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Minors

Asian American Studies

The Asian American Studies minor provides a program of study for students to examine the histories and experiences of Asians in America as a specialization alongside their degree pursuits. The minor in Asian American Studies nurtures critical thinking and writing skills, and an understanding of our multiracial past and present. Students will interrogate the nature of their own involvement with institutions of learning and society at large, and consider their roles and responsibilities in shaping the world in which they live, regardless of their racial location or academic major.

Asian American Studies is an interdisciplinary field dedicated to an examination of the diasporic East Asian, Southeast Asian, South Asian, and Pacific Islander populations. It applies the methods and perspectives of traditional academic disciplines, such as history, sociology, anthropology, education, psychology and literature, to understanding the histories, communities, and cultures of Asian Americans. Asian American Studies was founded with Ethnic Studies as a part of the movements for racial and social justice of the 1960s and 1970s. Since its inception, the program has retained a focus on addressing social disparities in the U.S. and the world as they relate to Asian Americans. It has included a commitment to working with and serving Asian American communities as part of a broader struggle for a more just and equitable future.

The AAS minor requires six credits:

  1. One introductory survey/foundation course on Asian American experiences with at least a third of its content on Asian American history
  2. At least one course focused on race in which Asian American experiences are addressed in a sociopolitical context. At least one course with full or partial focus on Asian American experiences beyond the foundation
  3. Up to two elective courses that while they may not have direct Asian American content, must address topics relevant to the historical and/or contemporary experiences of Asian Americans. Examples include: immigration, educational access, bilingualism, health disparities, labor relations, environmental justice, media representations, cultural resistance productions, comparative race and ethnic studies. Students wishing to count these courses towards the minor in Asian American Studies must consult with the course instructor for permission to focus independent work (e.g. a paper) on an appropriate topic; all elective courses must be approved by Asian American Studies Steering Committee.
  4. An integrative capstone course or project that focuses on an Asian American community. The capstone project must be approved by AAS committee and may be fulfilled in one of three ways:
    1. A faculty-supervised internship in an Asian American organization or organization that significantly services Asian American communities. Students must produce a final paper about their experience.
    2. A community-based research course which focuses on an Asian American community.
    3. An independent research paper or project on the Asian American experience supervised by an AAS faculty or an AAS-approved faculty advisor.
Independent Studies or courses transferred from another institution may count towards the Asian American Studies minor, but only two of the six required credits may be made up of these kinds of courses.

Courses with grades lower than C- will not be accepted towards the minor.

Special Note on Languages
The minor does not require proficiency in Asian languages because the language of Asian American Studies (i.e. the scholarly literature) is English. Moreover, we do not want to discourage students from other majors from taking the minor because of a language requirement. A student who decides to pursue proficiency in an Asian language may count one course at the advanced level (e.g., JPN 21, CHNS 21 or above, or equivalent in another Asian language) towards one of the elective courses in the minor. We also encourage students interested in strengthening their knowledge of Asian languages to seek an internship or capstone project that allows them to interact with newer immigrants who are less likely than more established Asian Americans to speak English.