GASP!  We have a New Program at UIC – GLAS!

What is GLAS?
Starting in Fall 2016, UIC will launch a new Program – GLAS. GLAS is short for the Global Asian Studies Program, an exciting new program that combines the Asian American Studies Program (ASAM) and Asian Studies (ASST). GLAS will include and incorporate elements from both ASAM and ASST, while growing in line with new research and developments in area and ethnic studies.

What is the history of Asian American Studies (ASAM) and Asian Studies (ASST) at UIC?
GLAS is a product of the merger of two programs with disparate histories on campus.  The Asian American Studies Program (ASAM) and the Minor began in 2010 after the tireless, dedicated, and selfless efforts of students, staff, and faculty since 1991. Asian Studies and its Minor, on the other hand, has had a much longer history at UIC.  In 2009, the Jamie McNulty Fund in Asian Studies was established following the generous $300,000 donation of then LAS Board of Visitors member James McNulty and his wife, Jamie Thorsen McNulty to underwrite language development (Chinese, Japanese, Hindi, and Urdu) and program administration in Asian Studies. For a detailed account of the history of ASAM and ASST, please visit Program Milestones.

Why did Asian American Studies and Asian Studies merge?
  • The artificial division between Asian American Studies and Asian Studies no longer makes sense in a globalized world where mobility of people, commodities, and cultures has become the norm.
  • The separation of the two fields has become an obstacle to producing innovative new work both intellectually and in terms of teaching; new work in both these fields increasingly emphasizes their linkages and intersections, which is one of the emphases in the new GLAS Program.
  • Combining the faculty and resources of the two programs will strengthen both of them and provide for a much richer and more encompassing student experience.

What jobs can I get with a GLAS minor?

The GLAS minor can help you stand out with any job that requires some knowledge of or familiarity with Asian communities and cultures in the US or elsewhere. These might include jobs in marketing, public relations, the culture or entertainment industries, public advocacy or other jobs in the non-profit sector, as well as jobs in education such as student services or administration. In addition, a GLAS minor can be excellent preparation for a career in law, medicine, education, politics, international relations or academia. With its emphasis on globalization and migration, alongside issues of social justice, it prepares students for a critical and rigorous analysis of the economy, politics, and society. 

How will a GLAS minor help with careers in Medicine, Public or Applied Health?
Asian and Asian American communities are one of the fastest growing immigrant communities in the US, and they often confront distinct health problems and challenges. This means that there will be an increasing demand for culturally sensitive and competent healthcare educators and practitioners. A GLAS minor can help students become aware of the specific histories as well as the cultural and political issues and concerns in Asian and Asian American communities, thereby better attending to this important segment of the health care market.

Are there internships in GLAS?
Yes! A new GLAS 105 1-credit course introduces students to the theory and practice of internships. A second 3-credit course -GLAS 250 - Critical Community Studies, specifically prepares students for internships with local Asian American community organizations. Upon completion of GLAS 250, students register for GLAS 495, the Service Learning Practicum, during which they will be placed in an internship off-campus. Students will receive course credit for successfully fulfilling the requirements of the course and internship. 

Where do I go for advising and to declare a Minor in Global Asian Studies?
For advising and declaring a Minor, you should see the Director of the GLAS Program. The current Director is Professor Anna Guevarra (  


Global Asian Studies - Frequently Asked Questions