The Maria Elena Yuchengco Philippine Studies Program at USF

The Filipino diaspora has become one of the world’s most important contemporary human movements. There are now more than a million Filipinos in California alone -- 350,000 of them call the San Francisco Bay Area “home.”  They are part of an eight million member, global Filipino community living and working in 120 countries but sending billion of dollars annually to support family and friends back in another “home.”  While settling into their adopted homelands, they weave a distinct brand of Filipino culture, history, politics, economics, psychology, education, business, law, arts, music, food, spirituality, literature, and language into societies and cities. It is not surprising, then, that Tagalog has become the second most spoken Asian language and sixth most used non-English language in the United States.
Aware of these complex transnational and diasporic intersections, USF designed an interdisciplinary Philippine studies program that educates the minds and hearts of students to:

  • Understand the formation of Filipino history, culture, and society in the Philippines, the United States, the Asia-Pacific region, and globally;
  • Develop sensitivities for the values, behaviors, ethics, and perspectives of Filipinos;
  • Be able to identify and discuss social, political, economic, business, psychological, and environmental issues relevant to the Philippines and the Filipino diaspora;
  • Obtain basic, intermediate, and advanced Filipino/Tagalog language proficiencies;
  • Appreciate the literary, linguistic, philosophical, religious, and artistic contributions of Filipinos to the Asian-American, Asian, and other communities;
  • Work in multi-cultural, ethnically diverse, and interdisciplinary environments;
  • Apply knowledge for activism, advocacy, and social justice in the San Francisco Bay Area, the Philippines, the Asia Pacific region, and the rest of the world.

Philippine Studies Curriculum

The USF Yuchengco Philippine Studies program allows students to pursue a B.A. in Asian Studies with a Philippine studies concentration or a business, nursing, arts, science, social science degree with a minor in Philippine Studies. Philippine Studies courses are offered every semester and help students to fulfill many of the University’s CORE, major, minor, elective, and language requirements. Since many minor requirements overlap, a student could easily double-minor in Philippine studies and Asian-American studies, Ethnic studies, or Asian studies.

Study Abroad and Immersion Programs 

Through the program, USF students spend a summer term attending Filipino and Philippine studies classes at the Ateneo de Manila University, a Jesuit Catholic institution in the Philippines. This Philippine immersion experience includes study tours and service-learning activities jointly with Ateneo students and faculty as well as local community-based organizations. Academic credit is provided.