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The Asian American studies major is an interdisciplinary approach to the social, cultural, and political study of people living in America of Asian descent. Topics include, but are not limited to studies of immigration, diaspora, law and legislation, community formation and civil rights. Asian American studies focuses mainly on those that take place in the United States and Canada. We believe that Asian American studies not only offers insight into Asian American experiences, but into the experience of all communities who have experienced immigration and acculturation in America.

The Asian American studies major is offered through the Center for Asian American Studies (CAAS) that aims to:
  • Educate and broaden awareness about Asian American issues;
  • Facilitate multidisciplinary research and teaching;
  • Critically engage and foster communities of Asian descent;
  • Focus intellectual study on racialized communities, especially those of Asian descent, both within and beyond U.S. borders;
  • Investigate the intersections of race, gender, sexuality, class, nationality, and other relations of power;
  • Become active in and support public services that address social justice relevant to racialized communities.

Declare This Major

Undergraduates currently enrolled at UT who wish to declare an Asian American studies major must first meet with an Asian American studies advisor. There is no formal application process. For more information, visit the student affairs page on how to declare a major.

Prospective University of Texas at Austin students should visit to learn about the application process and how to declare a major.

Required Courses

Visit the Ethnic Studies - Asian American studies degree plan to see all required courses for the Asian American studies major in the College of Liberal Arts. For additional information, view major requirements and Asian American studies course descriptions.


A major in Asian American studies helps you build and strengthen several key skills to make you a competitive applicant in most work environments. Around issues related to Asian American experiences, you will develop interdisciplinary skills to examine national and transnational issues concerning political, social, and economic organizations; power and inequality; hierarchies of race, gender, and sexuality; strategies to articulate and organize for effective social change; and cultural and media products of these phenomena.

Effective research and critical analytical skills will enable you to define, explore, and development your arguments and worldviews in ways that empower you to apply your learning lifelong and in subjects beyond Asian American studies. You will develop strong writing, and presentation skills that will allow you to communicate ideas clearly and concisely across a range of many disciplines and subjects. Regardless of whether or not you identify as an Asian American, Asian American studies aids in the development of knowledge and understanding of the American identity.

As with most liberal arts degrees, a major in Asian American studies can lead to a wide variety of careers. Past majors have entered graduate school in the fields of medicine, law, and social work. Besides these professional fields, many majors enter careers with significant levels of social and community engagement such as working for state and federal agencies; the nonprofit sector; performance; communications, marketing, and businesses with interests in multicultural and transPacific affairs; and positions of service and leadership within Asian American communities.

A small sample of directly related careers

Travel Agent
Foreign Service Officer
Study Abroad Coordinator
Travel Writer
Museum Curator
Community Service Manager
Cultural Anthropologist
Human Resources Manager
Nonprofit Manager

Remember: Your major does not (necessarily) equal your career. View a list of career ideas for any major.