Bachelor of Arts in Asian American Studies

This is an archived copy of the 2016-2017 bulletin. To access the most recent version of the bulletin, please visit Any changes will appear on our errata page.

No more than nine units can be taken for CR/NC.

Asian American Studies (B.A.) — 40 units

Introduction to Asian American Studies (6 units)

Select one course in Category A and one in Category B6
Category A: History/Social Sciences
History of Asians in the United States
Contemporary Asian Americans
Asian Americans and American Ideals and Institutions
Category B: Humanities
Asian Americans and Mass Media
Introduction to Asian American Literature
Asian American Culture

Ethnic Courses (15 units)

Select five courses representing at least four different ethnic groups.

Note: Other AA S 300-level courses are acceptable upon advisement. AA S 685, AA S 688, or AA S 699 may count if the course content is ethnic-specific (a maximum of 3 units from AA S 685, AA S 688, or AA S 699 can count towards the Asian American Studies major’s total unit requirement of 39).

Asian American of Mixed Heritages

AA S 301Asian Americans of Mixed Heritages3

Cambodian American

AA S 377Cambodians in the United States3

Chinese American

AA S 320Chinese in the United States3
AA S 322Chinese American Language and Literature3
AA S 323Chinese American Identities3

Filipina/o American

AA S 350Filipina/os in the United States3
AA S 352Filipina/o American Literature, Art, and Culture3
AA S 353Filipina/o American Identities3

Japanese American

AA S 330Nikkei in the United States3
AA S 332Japanese American Art and Literature3
AA S 333Japanese American Identities3
AA S 337Okinawan American Heritage and Culture3

Korean American

AA S 360Koreans in the United States3

Vietnamese American

AA S 370Vietnamese in the United States3
AA S 372Vietnamese American Literature3
AA S 373Vietnamese American Identities3

Panethnic Courses (9 units)

Select 3 courses from the following,

Note: Other AA S 500-600 level courses are acceptable upon advisement. AA S 685, AA S 688, or AA S 699 may count for this area if the course content is panethnic (a maximum of 3 units from AA S 685, AA S 688, or AA S 699 can count towards the Asian American Studies major’s total unit requirement of 39). A lower division course may also substitute for 3 units with approval from an advisor.

AA S 510Asian Americans in California3
AA S 512Asian American Children's/Adolescent Literature3
AA S 514Asian American Community Arts Workshop3
AA S 516Asian American Photographic Explorations3
AA S 540South Asians in the United States3
AA S 541/RRS 657South Asian Diaspora3
AA S 570Southeast Asians in the United States3
AA S 581Asian American Women3
AA S 582Asian American Women's Literature and the Arts3
AA S 584Asian American Sexualities3
AA S 585Asian American Religiosities3
AA S 587Asian Americans and Environmental Justice3
AA S 588Asian American Media Workshop3
AA S 591Asian American Community Health Issues3
AA S 595Asian American Communities and Public Policy3

Required Major Courses  (10 units)

AA S 681Asian American Community Changes and Development3
AA S 696Critical Approaches to Asian American Studies4
AA S 697Proseminar in Asian American Studies (prerequisite: 24 upper division AA S units)3

Note: A minimum of 40 upper division units must be completed for the degree (including upper division units required for the major, general education, electives, etc.). A student can complete this major yet not attain the necessary number of upper division units required for graduation. In this case additional upper division courses will be needed to reach the required total.

Complementary Studies

Bachelor of Arts students must complete 12 units of complementary studies outside of the primary prefix for the major and not cross-listed with the primary prefix for the major.

Students who complete two majors or a major and a minor automatically complete the complementary studies requirement.

Students in the Asian American Studies major may also satisfy the complementary studies requirement by completing one of the following options:

  • 12 units from an Asian Language Complementary Studies cluster.
  • 3 units from each of these prefixes: AFRS, AIS, LTNS, and RRS (may not be from courses that are cross-listed with AA S).
  • 12 units from one of these prefixes: AFRS, AIS, LTNS, or RRS (may not be from courses that are cross-listed with AA S).
  • 12 units as partial completion of a minor.
  • 12 units as partial completion of a certificate.
  • 12 units from an Asia-related study abroad program.
  • Upon advisement, a coherent group of courses complementary to the major.

With the approval of an advisor in the major, courses that fulfill the Complementary Studies requirement may be lower or upper division units, resident or transfer units.

General Education Requirements

Requirement Course Level Units Area Designation
Oral Communication LD 3 A1
Written English Communication I LD 3 A2
Critical Thinking LD 3 A3
Written English Communication II LD 3 A4
Physical Science LD 3 B1
Life Science LD 3 B2
Lab Science LD 1 B3
Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning LD 3 B4
Arts LD 3 C1
Arts or Humanities LD 3 C1 or C2
Humanities: Literature LD 3 C3
Social Sciences LD 3 D1
Social Sciences: US History LD 3 D2
Social Sciences: US & CA Governement LD 3 D3
Lifelong Learning and Self-Development (LLD) LD or UD 3 E
Physical and/or Life Science UD 3 UD-B
Arts and/or Humanities UD 3 UD-C
Social Sciences UD 3 UD-D
SF State Studies
Courses certified as meeting the SF State Studies requirements may be upper or lower division in General Education (GE), in a major or minor, or may be an elective.
American Ethnic and Racial Minorities (AERM) LD or UD 3
Environmental Sustainability (ES) LD or UD 3
Global Perspectives (GP) LD or UD 3
Social Justice (SJ) LD or UD 3

Note: LD = lower division; UD = upper division.

This degree program is an approved pathway (“similar” major) for students earning the ADT in Social Justice Studies

California legislation SB 1440 (2009), mandated the creation of the Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT) to be awarded by the California Community Colleges. Two types of ADTs are awarded: Associate in Arts for Transfer (AA-T) and Associate in Science for Transfer (AS-T). Note: no specific degree is required for admission as an upper division student. However, the ADT includes specific guarantees related to admission and graduation, and is designed to clarify the transfer process and strengthen lower division preparation for the major.

An ADT totals sixty units and includes completion of all lower division GE and at least eighteen units in a specific major. Students pursuing an ADT are guaranteed admission to the CSU if minimum eligibility requirements are met, though not necessarily to the CSU campus of primary choice.

Upon verification that the ADT has been awarded prior to matriculation at SF State, students are guaranteed B.A. or B.S. completion in 60 units if pursuing a “similar” major after transfer. Determinations about “similar” majors at SF State are made by faculty in the discipline.

Degree completion in 60 units cannot be guaranteed when a student simultaneously pursues an additional major, a minor, certificate, or credential.

A sample advising roadmap for students who have earned an ADT and is continuing in this major at SF State is available on the Roadmaps tab and displays

  • How many lower division units required for the major have been completed upon entry based on award of a specific ADT;
  • Which lower division requirements are considered complete upon entry based on award of a specific ADT;
  • How to complete the remaining 60 units for the degree in four semesters.

Students who have earned an ADT should seek advising in the major department during the first semester of attendance.

General Advising Information for Transfer Students

  1. Before transfer, complete as many lower division requirements or electives for this major as possible.
  2. The following courses are not required for admission but are required for graduation. Students are strongly encouraged to complete these units before transfer; doing so will provide more flexibility in course selection after transfer.
    • a course in U.S. History
    • a course in U.S. & California government
    • a 2nd-semester course in written English composition

For information about satisfying the requirements described in (1) and (2) above at a California Community College (CCC), go to Check any geographically accessible CCCs; sometimes options include more than one college. Use ASSIST to determine

  • Which courses at a CCC satisfy any lower division major requirements for this major
  • Which courses at a CCC satisfy CSU GE, US History, and US & CA Government

Remedial courses are not transferable and do not apply to the minimum 60 units/90 quarters required for admission.

Additional units for courses that are repeated do not apply to the minimum 60 units required for upper division transfer (for example, if course was not passed on first attempt, or was taken to earn a better grade).

Before leaving the last California community college of attendance, obtain a summary of completion of lower division General Education units (IGETC or CSU GE Breadth). This is often referred to as a GE certification worksheet. SF State does not require delivery of this certification to Admissions, but students should retain this document for verifying degree progress after transfer.

Credit for Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or College-Level Examination Program courses: AP/IB/CLEP credit is not automatically transferred from the previous institution. Units are transferred only when an official score report is delivered to SF State. Credit is based on the academic year during which exams were taken. Refer to the University Bulletin in effect during the year of AP/IB/CLEP examination(s) for details regarding award of credit for AP/IB/CLEP.

Students pursuing majors in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines often defer 6-9 units of lower division general education in areas C and D until after transfer in order to focus on preparation courses for the major. (This advice does not apply to students pursuing associate degree completion before transfer.)

Transferring from institutions other than CCCs or CSUs

Review SF State's lower division General Education requirements. As described above, the four basic skills courses required for admission meet A1, A2, A3 and B4 in the SF State GE pattern. Courses that fulfill the remaining areas of SF State’s lower division GE pattern are available at most two-year and four-year colleges and universities.

Of the four required basic skills courses, a course in critical thinking (GE A3) may not be widely offered outside the CCC and CSU systems. Students should attempt to identify and take an appropriate course no later than the term of application to the CSU. Review more information about the A3 requirement here.

Identify and complete a 2nd-semester written English composition course before transfer. This is usually the next course after the typical “freshman comp” course, with a focus on writing, reading and critical analytical skills for academic purposes, and developing skills in composing, revising, and the use of rhetorical strategies.

Waiting until after transfer to take a single course at SF State that meets both US and CA/local government requirements may be an appropriate option, particularly if transferring from outside of California.

All students must meet the transfer eligibility requirements outlines below for admission. For more information, visit the Undergraduate Admissions section.

  • Complete 60 or more transferable semester units or 90 or more quarter units
  • Earn a college grade point average of 2.00 or better in all transferable courses. Non-local area residents may be held to a higher GPA standard.
  • Be in good standing at the last college or university attended
  • Complete 30 semester units (45 quarter units) of general education, including four basic skills courses:
    1. One course in oral communication (same as CSU GE area A1)
    2. One course in written composition (same as CSU GE area A2)
    3. One course in critical thinking (same as CSU GE area A3)
    4. One course in mathematics or quantitative reasoning, with intermediate algebra as a prerequisite (same as CSU GE area B4)
  • The four basic skills courses and minimum of 60 transferable semester units (90 quarter units) must be completed by the spring semester prior to fall admission, or by the fall semester prior to spring admission. Earn a "C" or better grade in each basic skills course.