Asian American Studies B.A.

College of Letters and Science

Division of Social Sciences - Department of Asian American Studies

About the Major

The Asian American Studies B.A. provides a general introduction for students who anticipate advanced work at the graduate level or careers in research, public service, and community work related to Asian and Pacific Islander Americans. As an interdisciplinary field, Asian American Studies examines the histories, contemporary realities, and diverse experiences of Asian and Pacific Islander Americans. The topical range includes immigration and diaspora, community work and development, race, gender, and generational dynamics, social activism, cultural production, political participation, and transnational encounters.

The goals of our education are: (1) to mount teaching missions that enable students to learn, to think, and to perform in a nurturing and intellectually stimulating environment; (2) to equip students with theoretical and practical knowledge, as well as analytical and communicative skills, which can reflect the multi-disciplinary strengths of our faculty; and (3) to serve student needs for personal enrichment by preparing them either for advanced graduate studies or for life after college as citizens, professionals, community workers, political leaders, and entrepreneurs.

The Asian American Studies major is a designated capstone major. Students are required to complete either a community-based applied team research project or an independent scholarly or creative expression project. Those who select the community-based project are expected to use their scholarly knowledge and analytical skills to examine problems facing Asian and Pacific Islander American populations, think creatively and innovatively about evidence-based solutions, and to produce reports that benefit community stakeholders. Those who select to design and complete an independent scholarly or creative expression project pursue a key idea or theme of personal interest that is related to their prior coursework and to the experiences and realities of Asian and Pacific Islander Americans. Through their capstone work, all students are expected to demonstrate their skills in using and synthesizing knowledge gained in disparate courses and communicating effectively their findings and conclusions in a final paper, report, or project and in a public forum.

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Asian American Studies in the General Catalog
Asian American Studies website

Contact Information

Asian American Studies
3339 Rolfe Hall, Box 957225
Los Angeles, CA 90095-7225

Choosing Your Course of Study at UCLA

Making the Right Decision

One of the most important decisions you will make in college is your choice of major — the field of study that represents your principal interest and that will likely contribute to your career goals. Some students select their major at the time they fill out the University’s application for admission, although a far greater number are undecided about their major.

Students in the College of Letters and Science do not need to declare their major in their freshman year. In fact, you can be an “undeclared major” until the end of your sophomore year, which is particularly advantageous if you are not certain of your specific academic goals. It is wise to wait and explore the diversity of subject areas offered at UCLA through taking introductory courses in a variety of disciplines. It would not be unusual for you to become enthusiastic about disciplines previously unfamiliar to you. With careful planning, these courses may also apply toward fulfilling your university and college requirements.

To narrow your choice of study, carefully consider the general college requirements, the description of courses offered in the major, and the departmental requirements for completing the program of study. Look at the books required for each course. Sit in on a few classes and talk with professors during their office hours. Discuss interests and plans with a departmental counselor or faculty adviser, a college counselor, or advisers in the UCLA Career Center.

Certain majors, especially in the arts, engineering, the sciences, and theater, film, or television require early declaration. Some have enrollment quotas and allow application by new majors only during a specified term. Students should check with the departmental adviser for the majors that interest them.

In addition, UCLA undergraduate students are limited to between 208 and 216 quarter units, depending on the college or school, to complete the academic program and fulfill all degree requirements. So, if you wait to declare a major, you should not wait too long. In any case, you must declare your major by the beginning of your junior year (90 quarter units).

When you are ready to declare your major, you should obtain a Petition for Change of Major from your college or school office.