Department Academic Advising

Prospective and current graduate students may email Justin Dela Cruz with any questions related to academic advising and admissions:

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General Questions

How do I find out if my application is complete?
To check the status of your application, log in to your online application account after December 15. You can access your account the UCLA Graduate Division webpage at The webpage will let you know if your application is complete or if parts are missing.
What are the program requirements for the MA program in Asian American Studies?
The program requirements for the MA in Asian American Studies may be found on the UCLA Graduate Division website as well as on the Asian American Studies Department website, in the MA Program Requirements page.
How long does it take to complete the MA program in Asian American Studies?
Normative time-to-degree for the MA program in Asian American Studies at UCLA is two years. Normative time-to-degree for the joint programs in Community Health Sciences (MA/MPH) and Social Welfare (MA/MSW) is three years. After two years (or three for the joint programs) students are considered beyond normative time, and do not qualify for financial support from the Department of Asian American Studies.
Is there a part-time MA program at UCLA in Asian American Studies?
No, the Department of Asian American Studies does not offer a part-time MA program. Students enroll in at least 12 units per academic quarter. However, many of our graduate students have maintained part-time or full-time work in the second year of the program after they completed their required coursework and as permitted by their research and thesis writing schedules.
When do you accept applications?
We accept applications once a year in the fall. We do not accept admission applications for the Winter or Spring quarters. Applications must be submitted by December 1st.
How many applicants apply to the MA program annually and how many are accepted?
On the average, we receive 50 applications and have accepted up to 15 students to the program.
How do I apply for the joint programs in Public Health and Social Welfare?
Go to the Academic Program section on the “Plans For Graduate Study” page of the online application. You will find a pull-down menu titled “Academic Programs” that lists graduate programs offered at UCLA. “–Single Degree Program–“ appears at the top of this list. Scroll down to the bottom third of the list and to “–Concurrent Degree Programs–“. Select the appropriate choice: “Asian American Studies MA – Social Welfare MSW” or “Asian American Studies MA – Public Health MPH”.

The “Degree Objective” pull-down menu will then list the concurrent degree for the academic program that you selected.

Although one online application is submitted for the concurrent degree program, please note that requirements must be met for two separate degree programs. Therefore, be sure follow the application requirements for each program, that is, 1) Asian American Studies and 2) either Public Health or Social Welfare. For example, if the Public Health program requires GRE scores for admissions, then scores must be sent to that department.

In the statements of purpose for both applications, be sure to indicate that you are a joint program applicant and the joint program to which you are applying.

For information regarding the joint program in Social Welfare, please see the Luskin School of Public Affairs Department of Social Welfare website. There is currently no faculty contact for the joint program in Social Welfare.

For information regarding the joint program in Public Health, please visit the Fielding School of Public Health Department of Community Health Sciences website.

Are other joint programs available with Asian American Studies?
No, there are currently no other joint programs available with Asian American Studies.

How to Apply:

How can I apply to the Asian American Studies M.A. Program?
All applicants must apply for admission to the Asian American Studies M.A. Program. The electronic application is available on the UCLA Graduate Division website. Along with the applications, prospective students must submit all required supplemental materials. For a full list and description of all required materials, please visit our Admissions Requirement page. Note that applications will not be considered until all required materials have been submitted.
Is there a paper application?
The application process is now conducted online.
Do I have to fill out the online application in one sitting or can I return to it at a later date?
The application may be completed one section at a time and in multiple sittings. An incomplete application will be held for 30 days from your last login; thereafter, it will be removed from the system.
How do I pay the application fee?
The $135.00 (for U.S. citizens and Permanent Residents) or $155.00 (for all other applicants) application fee must be submitted online by credit or debit card before the application can be processed.

Application Deadline

When is the application for the MA program due?
The application and all required supplementary materials, including letters of recommendation, unofficial transcripts, writing sample(s), and statement of purpose—MUST be submitted via the online application by the December 1st deadline.

The application to the MA program is available online at:

If any portion must be mailed, such as official transcripts and audio or visual materials for the Individual Project (e.g., published articles, art portfolios, CDs/DVDs, etc.), it must be must be received by the December 1st deadline

Please mail official transcripts and other relevant materials to:

UCLA Asian American Studies Department
Attn: Graduate Admissions
3336 Rolfe Hall
Box 957225
Los Angeles, CA 90095-7225

Your application cannot be reviewed for admission until you have:

  • Paid the application fee by credit or debit card in U.S. Currency ($135.00 for U.S. citizens and Permanent Residents, $155.00 for all other applicants) and
  • Uploaded and/or sent the required supporting documents.

All sections listed on the main menu must be completed before you can submit the application. This must be done no later than 5:00 pm, December 1st.

Application Processing

Who should I contact to determine if my application is complete?
Please check the Graduate Division’s application webpage after December 15th to see if your application is complete.
Who do I contact to make sure that my application fee was received?
Please contact the UCLA Graduate Admissions Office at (310) 825-1711 to check if your application was received.

The UCLA Graduate Division handles the online application and the application fee; the Department of Asian American Studies processes supplementary materials (statement of purpose, writing sample, letters of recommendation, and transcripts).

When will I hear about the decisions on admission to the graduate program?
We will make every effort to notify all applicants by April 15th.

Statement of Purpose

How long should my statement of purpose be?
The statement of purpose should address your reasons for pursuing an M.A. degree in Asian American Studies, past and present experiences within the field, and your involvement with the Asian American community.  The statement of purpose should be approximately 1-page (500-word limit), single spaced, using 1-inch margins and 12-point font.

Writing Sample

How long should the writing sample be?
There is no page limit, however, only one writing sample will be evaluated.
What “writing sample” do I turn in if I plan to do an Individual Project for the Asian American Studies MA?
If you plan to focus on an Individual Project (such as a collection of poetry or short stories, novella, playscript, film, etc.) for the Asian American Studies M.A. degree, a total of two writing samples must be submitted: one that describes your creative work (poems, excerpts of short stories and playscripts, films, web design, etc.), and a second that focusing on a topic of your choice.
Does the writing sample have to be on an Asian American topic?
No, but the Admissions Committee prefers writing samples that focus on Asian American topics. However, the Committee understands that not every college or university offers courses in Asian American Studies. What is important is that the writing sample is coherent, well-organized, and demonstrates strong writing and analytical skills.
Can I edit the writing sample or should I submit it as is?
The Admissions Committee strongly recommends that you revise the writing sample before you submit it with your online application. You may want to ask a faculty member to work with you on editing the paper before you submit it for review by the admissions committee.
It has been several years since I have been in school. Does the writing sample have to be an academic paper?
No, creative writing or a substantial community report may be submitted. However, please bear in mind that the writing sample should give the admissions committee a sense of your ability to tackle graduate-level work.
Should I submit a stronger non-Asian American Studies writing sample or a less developed Asian American Studies writing sample?
You should submit the stronger writing sample, particularly if it demonstrates your research and analytical abilities. However, the Admissions Committee recommends that you revise the Asian American Studies writing sample, if possible.

Letters of Recommendation

How many letters do you require?
We require three letters of recommendation.
Who should write letters of recommendation for me?
Preferably at least two letters of recommendation should be from academic faculty. The recommender should be able to address your writing skills, research and analytical skills, and classroom interaction.
I have been out of school for several years, can a letter from someone who is not a professor be submitted?
Yes, however, we recommend that at least two be from faculty. Be sure that the recommender can address your leadership ability, writing and analytical skills, or other skills and experience that would make you a good candidate for the graduate program.
Can I send in more than three letters of recommendation?
Additional letters may not be read by the Admissions Committee.
What if my recommender cannot submit the recommendation via the online process?
The Asian American Studies Department strongly recommends the submission of letters of recommendation via the online application process. If, however, your recommender cannot submit a letter electronically, contact the UCLA Graduate Division Office of Admissions, Student and Academic Affairs for instructions as the online application will not let you proceed if three recommenders are not entered.

In addition, a Letter of Recommendation form must be downloaded HERE, printed, completed, signed by you, and then given to your recommender. Your recommender must then complete the form, check all assessment boxes, sign the form, and return the form and a letter of recommendation to you. Submit the letter of recommendation along with two copies of official transcripts—and material which cannot be uploaded to the online application, if any—directly to the Asian American Studies Department.

The Letter of Recommendation form is incomplete if it is not signed by you and the recommender, and it will not be reviewed as part of your application. The letter and form must be received by the December 1st deadline.


How many copies of the transcript should I send?
One official, sealed hardcopy academic transcript with evidence of degree conferral from each institution the student received a degree from is required. Request of transcript forms can be downloaded HERE.
Do you require transcripts from all of the colleges and universities that I have attended?
How are the transcripts evaluated?
We evaluate the entire transcript, and take into account that some applicants have changed majors during their undergraduate course of study.
What if the university that I went to does not offer Asian American Studies courses? Will this affect my chances of getting in to the program?
No. We understand that not all universities offer courses in Asian American Studies.

The Admissions Committee evaluates the entire application, including transcripts, statement of purpose, writing sample, and letters of recommendation.

GRE Scores

Are GRE scores required for the application?
What happens if I send in my GRE scores?
They are not required, but if you submit them, they may be evaluated with your entire file.

Financial Support

What kind of financial support does the graduate program offer in the first year?
Students can apply to the UCLA Graduate Opportunity Program (GOP), a campus wide competitive fellowship that covers registration fees, non-resident tuition, and includes $25,000 stipend. There are also a small number of fellowships that are administered by the Department of Asian American Studies. The number students that receive fellowships in the first year is dependent upon the Graduate Division’s selection of GOFP awardees and the limited fellowship funds of the Department.

Additional support is available through Special Fellowships Office of the Graduate Division. Please refer to for a listing of Graduate Division Fellowships & Grants open to entering graduate students.

What kind of financial support can I receive for the second year?
Support for the second year comes in many forms. Students can apply for Teaching Assistantships and Research Assistantships with the Department of Asian American Studies. There are also departmental fellowships; Graduate Division fellowships; fellowships and research grants administered by the Asian American Studies Center, fellowships available from on-campus institutions; and extramural support.
What kind of financial support can I receive AFTER the second year?
The Asian American Studies graduate program is a two-year program. Therefore, we do not provide financial support beyond the second year.
How do I apply for funding?
You must fill out the financial aid statement section of the online application.

International Applicants

Do you accept international applicants?
Yes, international students have been accepted to the Asian American Studies graduate program.
Do international applicants have to submit TOFEL or IELTS scores with their application?
Yes, all international applicants whose first language is NOT English are required to certify their proficiency in English. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) OR International English Testing System examination (IELTS) must be submitted with the application.
What is the minimum TOEFL or IELTS scores for recommendation for admission to UCLA?
The minimum TOEFL or IELTS scores, required by UCLA before a recommendation for is made by the graduate program, are 560 on the paper test or 220 on the computer-based test (TOEFL) or Overall Band Score of 7.0 (IELTS).
How long are TOEFL and IELTS scores valid?
Scores are valid for two years prior to application for graduate admission.
Can international students apply for Graduate Division funding?
Many of the Graduate Division fellowships are restricted to U.S. citizens or permanent residents only. Be sure to read the requirements of all awards that you apply for through the Graduate Division.

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