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UCLA Graduate Division

2014-2015 Program Requirements for UCLA Graduate Degrees

Applicable only to students admitted during the 2014-2015 academic year.

Asian American Studies

College of Letters and Science

Graduate Degrees

The Department of Asian American Studies offers the Master of Arts (M.A.) degree in Asian American Studies.

Admissions Requirements 

Master's Degree

Advising

Upon admission to the program, students are assigned an interim faculty adviser. Students are expected to meet with the interim faculty adviser, at the beginning of each quarter, to review their progress and for approval of their enrollment plan. Students may change their faculty adviser(s) as the student's project evolves or for any other reason, contingent on discussion between the student and the interim faculty adviser.

At the beginning of the second year in residence, students are expected to nominate a three-person master's thesis committee that, once approved by the program, is sent to the Graduate Division for appointment. This committee, which is usually chaired by the student's faculty adviser, is responsible for supervising, reviewing, and finally approving the M.A. thesis. The committee also conducts an examination of the student on the topic of the thesis. Students who plan to complete the M.A. degree through a written comprehensive examination rather than a thesis follow the specific procedures outlined under Comprehensive Examination Plan.

Areas of Study

Asian American Studies is an interdisciplinary major and its major fields are determined by the participating faculty from various disciplines.

Foreign Language Requirement

Prior to advancement to candidacy, students must fulfill either Requirement A or Requirement B:

A. Foreign Language Examination: Two years of university coursework or the equivalent in an Asian language. This requirement may be fulfilled before the student enters the program. Otherwise, the student must pass the UCLA Department Language Placement Examination.

B. Research Methods Requirement: Three upper division or graduate courses in research methods, for example, statistics, computer science, field and observational techniques, or archival materials. Courses should be selected from the Department's Approved List of Research Methods Courses.

Students must justify their choice of Requirement B in a written statement. This statement should be submitted to the Student Affairs Officer no later than the second week of the quarter they intend to file. The rationale must specify the courses selected and how they directly relate to research and career goals.

Course Requirements

A total of 11 graduate and upper division courses are required for the degree. Of the 11 courses, eight must be graduate level (200- or 500-series). Four required core courses are Asian American Studies 200A-200B-200C-200D. An additional three graduate courses must be selected from Anthropology 231, Education 204D, 253G, English M260A, History 201H, 246A, 246B, 246C, Law M315, Sociology 235, 261, M263. The remaining four courses are electives that must be approved by the faculty adviser; at least one must be a graduate-level course and the other three courses may be graduate or upper-division undergraduate courses. Elective courses should be selected to give the student additional training in a discipline or greater understanding of a particular topic. Only two courses in the 500 series may be applied toward the four elective courses; and only one of the two may be applied toward the required eight graduate courses.

Asian American Studies, M.A. /Public Health, M.P.H.

A maximum of 12 units of course work in Public Health may be applied toward both the M.A. in Asian American Studies and the M.P.H.

Asian American Studies, M.A./Social Welfare, M.S.W.

A maximum of eight units of coursework in Social Welfare may be applied toward both the MA in Asian American Studies and the MSW.

Teaching Experience

Not required.

Field Experience

Not required.

Comprehensive Examination Plan

Plan A (Written Comprehensive Examination). The M.A. degree may be completed through a written comprehensive examination. This examination is administered by a committee consisting of three faculty members chosen by the student. At least two faculty members need to be those who have taught the core series. The third may be chosen by the student in consultation with the faculty adviser. Requirements of the exam option include the following components: (1) designing three original syllabi with accompanying narratives that rationalize the course designs, (2) compiling a comprehensive annotated bibliography based on the content of the three courses, and (3) taking an oral examination based on (1) and (2). The examination is normally offered during the Spring Quarter. Students must notify the Student Affairs Officer of their intention to take the written examination at least one academic quarter before the exam. Students are given two oppotunities to pass the examination. Academic credit for examination preparation is given through Asian American Studies 597.

Plan B (Creative Project). This option is intended to provide the opportunity to design, research, and complete a creative project (e.g., short-story or poetry collection, art installation, documentary video, website, or playscript) with significance regarding some aspect of the historical or contemporary experiences of Asian Americans. A committee of three faculty members is normally constituted by the beginning of the student's second year in residence in the Fall Quarter, at which time the student is expected to submit for approval a project plan and timetable. After approval and completion of the creative project, the committee conducts an oral examination on it subject, usually in the Spring Quarter of the second year.

If the student chooses to do a non-written creative project (e.g., film, mural), it must be accompanied by an essay that is filed as a thesis. This requires the student to officially nominate a master's committee through the Graduate Division and be advanced to master's candidacy under the Thesis Plan (Plan I) rather than the Comprehensive Examination Plan (Plan II). The content of this thesis, in tandem with the project, must be approved by the student's committee. The approved thesis must be prepared and filed in accord with University regulations governing thesis preparation. Academic credit for thesis research and preparation is through Asian American Studies 598.

Thesis Plan

Every master's degree thesis plan requires the completion of an approved thesis that demonstrates the student's ability to perform original, independent research.

Plan A (Thesis). The thesis is intended to provide the opportunity for independent scholarly research on the historical and contemporary experiences of the Asian American population and should be an original contribution to the field. It should be the length and quality of a publishable journal article. A thesis committee of three faculty members is normally constituted at the beginning of the student's second year in residence in the Fall Quarter, at which time the student is expected to submit a plan of research for approval. After approval and completion of the thesis, the committee conducts an oral examination on its subject, usually in the Spring Quarter of the second year. The approved thesis must be typed and filed according to University regulations governing thesis preparation. Academic credit for thesis research and preparation is given through Asian American Studies 598.

Plan B (Field Research Thesis). A field research thesis is recommended for students who are interested in the practical application of what they have learned in their graduate coursework or who intend to pursue careers with Asian American community organizations and agencies. A field research thesis committee, consisting of three faculty members (one of whom is designated as the chair) and possibly the chief administrative officer of the client community organization, meets with the student and approves the project plan at the beginning of the student's second year in residence in the Fall Quarter. The chief administrative officer of the client community organization may either be appointed as an additional member of the committee, in which case the officer would be expected to read and sign the thesis as the fourth member, or serve as an unofficial and non-appointed consultant for the student, in which case the officer would not sign the thesis. After the thesis is completed, the committee conducts an oral examination on the written report of the thesis, usually in Spring Quarter of the student's second year. The approved thesis report must be typed and filed according to University regulations governing thesis preparation. Academic credit for field research is given through course Asian American Studies 596 or 598.

Time-to-Degree

The M.A. degree is designed as a two-year program of study. Following admission, an average of six quarters in residence are required to complete degree requirements, assuming no deficiencies need to be addressed through remedial courses outside of regular requirements (e.g., English 33 for international students with an English language deficiency). Coursework should be completed during the first four quarters of study. The foreign language/research methods requirement should be completed by the fifth quarter. Students should complete the thesis or comprehensive examination by the sixth quarter of residency.

Students admitted through regular fall admission should follow this recommended timeline for the first year:

Fall

Meet with the assigned interim faculty adviser at the beginning of the quarter to discuss an enrollment plan.
Enroll in Asian American Studies 200A and two elective courses.
Begin to explore thesis research areas with the faculty adviser or other faculty.

Winter

Meet with interim faculty adviser at the beginning of the quarter to discuss an enrollment plan.
Enroll in Asian American Studies 200B and 200D and one elective course.
Meet with Student Affairs Officer during week 5 to confirm the choice of faculty adviser.
Begin to develop potential thesis topic with the faculty adviser.

Spring

Meet with the faculty adviser at the beginning of the quarter to discuss an enrollment plan.
Enroll in Asian American Studies 200C and two elective courses.
Finalize a thesis topic or a comprehensive examination plan and establish a thesis or comprehensive examination committee during this quarter and in consultation with the faculty adviser and other faculty.
Submit a progress report at the end of the quarter.

Summer

Students use the summer and following months to conduct research for the thesis.

During the fall quarter of the second year, students should take at least one course in the 500 series and two other graduate or upper-division courses to fulfill coursework requirements. The second year should be devoted primarily to thesis research and writing or preparation for the comprehensive examination.

Termination of Graduate Study and Appeal of Termination

University Policy

A student who fails to meet the above requirements may be recommended for termination of graduate study. A graduate student may be disqualified from continuing in the graduate program for a variety of reasons. The most common is failure to maintain the minimum cumulative grade point average (3.00) required by the Academic Senate to remain in good standing (some programs require a higher grade point average). Other examples include failure of examinations, lack of timely progress toward the degree and poor performance in core courses. Probationary students (those with cumulative grade point averages below 3.00) are subject to immediate dismissal upon the recommendation of their department. University guidelines governing termination of graduate students, including the appeal procedure, are outlined in Standards and Procedures for Graduate Study at UCLA.

Special Departmental or Program Policy

The academic adviser may recommend termination for failure to maintain specified required progress toward the degree, failure of the oral examination, or failure to submit an acceptable thesis. A student may appeal a recommendation for termination to the full departmental committee.