Hmong and Hmong-American Studies Certificate

Hmong history reaches thousands of years into the past. The Chinese word for Hmong is Miáo (苗), which consists of the radical for grain/grass (艹) above the character for field (田). Anthropologists, historians and archaeologists have concluded that Hmong people were one of the first rice cultivators in China. Prior to 1975, Hmong people were restricted to China and countries in mainland Southeast Asia. But in the aftermath of the Vietnam War, thousands have emigrated around the globe: to Europe, North and South America, and Australia.

Hmong-Americans are first-generation refugee immigrants from Laos and their descendants. Since 1975, Hmong Americans have established vibrant communities across the country from Massachusetts to California and from Alaska to Florida. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the U.S. is home to 270,000 Hmong-Americans - nearly half live in the upper Midwest. In Wisconsin and Minnesota, there are approximately 116,000 Hmong-Americans, roughly 43% of the total Hmong-American population. Michigan, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas and Indiana host smaller Hmong-American communities.

Housed in the Department of Race, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, the Hmong and Hmong-American Studies Certificate offers an excellent opportunity for students to learn about this rich culture and history. Through a set of carefully-structured courses, students will use a critical lens to explore topics related to Hmong studies, including but not limited to the following:

  • Human prehistory
  • History in China and Southeast Asia
  • Colonialism
  • Cold war conflicts
  • Refugee movements
  • Transnational migration
  • Tourism, globalization and development
  • Adaptation to Western societies: Enculturation and cultural renewal
  • Religion and religious change
  • Language
  • Identity development and formation
  • Global citizenship and global identity
  • Ongoing contributions of Hmong people to contemporary society

The goal of the Hmong and Hmong-American Studies Certificate is to prepare students to be critical thinkers, effective communicators, and constructive agents of change. Study abroad trips may provide additional opportunities for field research and experiential learning.

(All colleges, open only to degree-seeking UWL students)

15-17 credits

Race, Gender, Sexuality, and Class
Hmong Americans
RGSS Senior Capstone
Introduction to Linguistic Anthropology
Refugees, Displaced Persons and Transnational Communities
Peoples and Cultures of Southeast Asia
Communication and Race
The Vietnam War Era
Imperialism in Asia and the Pacific
Hmong Heritage Language: Intermediate
Hmong Heritage Language: Advanced
Asian American Studies in Race, Gender, and Sexuality
Intercultural Interactions
Total Credits15-17

To complete the certificate program, a candidate must earn a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA for course work in the certificate.