2022-23 Edition

Asian American Studies, M.A. (4+1)

The combined Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in Asian American Studies is designed for students looking to engage in the most critical issues at the forefront of the field. At the conclusion of the program, graduates are trained in interdisciplinary theories and methods for social justice-driven research as well as have developed an understanding of issues facing local, national, and global Asian American communities through first-hand interaction and engagement.

All students wishing to participate in the program should first meet with the Director of Graduate Study to discuss eligibility and coursework opportunities. In order to be considered admissible, at minimum, students must meet the following criteria:

  • Current UCI undergraduate student status
  • Cumulative 3.0 GPA
  • Cumulative 3.3 GPA in all Asian American Studies coursework
  • Two Asian American Studies courses: one selected from ASIANAM 50, 51, 52, 53, or 54, and one other lower- or upper-division course in Asian American Studies

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis during the final year of undergraduate study. The process to apply is as follows:

  • Set up an advising appointment with the Humanities Assistant Director of Graduate Study.
  • Complete an online graduate application through UCI Graduate Division.
  • Submit the following supplemental application materials: unofficial transcripts of all post-secondary work, one letter of recommendation from an Asian American Studies core or affiliate faculty member, and a writing sample (10 pages in length).
Course Requirements

All students at the graduate level of the B.A./M.A. program must complete a total of nine courses (36 units) for the degree.

A. Complete the following:
ASIANAM 200A Theory and Methods in Asian American Studies
ASIANAM 200B Contemporary Issues in Asian American Studies
ASIANAM 200C Leadership and Social Change in Asian American Communities
ASIANAM 200D Introduction to Asian American Studies Research
ASIANAM 201 Graduate Topics in Asian American Studies
or ASIANAM 250 Advanced Topics in Asian American Studies
B. Complete three of the following:
ASIANAM 290 Directed Research
C. Select one graduate level elective
Language Requirement

Students must complete college-level coursework equivalent to UCI’s sixth quarter of study (2C level, or for Latin or Greek, one 103 and one 104, or two 103s or 104s) in a language other than English or equivalent competence. The final course must be taken for a letter grade and passed with a grade of C or better.

Degree Conferral

M.A. students may complete one of the following options as their degree capstone. Regardless of capstone track, all students must have a minimum GPA of 3.5 and complete a defense open to the public to earn the degree.

Plan I – Thesis: The thesis, approximately 25 to 35 pages in length, is a piece of independent research reviewed and approved by the faculty advisor and the thesis committee.

Plan II – Comprehensive Exam: At the end of the final quarter, the M.A. candidate must pass a comprehensive exam that illustrates mastery of key concepts and methods of inquiry in Asian American Studies. The final format of the exam is determined in consultation with the faculty advisor, but can take various forms, including a full-length creative work or a policy report. A written evaluation of said work, approximately 10 to 15 pages in length, is also to be submitted for review. The exam is administered by the faculty advisor and an exam committee comprised of at least two additional Asian American Studies faculty members.

Time to Degree

Students complete all degree requirements and the Master’s thesis/comprehensive exam within one year (three quarters) once they have transitioned to graduate student status. Maximum time to degree is two years after the Bachelor’s degree.