The Asian and Asian American Studies program brings two traditionally distinct fields of inquiry together in dynamic conversation: Asian Studies and Asian American Studies. The program's transnational emphasis and research-intensive curriculum focuses on the complex social, cultural, political, linguistic, literary, artistic, and historical aspects of Asian, Pacific Islander, and Asian American life. We examine a wide range of social issues and problems inside these diverse communities—Filipino, Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Thai, Laos, Vietnamese, Korean, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, indigenous Hawaiian, and many other Asian/Pacific Islanders—to better understand the histories and contemporary experiences of these groups, but above all as a way to better understand the human condition. Comprised of the humanities, social sciences, and the arts, the program engages Asia, the Pacific, and the Americas not as static, monolithic sites but rather as sites of shifting historical, geographic, and geopolitical zones of interaction, struggle, and cooperation. With course offerings and faculty specializing in multiple academic disciplines, our program gives students interdisciplinary and multi-method research and learning skills to communicate and collaborate across cultures and communities, which will give them a competitive advantage in both their studies and in the increasingly diverse, globalized, and interconnected world of the 21st century.

Approved Courses

The following courses have been approved to fulfill the AIS course requirements for either a Bachelor of Arts in Asian and Asian American Studies or a Minor in Asian and Asian American Studies. Students must complete at least 21 credit hours in upper-division (300 or above) courses for the AIS major.


Mark Padoongpatt, Ph.D.,
Director — Asian and Asian American Studies
Office: CHB-B 421
Mail Code: 5027
Phone: 702-895-0847
Fax: 702-895-0850

William Jankowiak,
Professor of Anthropology (co-director, Asian Studies emphasis)
Office: WRI-B 108
Mail Code: 5003
Phone: 702-895-3610
Fax: 702-895-4823