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Sharmila Rudrappa, Director BUR 556, Mailcode A2200, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-232-9468

Asian American Studies Graduate Portfolio Program

The Graduate Portfolio in Asian American Studies provides certification of teaching and research expertise for MA and Ph.D. students working on projects concerning Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies.  The program serves students concerned with questions of migration and citizenship, transnationalism and globalization, the politics of representation, race, ethnicity, gender, social theory, postcolonialism, neoliberalism, and imperialism.  Relevant courses are taught by faculty across campus, but particularly in the areas of media and communications, English, History, American Studies, Human Ecology, Education, Anthropology, Sociology, Social Work, comparative race and ethnicity, Women and Gender Studies, Asian Studies, and public policy.  The AAS portfolio is intended to complement existing programs and should not extend time to graduation.


The MA and Ph.D. Portfolios require the completion of twelve credit hours in approved graduate level courses. The twelve credit hours in the Portfolio can include three hours from one independent study or directed reading with an affiliated faculty member, and at least two of the courses must be taken outside the student's home department.

Additional Requirements

Students will also be required to participate in an annual culminating event in the late spring. Prior to the event, students will submit an abstract of their graduate project to the Portfolio Committee, which will post the abstract on the portfolio program's website. At the event, students will give a public presentation of their scholarly project or research paper.


Courses that have received approval as fulfilling portfolio requirements being offered in the forthcoming semester are listed on the Approved Courses page.

See Sample Classes that may fulfill AAS Portfolio requirements.


Students, including those from departments with no faculty representatives in the program, can enter the portfolio program at any point in their graduate work. Please click here for the application. 

Admission Requirements and Process

Students interested in participating in the program must complete an application form and submit a statement of purpose, which will include:

  1. The student's interests in the program;
  2. A rationale for pursuing a specialization in Asian American Studies;
  3. A clear statement explaining the importance of this type of program and specialization for the student's graduate program and career goals;
  4. A proposed roster of relevant courses that fulfill the portfolio requirements, including courses that the student may already have taken.
  5. The signature of the student's faculty adviser and departmental Graduate Adviser;
  6. Signed acknowledgement by the student that if accepted in the portfolio program, they will meet at least once per semester with the AAS program supervisor to plan their course of study.


Completed applications must be submitted to the portfolio program supervisor who coordinate the program in conjunction with the portfolio executive committee. 


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