The Department of Asian American Studies at UCSB was the very first academic department dedicated to the study of Asian Americans at a major research university, and the first department in the United States to offer a Bachelor of Arts degree in Asian American Studies.

The Department offers undergraduate majors the opportunity to study and understand the experiences of Asian Americans, particularly their histories, communities, and cultures. Students learn to evaluate the existing literature in Asian American Studies, to analyze a variety of data on Asian Americans, to conduct original research, and to participate in internships and social justice issues.

A minor degree, Honors program, and community studies courses are also available to students. The Department provides a well-rounded, interdisciplinary curriculum which engages approaches from traditional disciplines, including history, sociology, anthropology, and literature, as well as from interdisciplinary scholarship in women's studies, law and society, public policy, global studies, social movements, cultural studies, and film and media studies.



Angela Marie Subido

The Asian American Studies Department has given me new meaning as to what it means to be “Asian American.” Through each course I have enriched my understanding of history, multiculturalism, and community formations. Each lesson has served as a unique piece to the puzzle that fits together and defines Asian American identity. Being an Asian American Studies major has allowed me to see the greater picture, to be more mindful of the lived experiences of others, and to be more thoughtful in examining myself as a cultural being. Although my time here at UCSB is coming to an end, I have realized that I have barely unearthed the surface of the Asian American experience. Despite all that I have studied and critiqued in the classroom, when I leave Santa Barbara in the Spring, I will remain bright-eyed and curious, and most importantly inspired to translate the knowledge I have gained into tangible change. I thank the department for igniting my passion, and strive to be an advocate for the mental health, well-being, and solidarity of the Asian American community in future endeavors. -- Class of 2019


Christine Choi

I'm incredibly grateful for the opportunities that the Department of Asian American Studies has given me to grow, not only academically through their incredible courses, but also personally, as I grew closer to my own culture as an Asian American, and professionally, as I am now a Peer Adviser/Office Assistant for the Department. By being an Asian American Studies major, I've been able to take so many different courses on variety of topics, and in every course, though there are a lot of common themes, I've always been given the opportunity to dive further into a topic and learn even more. I can confidently say that becoming an Asian American Studies major was the reason why I chose to stay at UCSB -- I finally felt like belonged and truly enjoyed what I was studying, as well as found a place where my learning and growth both as a student and person were welcomed. -- Class of 2020


Upcoming Events

An Engaging, Free Speaker Series, Featuring UCSB Professors At Santa Barbara's Favorite Watering Holes.

  1. March 20, 2019 - 6:00pm

Please join us for a public talk given by Visiting Professor Eleanor Ty on how Kim's Convenience uses humor to reveal, ridicule, and contest attitudes toward racialized immigrants.

  1. April 3, 2019 - 12:30pm to 2:00pm


Happening Thursday, March 14th, from 6-9 pm. FREE donuts, coffee, and test materials!

Happening Tuesday, January 29th, from 6-9 pm. FREE pizza, drinks, snacks, and test materials will be provided!

The Department of Asian American Studies is looking for a new Assistant Professor