Established in 1969, the UCLA Asian American Studies Center (AASC) is a national research center that promotes interdisciplinary scholarship bridging research with the lived experiences of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to advance social justice. The AASC grew out of the social movements of the 1960s, as students called for a more accessible and relevant education to address urgent issues in their communities and in society. The AASC is proud to be a part of the UCLA Institute of American Cultures alongside the American Indian Studies Center, Chicano Studies Research Center, and Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies. Each Center has faculty affiliates across the campus and works alongside the ethnic studies departments. They collectively represent the largest hub of ethnic studies research, teaching, and engagement in the country.

The mission of the AASC is to expand our scholarly capabilities and deepen the public understanding of Asian American and Pacific Islander lives towards a more just, democratic, and compassionate society. The Center has advanced new fields of scholarship and teaching in Asian American Studies since its founding. The individual work of the Center's faculty, staff, and students as well as collaborative projects across centers and institutions continue the legacy of transformative research, teaching, and civic and community engagement.
AAPI Policy Initiative

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) are playing an increasing role in all arenas of decision-making and politics in the United States. Yet, there is a long way to go before the full chorus of voices among our diverse Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander ethnic communities is heard. The UCLA Asian American Studies Center (AASC) has been engaged in community-based and policy-relevant research for over 50 years and in 2021 launched the Asian American & Pacific Islander (AAPI) Policy Initiative in the midst of the pandemic. We build on our long history as a recognized leader in Asian American Studies with a track record of excellence in applied policy research, publications, and leadership development.

The aim of the AAPI Policy Initiative is to support and produce research in collaboration with nonprofit advocacy organizations and policy makers to uplift AAPI perspectives in civic life and public decision-making. As a nonpartisan research entity housed under the UCLA Asian American Studies Center, the AAPI Policy Initiative will conduct and disseminate research in collaboration with stakeholders and policy makers.

AASC is home to the largest concentration of scholars who study Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander populations in the nation, with over 50 faculty members on its advisory committee. The AAPI Policy Initiative includes over 20 faculty and researchers from a dozen academic disciplines. In addition, AASC faculty have built collaborative networks of public policy research at campuses across the country.

Policy research capabilities of the UCLA Asian American Studies Center and its faculty include but are not limited to the following:

Population projections

Data visualization

Economic well-being


Climate change

Mental health


Political participation



Migration and immigration
Criminal justice
Institutional diversity
Urban conflict
Research Collaborations

The AASC has historically collaborated with other research centers at UCLA and other universities as well as with community and civic organizations. Some highlights of major policy research collaborations include:

1993: Partnered with the Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics (LEAP) and launched the nation's first "State of Asian Pacific America" publication series.

1998: Launched the annual Asian Pacific American Political Almanac of elected and appointed officials through a 15-year partnership with the Asian Pacific Institute for Congressional Studies.

2001: Became an AAPI Community Development Census Information Center in partnership with the U.S. Census Bureau.

A current collaborative project is Archiving the Age of Mass Incarceration with the other IAC Centers -- The Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies, American Indian Studies Center, and the Chicano Studies Research Center. Funded by the Mellon Foundation, the project establishes an archive on policing and an archival infrastructure for all four of the IAC ethnic studies research centers. The project builds off of the work of the award-winning UCLA-based Million Dollar Hoods research project led by the Bunche Center to map the fiscal and human cost of mass incarceration in Los Angeles. The archival collection will include oral histories documenting Angelenos' experiences with law enforcement and incarceration, as well as ephemera collected from the community to tell the stories of policing from the perspectives of those subject to it.
Publications and Reports

Publications from the UCLA Asian American Studies Center Press explore the histories, contemporary experiences, and perspectives of Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. They showcase the latest research across a range of disciplines from the humanities, social sciences, fine arts, and various professional schools.


The UCLA Asian American Studies Center Press has published over 200 books and over 100 reports. Among them are groudbreaking books like Roots, the first Asian American Studies anthology, and the award-winning Mountain Movers, which documents the founding of Asian American Studies at UCLA, UC Berkeley, and San Francisco State.


Publications Catalog

Policy Reports and Publications


The AASC is home to two national journals:


Founded in 1971, Amerasia Journal is the first and longest-rinning academic journal in the field of Asian American Studies. It features over 120 issues and 1000+ articles, available through nearly 3,000 institutions internationally.


Founded in 2003, AAPI Nexus Journal features applied research on policy, practice and community. The journal is searchable through over 300 different research databases.


AASC is developing digital books and downloadable texts for K-12 and college students to provide free, high quality curricula on Asian American and Pacific Islander history, culture and contemporary issues.


Mountain Movers

Vanessa Unmuted

Asian American and Pacific Islander Digital Textbook (launching soon)

Support for Research

The research mission of the UCLA Asian American Studies Center has been to shed light on the lives and experiences of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders by providing financial and administrative support to research fellows from across the nation and the world.


Endowed Chairs

The Center is the institutional home to endowed chairs who are nationally-recognized leaders in teaching and research in the field of Asian American Studies:


Endowed Chairs


Research Opportunities

UCLA supports the following fellowships and research grants hosted by the AASC:


IAC Visiting Scholar Fellowship Program

Chancellor's Postdoctoral Fellows

IAC Research Grants


The AASC also offers opportunities for faculty, student and community members for research and engagement:


Endowment funded research projects

Student awards

Activist-In-Residence Program

George and Sakaye Aratani Community Advancement Research Endowment (C.A.R.E. Awards)