Bachelor of Arts in Asian American Studies

Program Learning Outcomes

  1. Gain an interdisciplinary understanding of the histories, cultures, and racialization of Asian Americans.
  2. Apply course concepts and critical theories and methodologies to identify the structural and ideological forces that shape the lives of Asian Americans.
  3. Apply the skills and knowledge acquired toward the self-determination and empowerment of Asian American communities.
  4. Develop values of social justice, equity, activism, and respect for differences.
  5. Construct evidence-based and persuasive oral and written arguments with proper citations and support from multiple forms of knowledge, including community and academic resources, that communicate what students have discovered.

Asian American Studies (B.A.) — 42 units

No more than 9 units can be taken with CR/NC grading.

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 42 units.

Introduction to Asian American Studies (6 Units)

Select one course in Category A and one course in Category B:

Category A: History/Social Sciences3
History of Asians in the United States
Contemporary Asian Americans
Asian Americans and American Ideals and Institutions
Category B: Humanities3
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. 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 42 units.

Asian Americans of Mixed Heritages

AA S 301Asian Americans of Mixed Heritages3

Cambodian American

AA S 380Cambodians 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 338Okinawan 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. 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 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 516Asian American Photographic Explorations3
AA S 522Asian Americans and the Transracial Adoptee Experience3
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 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  (9 Units)

AA S 681Asian American Community Changes and Development3
AA S 696Critical Approaches to Asian American Studies3
AA S 697Proseminar in Asian American Studies3

Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (3 units)

ETHS 300GWWriting in Ethnic Studies - GWAR3

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 LD 3 A2
Critical Thinking LD 3 A3
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
Humanities LD 3 C2
Arts or Humanities LD 3 C1 or C2
Social Sciences LD 3 D1
Social Sciences: US History LD 3 D2
Lifelong Learning and Self-Development (LLD) LD 3 E
Ethnic Studies LD 3 F
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), a major or minor, or an elective.
American Ethnic and Racial Minorities LD or UD 3 AERM
Environmental Sustainability LD or UD 3 ES
Global Perspectives LD or UD 3 GP
Social Justice LD or UD 3 SJ

Note: LD = Lower-Division; UD = Upper-Division.

First-Time Student Roadmap (4 Year)

The roadmaps presented in this Bulletin are intended as suggested plans of study and do not replace meeting with an advisor. For a more personalized roadmap, please use the Degree Planner tool found in your Student Center.

First-Time Student Roadmap

SF State Scholars

The San Francisco State Scholars program provides undergraduate students with an accelerated pathway to a graduate degree. Students in this program pursue a bachelor’s and master’s degree simultaneously. This program allows students to earn graduate credit while in their junior and/or senior year, reducing the number of semesters required for completion of a master’s degree.

Asian American and Ethnic Studies SF State Scholars Roadmap

B.A. in Asian American Studies and Master of Public Administration SF State Scholars Roadmap

Transfer Student Roadmap (2 Year)

For students with an AA-T in Social Justice.

SJS ADT Roadmap

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 60 units and in most cases includes completion of all lower-division General Education requirements and at least 18 units in a specific major. (The Biology, Chemistry, and Environmental Science AS-T degrees defer 3 units in lower-division GE area C and 3 units in lower-division GE area D until after transfer.) 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 continue in a "similar" major at SF State is available on the Roadmaps tab on the degree requirements page for the major. The roadmap displays:

  • How many lower-division units required for the major have been completed upon entry based on the award of a specific ADT;
  • Which lower-division requirements are considered complete upon entry based on the 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

For information about satisfying the requirements described in (1) and (2) above at a California Community College (CCC), please visit 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 requirements.

Remedial courses are not transferable and do not apply to the minimum 60 semester units/90 quarter units 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 a course was not passed on the 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 the 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 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. Note that, as described below, 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 (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. To review more information about the A3 requirement, please visit

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.