students sit together making squares for a quilt

The Asian American and Pacific Islander Studies major examines the history, culture, and lived experiences of immigrants and their descendants from Asia, including South and West Asia, and the Pacific Islands, in the United States, the Caribbean, and elsewhere in the diaspora. In turn, it examines how the United States impacts these populations and their origin countries.

Students in AAPI Studies learn theories, methods, and content to understand the American experience and role of the United States globally. We do not define who is Asian American or Pacific Islander; rather, we look at the circumstances and stories in which communities around the AAPI major come to fruition. How do economic, psychological, historical, and social conditions create and complicate the AAPI identity? What does it mean to build a society with different groups vying for resources and belonging?

Therefore, the major focuses on a community-centered perspective, emphasizing cultural practices, artistic contributions, histories, and literary achievements of AAPI identities and other minoritized communities. In addition, the major explores historiography, oral histories, large-scale surveys, experiments, ethnography, interviews, and other methods within the Social Sciences and Humanities.