Hmong & Hmong-American Studies Certificate program


Learn about the rich history, heritage and culture of Hmong Americans.

Hmong history reaches thousands of years into the past, and the story of Hmong people today extends around the globe.  In the U.S., Hmong Americans bring diverse backgrounds, experiences and service to their communities. 

Learn about the rich story of Hmong people that begins long before settlement in the U.S. and the Vietnam War. UW-La Crosse’s Hmong American Studies Certificate addresses the complexity of Hmong American developing identities in locations throughout the world, and is Informed by interdisciplinary approaches and rooted in UWL’s Race Gender and Sexuality Studies Department.

Career opportunities with a Hmong American Studies Certificate

Employers nationally are looking for employees with broad skills, including an understanding and experience working with people from diverse backgrounds. They expect the ability to think critically, appreciate multiple perspectives and participate in society as a conscious global citizen. Read more about employer expectations.

Studying another culture will cultivate awareness of your own identity and that of others. It will prepare you for your future by making you more employable and a more informed citizen. You’ll begin to understand how Hmong culture and other cultures are living, adapting and changing. 

What distinguishes UWL's Hmong American Studies Certificate program?

Well-researched, evidence-based tradition

A home in Race, Gender & Sexuality Studies Department grounds Hmong and Hmong-American Studies certificate in a well-researched, evidence-based tradition of scholarly inquiry. This foundation provides a strong starting point for exploring peoples’ experiences.

Strong community connection

The program has a strong connection to the community, supporting local events and conferences that promote Hmong culture and heritage. Courses may involve research with local Hmong organizations. La Crosse, Wisconsin is home to the Hmoob Cultural and Community Agency: HCCA; the La Crosse Hmong Faith Alliance, and other local and regional institutions and organizations.

Student organization

UWL has a student organization, Hmong Organization Promoting Education (HOPE). This group is an outlet for students outside of class. HOPE builds community, education, and family within the organization. They also support Hmong culture through the events throughout the year including: biannual Bridging the Gap conference, Building Our Future, and HOPE's annual dance.

Learn from diverse instructors

The Hmong American Studies Certificate is housed in the Race, Gender and Sexuality Studies Department, a diverse department with instructors from a variety of cultural and teaching backgrounds. Program Head Shuma Iwai brings expertise in areas of World History, Asian History, Asian American Studies, Religion, Intercultural Studies, Race and Media.

Sample courses