The Program in Asian American Studies is an interdisciplinary research, arts, and teaching program that focuses on Asian Americans, both historically and in contemporary society. The certificate program provides students with an opportunity to develop a sustained intellectual focus on Asian American racial formation, communities, history, and culture. 

Courses offered by the program and through other departments incorporate the perspective of a variety of disciplines: communication arts, dance, education, English, ethnic studies, film, history, human development and family studies, journalism, literature, media, popular culture, social work, sociology, theatre, and visual arts. New course topics are introduced each year. Examples of past topics include: Asian American Activism, Asian American History, Asian American Literature, Asian American Women Writers, Asian Americans in the Midwest, Hmong American Studies, Contemporary Legal Issues in Asian American Communities, Mixed Race Asian Americans, Southeast Asian Americans in U.S. Schools, Asian Americans and Media, Afro-Asian Improvisational Dance, Psychology of Hmong Americans, and community-based research and service-learning courses. 

Many program courses fulfill the ethnic studies requirement and breadth requirements in the appropriate divisions.

For more information or to declare a certificate, please contact Nhung Nguyen, program administrator, at or 608-263-2976. Students may also contact Director Cindy I-Fen Cheng at

Download a certificate declaration form here.

Students gain knowledge about specific ethnic groups, socioeconomic political histories, cultures, and contemporary issues through an Asian American lens.

15 credits are required, TO INCLUDE:

ASIAN AM 101 Introduction to Asian American Studies3
Core - 9 credits from:9
Asian American Movement
Literature & Culture of Asian America
Asian American Literary and Popular Culture: Race, Fantasy, Futures
Asian American History: Movement and Dislocation
Asian American History: Settlement and National Belonging
Hmong American Experiences in the United States
Topics in Asian American Studies
A Survey of Asian American Literature
Asian Americans and Media
Topic in Asian American Literature
Asian American Women Writers
Asian American Poetry
Special Topics
Humanities Topics
Comparative course - 3 credits from:3
Introduction to Comparative US Ethnic and American Indian Studies
Ethnic Movements in the United States
Topics in Asian American Studies
Southeast Asian Refugees of the "Cold" War
Chinese Migrations since 1500
Mutual Perceptions of Racial Minorities
Race and Sexuality in American Literature
Special Topics
Humanities Topics
Mass Media and Minorities
Introduction to Southeast Asia: Vietnam to the Philippines
Racial Ethnic Families in the U.S.
Total Credits15

Residence & Quality of Work

2.750 GPA on all certificate approved courses

8 credits in the certificate, in residence


This undergraduate certificate must be completed concurrently with the student’s undergraduate degree. Students cannot delay degree completion to complete the certificate.

Please contact the director of Asian American studies to set up an advising appointment.

Ian Baird (Geography)
Leslie Bow (English/Asian American Studies)
Shelly Chan (History)
Cindy I-Fen Cheng (History/Asian American Studies)
Peggy Choy (Dance/Asian American Studies)
Michael Cullinane (Center for Southeast Asian Studies)
Joan H Fujimura (Sociology)
Alberta L Gloria (Counseling Psychology)
Maya Holtzman (McNair/SROP Programs)
Florence Hsia (History)
Gabe Javier (Multicultural Student Center)
Victor Jew (Asian American Studies)
Stacey Lee (Educational Policy Studies)
Lori Kido Lopez (Communication Arts)
Marlys Macken (Linguistics)
Ella Mae Matsumura (Business)
Jan Miyasaki (Asian American Studies)
Nhung Nguyen (Asian American Studies)
Pamela Oliver (Sociology)
Linda Park (Medicine and Public Health)
Eden Inoway-Ronnie (Academic Affairs)
Hement Shah (Journalism and Mass Communication)
Michael Thorton (Afro-American Studies)
Lillian Tong (WISCIENCE)
Lynette Uttal (Counseling Psychology)
Morris Young (English)
Timothy Yu (English/Asian American Studies)