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Asian and Asian American Studies Certificate

Contact: C.N. Le
Office: 508 Thompson Hall
Phone: 545-4074

The Program

The Asian and Asian American Studies Certificate provides students from all majors with an opportunity to augment their major course of study with educational experiences exploring Asian cultures and societies and their role in the historical and contemporary worlds, and the experience and contributions of Asian Americans in the United States. The program is designed to serve a wide range of students—from business and marketing majors who hope someday to conduct business in Asia to Asian Americans who wish to explore their histories and cultures and the relationships of their communities to American society.

As American society becomes more diverse, multicultural, and globalized, and in the context of the cultural and economic emergence of Asian countries such as China and India, the Certificate gives students the opportunity to learn about the interconnections between Asia and Asian America, two similar but unique sets of histories, cultures, and issues.

With that in mind, the Certificate is designed to give students 1) an understanding of different racial/ethnic groups and international issues and 2) interdisciplinary and multi-method research and learning skills. In turn, these skills give students a competitive advantage in both their undergraduate studies and in whatever career they enter after graduation.


Students complete a total of 22 credits in both Asian- and Asian American-focused courses. A minimum grade of C is required in all courses. No courses may be taken Pass/Fail.

All students take two required courses:
ASIAN ST 397B Bridging Asia and Asian America Colloquium
ASIAN ST 491A Senior Seminar

In addition, students must take at least two courses in each specialization area, after which they take two more courses in their specialization area of choice. With the approval of the Program Director, students may substitute courses offered by the four other colleges in the Five College community or taken through study abroad.

For students choosing the Asian Studies specialization, courses must cover at least two different cultural heritages, e.g., China and Vietnam. No more than 6 credits may be taken in any one department and no more than 6 credits of language courses may count toward the 22-credit total.

Students choosing the Asian American Studies specialization are required to take SOCIOL 240 Sociology of the Asian American Experience.


Although no formal enrollment is required, students are urged to contact the Program Director periodically to discuss their plans for meeting requirements and to monitor their progress.

Upon successful completion of all requirements, the Program Director submits students’ names to the Registrar’s office to confirm completion of the certificate program. Students then receive a certificate suitable for framing and their official transcripts include the designation “Completed requirements for the University of Massachusetts Asian and Asian American Studies Certificate.”