Master of Arts in Asian American Studies

Admission to Program

Applicants must meet the general requirements for graduate admission at San Francisco State.

If judged deficient in undergraduate preparation in Asian American Studies, the student is required to take additional courses to meet the minimum requirements and should consult with a program advisor.

General Information

The program consists of 30 units. No more than six units are allowed in Directed Reading or Special Study or a combination of both. A student must perform satisfactorily in the first year of graduate study by maintaining a minimum grade of B in all courses taken toward the degree or be subject to dismissal. CR/NC units are not acceptable towards the degree. A graduate student in good standing must maintain a B (3.0) GPA throughout the course of study.

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.

Written English Proficiency Requirement

Level One

Students must demonstrate proficiency in written English adequate for graduate study prior to admission by submitting a writing sample and Personal Statement with their application. Students deemed not meeting the Level One requirement may be admitted conditionally, but will be required to improve their writing skills by completing AA S 697 and/or ETHS 300GW. All entering graduate students will be further required to confirm their Level One written English proficiency by passing core seminars taken in the first year with a grade of B– or better.

Level Two

Ability to do scholarly writing in AAS shall be demonstrated by means of Level Two assessment of the Master’s Thesis or written portions of other types of Culminating Experience project at the time of submission and as a condition of approval of the Culminating Experience project.


Theory and Research Methods in Asian American Studies

Intensive training in research methodologies as well as data analysis—in both the humanities and social sciences—to develop critical and analytical skills in Asian American Studies as a discipline of inquiry.

Seminars in Asian American Studies

Thematic seminars to prepare students in disciplinary and interdisciplinary inquiries.

Asian American Community Studies

In-depth studies of pertinent issues facing the Asian American community, particularly issues of public policy and health concerns through an interdisciplinary approach.

Electives or Emphasis

Courses taken on advisement with prior approval from the graduate advisor that aim to provide flexibility for graduate students to enroll in courses (upper division and/or graduate courses offered within or outside the AA S Department) to pursue an emphasis within Asian American Studies; e.g., Asian area studies, counseling, creative writing, education, English studies, cinema, electronic or print journalism, health services, history, international business, international relations, social work, etc.

Culminating Course—Master’s Thesis or Field Study

An independent and final project, which can be either scholarly, community-based, or creative/artistic under the supervision of graduate faculty, as evidence of abilities in both research methodologies and critical analysis or artistic creativity.

Asian American Studies (M.A.) — Minimum 30 units

Theory and Research Methods in Asian American Studies (3–6 units)

AA S 697Proseminar in Asian American Studies3
AA S 710Critical Approaches to Asian American Studies3

Seminars in Asian American Studies (9–12 units)

AA S 800Theory and History in Asian American Studies3
AA S 810Seminar: Asian American Immigration3
AA S 822Seminar: Asian American Literature and Arts3
AA S 833Seminar: Asian American Family and Identity3
AA S 884Critical Asian American Educational Experience and Pedagogy3

Asian American Community Studies (3–6 units)

AA S 865Asian American Community and Public Policy3
AA S 875Asian American Community Health Issues3

Electives or Emphasis (3–12 units; minimum 3 units)

Approved courses on advisement

Culminating Courses (3 units)

AA S 895Field Study in Asian American Studies3
AA S 898Master's Thesis3