Asian/Pacific/American Studies

Iyko Day, Program Co-Chair, Associate Professor of English

Overview and Contact Information

The Five College Asian/Pacific/American Studies (A/P/A) Certificate enables students to pursue concentrated study of the experiences of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the Americas. Through courses chosen in consultation with a Mount Holyoke A/P/A program advisor, students can learn to appreciate A/P/A cultural and artistic expressions, understand and critique the racial formation of Asian/Pacific/Americans, and investigate how international conflicts, global economic systems, and ongoing migration affect A/P/A communities and individuals and their intersections with others.

Drawing upon diverse faculty, archival, and community-based resources, this program encourages students not only to develop knowledge of the past experiences of Asian/Pacific/ Americans, but also to act with responsible awareness of their present material conditions.

See Also

Requirements for the Certificate

A minimum of seven courses:

One foundation course. This course offers an interdisciplinary perspective on historical and contemporary experiences of Asian/Pacific/Americans. Attention will be paid to interrogating the term Asian/Pacific/American and to comparing different APA populations distinguished, for example, by virtue of their different geographical or cultural derivations, their distribution within the Americas, and their historical experience of migration. 1
One Expressions course devoted to the study of A/P/A cultural expression in its many forms
One U.S. Intersection course dedicated to the study of intersections between A/P/A and non-A/P/A experiences within the United States.
One Global Intersections course that offers perspectives on Asian/Pacific/Americans from outside the United States.
Three other elective courses, through one of which you may complete your special project (see below)
Total Courses7

Other Requirements

  • Special Project. Normally fulfilled in the third or fourth year, this requirement involves the completion of a special project based on intensive study of an A/P/A community through research, service-learning, or creative work such as an internship, action-research or a fine arts project. This is often done by students enrolled in an upper-level or independent study course. Projects should include both self-reflective and analytic components. Students fulfilling this requirement will meet as a group at least once during the semester to discuss their ongoing projects and at the end of the semester to present their completed projects at a student symposium or other public presentation. Students’ plans for completing the requirement should be approved by a Mount Holyoke A/P/A program advisor in the previous semester.

Additional Specifications

  • Courses taken at another campus must be approved by Mount Holyoke A/P/A advisors to count towards the minimum seven courses required. A list of candidate courses is available on the certificate's website.
  • Students must receive the equivalent of a B or better in all courses counted toward the certificate.
  • Courses counted toward satisfaction of a major requirements may also be counted toward the A/P/A Certificate.
  • No course can be counted as satisfying more than one certificate distribution requirement.
  • Courses taken abroad may be used to fulfill the distribution requirement with the approval of a Mount Holyoke A/P/A program advisor.
  • Students are encouraged to attain some proficiency in at least one language other than English, especially if such proficiency facilitates the completion of the special project component of the certificate program. While English is sufficient and appropriate for the completion of many projects involving Asian/Pacific/American communities, many sources and communities can be consulted only through other languages.