Your browser is unsupported

We recommend using the latest version of IE11, Edge, Chrome, Firefox or Safari.

Global Asian Studies

group of people in circle

Global Asian Studies (GLAS) engages in the interdisciplinary study of Asia, as well as transoceanic and transnational Asian diasporas. With its emphasis on diasporas, transnationalism, and comparative ethnic/racial studies, Global Asian Studies aims to better understand the globalized world we live in, and redress some of the shortcomings of a limited focus on either area studies (Asian studies) or ethnic studies (Asian American Studies) alone.

Global Asian Studies also includes new immigration patterns and historical shifts in U.S. and global racial formations, including lslamaphobia, new Orientalisms, and anti-Black, as well as anti-Arab/Muslim, racisms. Anchored by an intersectional, social justice, and community-engaged framework, the pedagogical and intellectual work of Global Asian Studies promotes an understanding of Asia and Asian diasporas as complex nexuses of knowledge and power, shaped and reshaped over time and space.

An education in Global Asian Studies can open up a variety of careers in the arts, business, education, government, health sciences, international affairs, public policy, media relations, politics, and social services.

GLAS is now offered as a Major and a Minor!


Career Highlights Heading link

apple on top of a stack of books

UIC graduates in GLAS are prepared to enter the workforce with skills in analysis, research, action, and communication.

Working in the fields of Advocacy, Social Services, Health, Education, Government, and Media, GLAS graduates are prepared for jobs in any field where a familiarity with Asian and Asian American communities and issues will help you to stand out from the crowd.

Explore careers in these professions:

•   Relations
•   Counseling
•   Teaching
•   Social Work
•   Legal Advocacy and Civil/Human Rights
•   Media and Communications
•   Community Organizing and Activism
•   Art and Performance
•   Journalism
•   Writing
•   Healthcare and Medicine
•   Public Health and Public Policy
•   International Relations
•   Radio, TV, Film, and Music
•   Environmentalism
•   Community Education
•   Religious Leadership
•   Local, State and Federal Government
•   Research

Unique Skills and Competencies Heading link

person next to a stack of books

In addition to the foundation set of skills and competencies you will gain in any liberal arts and science major, there are also unique skills and perspectives you gain from your GLAS major. Review the list below to learn more:

  • Ability to research and understand social, political, economic, and cultural histories of Asian peoples in a variety of contexts around the globe.
  • Competence in understanding and addressing the particular needs and issues of Asian immigrant and diasporic communities in the United States and other places.
  • Ability to utilize skills and knowledge in activism, engaged research projects, community initiatives, and educational and public policy.
  • Ability to engage in public discourses on racial and economic equity, social justice, feminism, and gender and sexual rights in local, national, and transnational contexts.
  • Acquire a broad perspective on Asia that is informed by perspectives of Asian American studies, Asian studies, race and ethnic studies, gender and sexuality studies, and migration and diaspora studies.
  • Develop critical thinking and analysis that is informed by multiple, interdisciplinary frameworks of thought, including criminology, history, sociology, cultural studies, political science, gender studies, education, psychology, healthcare, science, and technology

Industry Clusters Heading link

group of boxes

There are many work place settings, industries, and career areas you can apply your major based on your professional interests. What type of setting or career focus appeals to you?

  • Arts, Media, and Communications
  • Business and Entrepreneurship
  • Cultural and Museum Studies
  • Education
  • Government, International Affairs, and Public Service
  • Healthcare, Global Health, and Wellness
  • Law and Legal Services
  • Marketing, Advertising, and Public Relations
  • Social Services
  • Tourism and Travel
  • Writing and Editing

Meet Ada Tong, Class of 2016 Heading link

Ada Tong is currently the Chief of Staff of Asian American Services at the Illinois Department of Children & Family Services (DCFS). She was formerly the Constituent Services Coordinator for Illinois’ first Asian American State Representative Theresa Mah. Ada is a 2016 alumna of UIC where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Public Health with double minors in Asian American Studies and Public Policy. At UIC, Ada served as President of Public Health Alliance, Co-chair of the Asian American Studies Student Advisory Board, and a member of the Inaugural Chancellor’s Student Advisory Committee. These early experiences would propel Ada into community organizing and advocacy through different levels of government. Ada is a native of Chicago’s Chinatown neighborhood and is fluent in Cantonese and Mandarin.

In 2016, supported by the AANAPISI Initiative and mentored by Prof. Karen Su, Ada engaged in a project that provided her an opportunity to engage in a creative project that led to the creation of a painting entitled “Peace Revelations,” which Ada generously gifted to this year. “Peace Revelations” is proudly displayed on the 10th floor Conference Room. Come visit us and learn more about Ada’s painting.

Ada received her Masters in Public Policy (MPP) from the School of Global Policy and Strategy in 2021.

We are very proud of Ada and are honored and grateful for her generous and meaningful gift and most importantly, for all the continued support she has provided to and her contributions to various communities in Chicago.

Source: Global Asian Studies Website

Learn more about students who have graduated with a Minor in Global Asian Studies

Deeper Dive? Visit the Department Website for More Info!

View the Undergraduate Catalog