Graduate Emphasis

Asian American Studies is an interdisciplinary field that offers a critical perspective on the histories and lives of Asian-identified people in the U.S. As a sub-field of Ethnic Studies, Asian American Studies contributes to the former’s disciplinary imperative to critique systems and hierarchies of power that have produced and continue to produce inequality and injustice. In this way, Asian American Studies scholarship attends to the subjectivities and positionalities of communities that have historically and structurally remained marginal in other established or mainstream academic disciplines.


Applicants to the Asian American Studies graduate emphasis must first be admitted to, or currently enrolled in, a participating UCSB Ph.D. program: English, Feminist Studies, Global Studies, History, Religious Studies, or Sociology. Applications to the emphasis may be submitted at any stage of the Ph.D. work and applications will be accepted throughout the year.



The graduate emphasis involves the completion of four required courses, or a total of 16 units, in addition to having an Asian American Studies Department faculty member serve on the candidate’s dissertation committee:


☐ One (1) theory and methods 4-unit course, ASAM 200, taught by Asian American Studies faculty. This graduate introduction to Asian American Studies epistemology is designed as a one quarter seminar that considers Asian American Studies as a distinct field of knowledge production. It offers an interdisciplinary exploration of Asian American theories and methods. Readings cover past and present critical debates and provide theoretical approaches through which to analyze interdisciplinary epistemological and pedagogical issues.


☐ Three (3) courses drawn from one or more of the following categories, at least one of which must be from the Asian American Studies Department: 

  • Topics courses from an approved list of courses in participating departments;
  • By petition, up to two upper-division undergraduate courses taught by an AASE-affiliated faculty, provided that additional graduate-level work is completed in those courses. That additional, graduate-level work is to be determined by the student in consultation with the professor; 
  • Up to two graduate level, 2-unit directed studies (ASAM 596) with an AASE-affiliated faculty.

☐ A faculty member or (0%) affiliated faculty of the Asian American Studies Department must serve on the candidate’s dissertation committee.




Please download the APPLICATION FORM HERE


Submit this form upon completion of the emphasis.