Asian American Studies

Academic Programs

The Department of Asian American Studies emerges out of social justice struggles in solidarity with multiple oppressed communities. It is dedicated to academic and community-based goals, including promoting learning and intellectual growth; stimulating professional development; enhancing and empowering Asian/Pacific Islander communities across local and global scales; and highlighting social, economic, political, legal and cultural issues within existing and emerging communities to envision and effect just alternatives and social transformation.

Students looking over hand out material at open house.

AAS Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of our standard major, students should have acquired the following student learning outcomes:

  1. Students will develop a core competency in the history, culture and experience of Asian Pacific American communities in the United States.
  2. Working from a social justice approach to race, class, ethnicity, gender and sexuality, students will develop and apply their critical thinking skills as demonstrated through written assignments, oral presentations, class discussion and examinations.
  3. Students will acquire and develop effective communication skills.
  4. Students will develop and demonstrate basic research skills as they learn about the particular dynamics of working with Asian Pacific American communities.
  5. Students will demonstrate an applied knowledge and practical application of their acquired skills through student and community work, in the process, learning the value and importance of community service.

For more information about the AAS program, please contact the academic advisor at the advisement page.

What Is It?

Asian American Studies is opportunity and change.   An established field.  A growing field.  One of the hottest, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education.   Opportunity.  Change.  Asian American Studies does more than watch.  It alters the status quo.  The status quo of book learning alone.  Of narrow specializations.  Of walls separating classrooms and communities.  Asian American Studies has something for you.  Practical knowledge.  Skills development.  Academic rigor.  Job training.  Community service.  Real-life preparation for the career you step into once you’ve graduated.  The help you want in preparing resumes or applying for graduate and professional schools.   

What Do I Study?

Family issues.  Immigration.  Politics.  History.  Law.  Ethnic communities.  Health matters.  Sexualities.  Transnationalism.  Literature.  Art and culture.  Community development.  Psychology.  Education.  And a lot more.  Good learning starts from a broad base.

Students in reading room during open house event.

What Are the Advantages of AAS?

Double Majors and Minors

We’ve got that.  We’ve got the standard AAS major (~14 classes or 42 units). Plus the double major (~10 classes or 30 units) and the minor (~8 classes or 24 units). Many of our classes are GE and can double count!

Direct Mentoring

Want the opportunity of having a full-time, tenure-track faculty member serve as your academic advisor for the full four years?  No problem.  Ask for a particular faculty mentor or let us assign one to you.  Our one-to-one mentoring service features personal attention.

Leadership Training

Learn and practice the methods of leadership.  Bring out leadership capabilities within yourself and others.  Learn about grassroots organizing.  About the democratization of leadership. We promise that this training will help you in any job, any field, any time.  And earn academic credits while you’re at it.


Gain valuable experience serving your own community and others.  Academic internships and paid internships available.  Unlike many disciplines, AAS has devoted itself to community service for decades.  We see it as a vital part of real-life education.

Group shot of students at open house

Research and Scholarship Opportunities

Check out the growing number of scholarships offered by AAS. Last year that included a $1000.00 scholarship offered through the Asian Business Association.  Conduct valuable research under the one-to-one guidance of a faculty member.

Resource Center

Take advantage of the growing media and technology resources available through AAS.  Leave your own legacy for others to build on.

Resume Preparation and Letters of Recommendation

We’ll show you how to craft a resume that sets you apart.  We’ll show you how to market all of your experiences, including internships, volunteerism, club participation, and independent studies.  You’ll learn how to feature activities others often overlook.  And you won’t have to search all over town for that important letter of recommendation.

Jobs and Career Opportunities

We won’t leave you hanging after graduation.  We keep an active file of job opportunities, and we’re developing our alumni network.  Nervous about job interviews?  We’ll show you how it’s done.

Did you know?

A short while back, one of our AAS minors won CSUN’s undergraduate Student of the Year award. Even more recently, one of our AAS majors won the same award. That’s right. Best Student of the Year, the Wolfson Award.

Teresa Williams-Leon, Meijong Park, Eunai Shrake, Dennis Lee, Maria Turnmeyer, Allan Aquino, Tracy Buenavista, Sandra Stanley, Gina Masequesmay with guest Karin Anna Cheung (middle).

Degree Information (download files, pdf format):

The following are forms to help you figure out course requirements at CSUN and in Asian American Studies. Because of budget cuts, we can no longer have a departmental academic advisor. Students must declare their major/minor by going to JR 240 to fill out the paperwork. Nevertheless, please view below for links to relevant information that the department has provided for students.

  • GE Planner (.pdf): Form to help you figure out your GE & Title V requirements in order to graduate from CSUN
  • Major Check (.pdf):  Form to help you figure out classes you need to take to be a STANDARD MAJOR in Asian American Studies.
  • Double Major Check (.pdf):  Form to help you figure out classes you need to take to be a DOUBLE MAJOR in Asian American Studies and another BA major.
  • Minor Check (.pdf): Form to help you figure out classes you need to take to be a MINOR in Asian American Studies.