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Asian-American Studies


Asian-American studies programs teach students about the lives of people whose ancestors came to the US from Asian countries.

Students learn about Asian populations in the Americas including Chinese-Americans, Japanese-Americans, Korean-Americans, Vietnamese-Americans, and Cambodian-Americans.

Asian-American studies programs include topics such as:


Several colleges and universities offer bachelor’s degrees in Asian-American studies. A bachelor's degree usually takes about four years of full-time study. At several other programs, students can concentrate in Asian-American studies as part of a larger field such as ethnic studies.

Very few universities offer graduate degrees in Asian-American studies. A master’s degree typically requires two years of study beyond a bachelor’s degree.

See schools that offer this program.

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Program Admission

You can prepare for this program by taking courses in high school that prepare you for college. This typically includes four years of English, three years of math, three years of social studies, and two years of science. Some colleges also require two years of a second language.

Below is a list of high school courses that will help prepare you for this program of study:

Graduate Admissions

Admission to graduate programs is competitive. You need a bachelor's degree and good grades. You also need to submit letters of recommendation and a personal statement.

Your bachelor's degree should be in this program of study or a related major such as ethnic or cultural studies, sociology, or US history. If it isn't, you should take several courses that are related to race, ethnicity, and cultural studies.

Additional requirements at many schools include:

You should also be able to demonstrate proficiency in at least one Asian language.

Typical Course Work

Program Courses

In this undergraduate program, you typically take core courses such as the following:

You then take elective courses based on your specific interests. You could focus on one particular ethnic group within the Asian-American population or one aspect of the field such as literature or sociology.

Graduate Program Courses

Course work in graduate programs varies. However, the outline of a typical graduate curriculum looks like the following:

Some programs, both undergraduate and graduate, offer practicum courses as part of their curriculums. This is because some of your course work is sociological in focus. A practicum allows you to immerse yourself in a situation where you can observe and interact with Asian-Americans for later analysis.

You might, for example, work in a legal aid office that advocates Asian-American civil rights. Or you could work in an Asian-American fine arts troupe. Whatever the setting, you benefit from the direct supervision and guidance of an experienced Asian-American scholar or activist.

Things to Know

Some schools don't have separate programs or program concentrations in Asian-American studies. However, they may offer elective courses in this program of study as part of a major in interdisciplinary studies or liberal arts.


King-Snohomish Area

Seattle University

Spokane Area

Gonzaga University