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Majoring in Asian American Studies

Students must complete the Undergraduate Registration Requirement and the degree requirements of their home school.

Major Requirements
Introduction to Asian American Studies
Three additional 200-level courses
Five additional 300-level courses. 1
One course outside of Asian American Studies that explicitly focuses on race, ethnicity, and indigeneity in the frame of US empire. Contact the DUS if you would like to know in advance if a course will count.
Two additional courses at either the 200- or 300-level.
Advanced Seminar for Majors and Minors
Independent Study in Asian American Studies
1These include at least one but no more than two 399s- Independent Study courses; they can also include a second enrollment in 392 if students take twice.
[In addition to study abroad courses and field studies]. Students must take at least one 399 course for supervised reading and writing for their Senior Essay or Senior Thesis with a faculty advisor. No more than two 399 courses can count toward the major.


Senior Project

Options for Senior Projects include:

Honors in Asian American Studies

 To qualify for honors, a student must demonstrate consistently high performance in the major and complete a major research project during the senior year, selecting a thesis adviser from among core and affiliated faculty. Students whose theses and grades meet program criteria are recommended to the college for graduation with honors. For more information see the director of undergraduate studies or program director.  Also see Honors in the Major.

How to Declare a Major in Asian American Studies

First, take a look at the requirements. Then talk with the Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS) about your plans, fill out the Declaration of Major form and the appropriate worksheet (please download pdf below). The major/minor declaration forms and instructions can be found under “Forms and Processes" here:

The DUS is responsible for approving and signing all Declaration of Major forms, all transfer credits, study abroad approvals and credit evaluation/transfer and, most importantly, all petitions to graduate. All Northwestern undergraduates who are interested in the major or who want to talk about Asian American Studies are encouraged to meet with the DUS. Email for an appointment. 

This worksheet can help you plan for a major in Asian American Studies. It’s a great way to take stock of where you are before you meet with the DUS to talk about your interest in the major.

The DUS for Asian American Studies is:

Prof. Shalini Shankar