Program Overview

Our two-year, 28 unit program provides knowledge and in-depth analysis of the societies, history, literature, economies, and politics of the world's most dynamic region. The 28 units typically consist of five to six core courses, a capstone project, and two elective courses.

Classes are held in the late afternoon or evening, Monday through Thursday, which provides students with the flexibility to balance their graduate studies with work and personal responsibilities.

Program of Study

The program offers two concentrations: one in humanities/social sciences and one in business. In each concentration, students complete five core courses, two elective courses, and any necessary language study.

Core courses help students gain important foundational knowledge in key areas of the Asia Pacific, including history, culture, literature, politics, and economics. These courses largely focus on China, Japan, and Korea, and also explore South Asia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific.

The Cohort and Mentor Experience

Students progress through the program as a single group (or cohort) of peers, who start together in August and finish 21 months later. The cohort model of education allows faculty to tailor topics and projects in the courses to the unique needs and interests of individuals in each cohort. Complementary strengths within each cohort provide students with the opportunity to learn with and from one another.

Mentorship and Professional Development


The MAPS program offers internship opportunities in which students work at nonprofit organizations with an Asia Pacific focus. In the internships, students gain practical skills and knowledge while earning graduate credits toward the master's degree. The program also holds alumni career and networking events, where students meet organizations and companies that seek interns and employees.

Language Requirement

  • Requirements
    Two years of a university-level Asian and/or Pacific language is required for the degree. These two years of language study may be satisfied before enrollment in the graduate program, or during enrollment in the master's program. At USF, these two years of language study are an additional 16 credits of coursework. USF offers courses in Mandarin, Japanese, and Tagalog. Courses in other Asian languages — such as Korean, Vietnamese, and others — may be arranged via directed study at USF or at nearby accredited universities or institutions.
  • Testing Out
    If you come to the program with at least a high intermediate competence in an Asian and/or Pacific language (either native or learned) it may allow you to forego further language study. All MAPS students must demonstrate fourth semester or above language proficiency by graduation; such proficiency can be shown through previous coursework, an online test and an interview by a USF faculty member, or an interview conducted by an outside evaluator approved by the program.

Dual Degrees and Certificate

  • 4+1 BA/BS-MAPS Program
    The BA/BS-Master in Asia Pacific Studies is a 4+1 program that allows current USF undergraduates to study in an undergraduate major, complete graduate-level courses and requirements, and earn both a bachelor's and master's degree in five years.
  • MAPS/MBA Dual Degree Program
    Offered by College of Arts & Sciences and the USF School of Management, the Master in Asia Pacific Studies/Master of Business Administration program provides a humanities-based, interdisciplinary degree that applies business expertise to the development of the Asia Pacific and its impact on global economic systems.
  • Certificate in Asia Pacific Studies
    The certificate program accommodates professionals and students seeking graduate level training but who may have limited time. Students who successfully complete two seminars may apply for regular admission to the Master's program.


Am I free to pursue my own research interests in the seminar courses?

While the MAPS curriculum provides students with a common foundation of knowledge, you are able to pursue relevant and meaningful topics to you as a student of the Asia Pacific. Each instructor has their own projects, readings, and activities that make up the course requirements. Within that context, you are encouraged to focus on the cultures, nations, periods, or approaches that appeal to you.

Is it difficult to work while pursuing the MAPS degree?

A number of graduates of the MAPS program have worked full-time while earning their degree. Other MAPS graduates have worked part-time during their two years of study. It does require a degree of discipline and time management to balance work, study, and personal life, of course. We estimate that for every hour of class (about six to nine hours each week), a student dedicates about three hours outside of class in preparation, study, research, and writing. That means that your MAPS-related time may consume a total of about 25 to 30 hours each week, depending on your background and organizational skills.

How long does it take to complete the MAPS/MBA concurrent degree?

The typical completion time is three academic years, including summer sessions. It is, however, possible to complete the dual degree in a slightly shorter span. MAPS core and elective courses are offered in the evening in the fall and spring semesters, and language courses can be taken at various times. In the summer, MAPS students can pursue language, directed study, and internship options. MBA courses are offered during the day and in the evening during summer as well as the fall and spring semesters.

Contact Info

Asia Pacific Studies MA

Brian Komei Dempster, Director of Administration

Kalmanovitz Hall, Room 241, 2130 Fulton Street, San Francisco, CA 94117-1080 (415) 422-6515