M.A. in Asia Pacific Studies


Program Description

Program Details

Our two-year, 28-unit program provides knowledge and analysis of the societies, history, literature, economics, and politics of the world's most dynamic region. The 28 credits 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 the flexibility to balance their graduate studies with work and personal responsibilities.

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.

Program of Study

The program offers two emphases: one in humanities/social sciences and one in business. In each emphasis, 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 and Southeast Asia.

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. Additionally, first-year students are offered the option of a second-year mentor who helps guide them.



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 annual 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 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 language (either native or learned) it may allow you to avoid 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/or an interview by a USF faculty member.

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 is designed to provide a humanities-based, interdisciplinary degree that applies business expertise to the development of Asia 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 not need an Asian language. Students who successfully complete two seminars may apply for regular admission to the program.

Last updated Feb 2018

About the School

As one of the country’s premier Jesuit Catholic universities, the College of Arts and Sciences pairs a rigorous academic curriculum with an urban, global perspective. The college's vision of success i ... Read More

As one of the country’s premier Jesuit Catholic universities, the College of Arts and Sciences pairs a rigorous academic curriculum with an urban, global perspective. The college's vision of success involves both the head and the heart, with outstanding faculty members giving students the skills and compassion to fashion a more just and humane world. Read less
San Francisco , Buenavista , Orange + 2 More Less