Master of Arts in Asia Pacific Studies

Our curriculum explores the cultures, economics, histories, literatures, philosophies, politics, and religions of China, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Vietnam, and other countries. Emphasizing the transition from traditional to modern societies—and the emergence of the global Asia Pacific in the 21st century—students pursue subjects of interest while developing skills and knowledge critical to this region. Students select a Humanities/Social Sciences or Business concentration, and fulfill an integral Asian language component.

Program Learning Outcomes

Students completing the MAPS Program will be able to demonstrate:

  • an ability to apply research tools and methods to analyze critically topics within class disciplines and contemporary interdisciplinary fields of Asia Pacific Studies.
  • an understanding of sociocultural histories and traditions, political and economic patterns of development, organizational practices and behaviors, and contemporary events as evidenced in the Asia Pacific region.
  • oral and written proficiency in an Asian language corresponding to the fourth semester of USF undergraduate courses, or the equivalent level in languages not taught at USF.
  • practical experience in Asia-Pacific related contexts via opportunities for academic and professional development such as internships, fieldwork, conferences, symposia, public programs, class excursions and other types of experiential learning.


Semester I

Required core courses:

  • APS 600 Interdisciplinary Research Methods in Asia Pacific Studies
  • APS 601 Comparative Modernization of East Asia

All courses are 4 units unless otherwise indicated. Per university and program policy, Asian language courses at fourth semester or below are not included in unit totals required for graduation. See Language Requirements.

Semester II

Students choose a Humanities/Social Sciences or Business concentration and select from the courses below:

  • APS 605 Cultures of East Asia: Religion and Philosophy
  • APS 606 Quantitative Methods (2 units)
  • APS 607 Analyzing Asian Business Environments (2 units)
  • APS 620 International Politics of the Asia Pacific
  • APS 646 Political Economies of Asia
  • APS 690 Asia Pacific Studies Elective courses (Human Rights: East Asian Perspectives and Practices, Translation Practicum; varies by academic year)

Summer Session

  • APS 698 Directed Study, Internship, or Advanced Language Course

Semester III

  • APS 636 Society and Culture in the Contemporary Asia Pacific *
  • APS 603 East Meets West: An Early Global History
  • APS 635 Literature of East Asia
  • APS 690 International Development Management in Asia
  • APS 690 Asia Pacific Studies Elective courses
  • APS 698 Directed Study or Internship

* Indicates required core course.

Semester IV

  • APS 650 Master’s Capstone Project


Language Requirement

Students with competence in an acceptable Asian language have some flexibility in how they meet the requirement for 4th semester proficiency. Qualified students may pursue one or more of the following options:

  • Continued study of their target language.
  • Study of another Asian language.
  • Verify language proficiency through a placement score, interview, and/or undergraduate transcripts with satisfactory grades or equivalent coursework.

Please note that four units of Asian language studies beyond second-year university level can fulfill four elective units of the 28-unit degree requirement.

Contact Info

MA Asia Pacific Studies

Brian Komei Dempster, Director

Kalmanovitz Hall, Room 185, 2130 Fulton Street, San Francisco, CA 94117-1080 (415) 422-6515 (415) 422-5933