Major in Asian American Studies

To receive a major in Asian American Studies students must complete 14 distinct courses and an immersion project.


12 distinct courses in Asian American Studies:

  • 2 core courses
  • 4 introductory electives (200-level)
  • 6 advanced electives (300-level)

Two related courses:

  • 2 courses in another area of Ethnic Studies, in fields such as African American Studies, Latina and Latino Studies, Native American and Indigenous Studies, and Critical Race Studies. Appropriate courses are offered by various academic departments and programs, and require approval by the major advisor, DUS, or Program Director to count toward the major.

Freshman seminars cannot count towards the major. Courses may not be double counted toward another major or minor.


Immersion Project:


The immersion component is designed to encourage either advanced research or in-depth community engagement and can be fulfilled by completing one of the following options. No more than two of the required 14 courses may be taken up by the Immersion Project. Note that choices A-C require a faculty sponsor or advisor drawn from among the Program faculty (including affiliated faculty). All Immersion Projects must be approved in advance by the major advisor, DUS, or Program Director.


A.           Senior thesis in Asian American Studies (requires a thesis advisor, may qualify for Honors)


B.           Independently proposed research project (requires a project advisor)


C.           Independently proposed internship at an Asian American community organization or other non-profit working on Asian American issues (requires a project advisor and must include a strong academic component with research and substantive written work)


D.           SESP 299-1, 2 Service Learning Capstone Research Project if it relates to Asian American communities and issues


E.           Study abroad courses on Asian diaspora


F.           Chicago Field Studies, in a field related to Asian American Studies


Asian American Studies Courses for the Major


Core courses (Choose 2):

  • Asian Am 210 Introduction to Asian American Studies
  • Asian Am 214 Introduction to Asian American History
  • Asian Am 216 Global Asians

Introductory Level (Choose 4):


The core courses can also be taken as introductory courses.

  • Asian Am 218 Asian-Black Historical Relations in the U.S.
  • Asian Am 225 Contemporary Issues in Asian American Communities
  • Asian Am 235 Language in Asian America
  • Asian Am 247 Asian Americans and popular culture
  • Asian Am 251 The Mixed Race Experience

       Introductory Topics Courses: May be taken more than once if topics are different.

  • Asian Am 203 Topics in Social and Cultural Analysis
  • Asian Am 220 Topics in History
  • Asian Am 276 Topics in Literary and Cultural Studies Asian Am 275 Introduction to Asian American Literature

Upper Level (Choose 6):

  • Asian Am 304 Asian American Women’s History
  • Asian Am 310 Contemporary Asian/Black Relations
  • Asian Am 350 Asian American Religions
  • Asian Am 365 Language, Race, and Ethnicity in the United States
  • Asian Am 377 The American Century in Asia

       Advanced Topics Courses: May be taken more than once if topics are different.

  • Asian Am 303 Advanced Topics in Social and Cultural Analysis
  • Asian Am 320 Advanced Topics in History
  • Asian Am 360 Studies in Race, Gender, and Sexuality
  • Asian Am 370 Studies in Diaspora 
  • Asian Am 376 Advanced Topics in Literary and Cultural Studies
  • Asian Am 380 Studies in Arts and Performance
  • Asian Am 392 Seminar in Asian American Studies
  • Asian Am 399 Independent Study in Asian American Studies

D. Ethnic Studies Courses (Choose 2)

A variety of academic units offer courses with Ethnic Studies content that may fulfill this requirement. Such units include the African American Studies Department, the Latina and Latino Studies Program, History, American Studies, Sociology, Political Science, Psychology, Anthropology, Gender and Sexuality Studies, English, Spanish and Portuguese, French and Italian, Comparative Literature, Jewish Studies, Legal Studies, etc. All courses taken for this requirement must be approved by the major advisor, DUS, or Program Director.

Find more details in the Asian American Studies Major Course Planning Form

If you have questions about majoring in Asian American Studies, or would like to apply for a major or minor, contact Ji-Yeon Yuh at



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