Asian American Studies, Bachelor of Arts College of Letters & Science

The Major Program

Offering both an undergraduate major and minor, our curriculum emphasizes multidisciplinary, comparative, transnational, and intersectional perspectives; original empirically-based scholarship; cultural production and analyses; and community engagement.

In consultation with our faculty and staff advisors, students in the major have the exciting opportunity to select an emphasis or specialty organized around our faculty’s core areas of intellectual focus including—Immigration, Labor, and Transnationalism; Visual, Literary, and Cultural Studies; and Public/Community-Engaged Scholarship. The department is also developing an emphasis on Health through its emerging   partnerships. Each emphasis incorporates a diverse array of thematic, theoretical, disciplinary, and methodological approaches—as well as a focus on a broad range of Asian American communities—allowing students to  choose a course of study that aligns with their particular academic and career interests.

In order to enhance students’ intellectual development and postgraduate preparation, our curriculum also requires that all majors complete an off-campus community internship. This requirement seeks to ensure students experience a deeper and more comprehensive liberal arts education that connects classroom education to real life contexts that foster the  development of new forms of knowledge and practical skills. The Department also offers an optional two-quarter thesis writing seminar for students in the major and minor that progresses through each stage of designing and completing an individualized undergraduate thesis project  based on original research, which helps prepare students interested in applying for graduate school.

Career Alternatives

With the multidisciplinary emphasis of our program, an Asian American studies major provides excellent preparation for a diverse range of careers. Our alumni have established successful careers in the arts, community-based and non-profit organizations, government and politics, human rights, journalism, international relations, law, K-12 education, public health, public policy, social work, and student affairs in higher education. Others have gone on to pursue postgraduate degrees in a wide variety of fields that include education, ethnic studies, fine arts, feminist & queer studies, history, law, literature, political science, public policy, sociology, and social work. Our department has fostered close relationships with our alumni who are committed to supporting our majors with their career plans.

General Education Requirements

A large number of the courses offered by the Department fulfill a wide range of general education topical breadth and core literacy requirements that include:

Topical Breadth

  • Arts & Humanities
  • Social Sciences

Core Literacy

Literacy with Words & Images
  • Writing Experience
  • Oral Skills
  • Visual Literacy
Civic & Cultural Literacy
  • American Cultures, Governance, & History
  • Domestic Diversity
  • World Cultures

Major Advisor

Joe Nguyen, Student Academic Advisor; 530-752-8617 

Substitutions for disciplinary track courses will be considered by the Department Chair on a case-by-case basis. Likewise, any substitutions of Major/Minor criteria will be considered by the Department Chair.

Direct questions pertaining to the following courses to the instructor or to the Department of Asian American Studies in 3102 Hart Hall; 530-752-2069. Also find relevant contact information at Asian American Studies.

The major requirements below are in addition to meeting University Degree Requirements & College Degree Requirements; unless otherwise noted. The minimum number of units required for the Asian American Studies Bachelor of Arts is 68.

Preparatory Subject Matter
ASA 001Historical Experience of Asian Americans4
ASA 002Contemporary Issues of Asian Americans4
ASA 003Methods in Asian American Studies4
ASA 004Asian American Cultural Studies4
Choose at least two lower division courses from the following departments or programs:8
All lower division courses of at least 4 units are acceptable except those numbered 092, 097T, 098, 099.
Choose at least two courses from any of the following methods courses:8
Introduction to Research in the Afro-American Community
Understanding Visual Culture
Methods of Art History
Methods in American Studies
Scientific Method in Physical Anthropology
Introduction to Contemporary Visual Culture
Qualitative Research Methods
Approaches to Reading
Introduction to Literary Theory
Introduction to Modern Literary & Critical Theory
Research Methods in Human Development
Introduction to Historical Thought & Writing
Critical Reasoning
Scientific Study of Politics
Research Methods in Psychology
Elementary Statistics
Elementary Statistics
Feminist Research
Preparatory Subject Matter Subtotal32
Depth Subject Matter
ASA 192Internships 14
Choose at least six upper division Asian American Studies (ASA) courses:24
Asian American Communities
Theoretical Perspective in Asian American Studies
Asian American Women
Asian American Sexuality
Asian Diasporas
Multiracial Asian Pacific American Issues
Asian American Youth
Asian American Performance
Asian American Literature
Ethnicity, Culture, & the Self
Health Issues Confronting Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders
Asian Americans & the Political Culture of Fashion in the U.S. & Asia
Filipino American Experience
Japanese American Experience
Chinese American Experience
Korean American Experience
Southeast Asian American Experience
South Asian American History, Culture, & Politics
Asian American Legal History
Topics in Asian American Studies: History
Topics in Asian American Studies: Culture
Topics in Asian American Studies: Physical & Mental Health
Topics in Asian American Studies: Policy & Community
Topics in Asian American Studies: Comparative Racial Studies
Topics in Asian American Studies: Asian Studies & Asian American Studies
Topics in Asian American Studies: Race, Class, Gender, & Sexuality
Topics in Asian American Studies: Society & Institutions
Topics in Asian American Studies: Politics & Social Movements
Asian American Studies Capstone Course
and Asian American Studies Senior Thesis Seminar 2
Directed Group Study 3
Special Study for Advanced Undergraduates 3
At least two upper division elective courses from other departments or programs that relate to chosen emphasis.8
Two courses (of up to 8 units) from Study Abroad can be substituted for major requirements upon approval from the SAO or faculty advisor.0-8
Substitutions for disciplinary track courses will be considered by the Department Chair on a case by case basis. Likewise, any substitutions of Major/Minor criteria will be considered by the Department Chair.
Depth Subject Matter Subtotal36-44
Total Required Units: 68
Total Units68-76

ASA 192 required.


ASA 194 & ASA 195 is a series of courses taken consecutively in two quarters; students enrolling in ASA 194 must also enroll in ASA 195 the following quarter to complete the series.


Up to 6 units in ASA 198 and/or ASA 199 can be used to satisfy the Asian American Studies upper division course requirements.