and socio-economic conditions, as well as the broader Latino experience, and to strengthen the presence of Mexican Americans and other Latinos in the intellectual terrain, both within and beyond US borders.
CMAS accomplishes its mission by offering an undergraduate degree program, a master's degree program, and a graduate portfolio program for masters and doctoral students. CMAS engages in community outreach efforts throughout the academic year that include hosting various lecture series, organizing an extensive public programming calendar, and fostering a variety of community and research partnerships.