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This archived information is dated to the 2009-10 academic year only and may no longer be current.

For currently applicable policies and information, see the current Stanford Bulletin.

Asian American Studies

Director: Gordon Chang

Asian American Studies (AAS) provides an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the historical and current experiences of persons of Asian ancestry in the United States. In using the term "Asian American," the AAS faculty recognize that the term seeks to name a rapidly developing, complex, and heterogeneous population and that there is neither a single Asian American identity nor one community that comprises all Asian Americans. Asian Americans include those with ancestral ties to countries or regions in East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, or the Philippines, among others.

AAS brings together courses that address the artistic, historical, humanistic, political, and social dimensions of Asian Americans and is an appropriate course of study for students interested in a variety of concerns related to Asian Americans, including: artistic and cultural contributions; current social significance; historical experiences; immigration, intellectual, and policy issues; relationships with other social groups; and the construction of the notion of Asian American as it addresses important theoretical and practical issues.


1. Core Curriculum

Asian American majors must take the 15-unit CSRE core curriculum including two introductory core courses and a senior seminar taken in Autumn Quarter of the senior year. One foundational course that focuses on a non-Asian ethnic group may be counted toward the 15-unit core requirement.

2. Foundational Course

Majors are required to take one foundational course in Asian American Studies. This may be either HISTORY 59, Introduction to Asian American History, or COMPLIT 148, Introduction to Asian American Cultures.

3. Area Study

Majors must complete an additional 40 units of course work from an approved list. One course must have an international dimension, preferably a focus on Asia. Five other courses must have an Asian American focus and must be selected from social science and humanities departments. Majors must take two courses offering a comparative perspective on race and ethnicity.

A total of 60 units of course work is required for the major.

4. Language Study (optional)

Students may obtain credit for their study of a related Asian language towards their degree. If students take 15 or more units of an Asian language relevant to Asian American Studies, they may apply 5 of those units toward their Asian American Studies degree.

5. Senior Paper or Honors Thesis

All CSRE-related majors complete a culminating research paper under the supervision of a faculty adviser.


A total of 30 units of approved course work is required for the minor. Two CSRE core courses and at least one foundational course are needed to fulfill the requirements for the minor. Proposals must be approved by the director.

Students in Asian American Studies may find the following courses useful in fulfilling course requirements in the major or minor.

Core Courses—

ANTHRO 88. Theories of Race and Ethnicity (5 units)

CSRE 196C/ENGLISH 172D/PSYCH 155. Introduction to Race and Ethnicity (5 units)

CSRE 200X. CSRE Senior Seminar (WIM; 5 units)

EDUC 245. Understanding Racial and Ethnic Identity Development (3-5 units)

HISTORY 64. Introduction to Race and Ethnicity in 20th Century America (5 units)

HISTORY 255D. Racial Identity in the American Imagination (4-5 units)

PSYCH 75. Introduction to Cultural Psychology (5 units)

SOC 147A/247A. Comparative Ethnic Conflict (5 units)

SOC 148. Racial Identity (5 units)

Foundational Courses—

COMPLIT 148. Introduction to Asian American Cultures (3-5 units)

HISTORY 59. Introduction to Asian American History (5 units)

Thematic Courses—

ASNAMST 146S/CSRE 146S/COMPLIT 146. Asian American Culture and Community (5 units)

ASNAMST 173S/CSRE 173S. Transcultural and Multiethnic Lives: Contexts, Controversies, and Challenges (5 units)

ASNAMST 161/CSRE 161. Asian American Immigration and Health (3-5 units)

Cognate Courses—

COMPLIT 41Q. Ethnicity and Literature (3-5 units)

EDUC 193F. Psychological Well-Being on Campus: Asian American Perspectives (1 unit)

ENGLISH 261B. Bright Lights, Global Cities: Reading Transnational Asia/Pacific Spatial Geographies (5 units)

ENGLISH 362S. Phantoms That Follow: Trauma and Disillusionment in Asian American Literature (5 units)

HISTORY 265. Writing Asian American History (5 units)

MUSIC 17Q. Perspectives in North American Taiko (4 units)

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