Yingyi Ma

Associate Professor, Sociology


Yingyi Ma is an Associate Professor of Sociology and Director of Asian/Asian American Studies. She is the Provost Faculty Fellow on internationalization at Syracuse University, carrying the term between 2020-2022, where she leads and supports culturally responsive pedagogy and programs for international education and partnership. She received her Ph.D. in sociology from Johns Hopkins University in 2007.

Ma’s research addresses education and migration in the U.S. and China and she has published about thirty peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, in addition to books. The first line of research uses quantitative methods and examines fields of study often neglected in the context of education stratification, particularly how those fields provide a mobility strategy for racial minorities, the children of immigrants, and their families in the U.S. This line of research has received grants from the National Science Foundation, Alfred Sloan Foundation, and Association of Institutional Research.

Ma’s research on international education uses mixed methods including surveys and in-depth interviews. Her monographAmbitious and Anxious: How Chinese College Students Succeed and Struggle in American Higher Education, was published by Columbia University Press in February 2020. This book has won multiple awards from the Comparative and International EducatioAssociation and has been featured in national and international news media, such as The Washington Post and Times Higher Education. She is the co-editor of Understanding International Students from Asia in American Universities: Learning and Living Globalization (2017), which has won the honorable mention of the Best Book Award from the Comparative and International Education Association's Study Abroad and International Students Section.

Ma’s research and teaching has garnered recognition and awards from Syracuse University and beyond. For 2014-2017, she was among the four inaugural recipients of O’Hanley Endowment for Faculty Excellence in Maxwell; For 2021-2022, she is the inaugural recipient of the Yang Ni and Xiaoqing Li Endowment Fund for U.S.-China/Asia Relations in Maxwell. In 2019, she was selected as a Public Intellectual Fellow at the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, and she has published ten essays and been a frequent commentator for national and international media outlets. Full Biography

Select Publications

“Jumping on the STEM Train: Differences in High School Math and STEM College Degree Attainment between Children of Immigrants and Natives in the United States.”  Yingyi  Ma and Amy Lutz. Research in Sociology of Education, (2018), pp.129 – 154. 

“Study in the U.S: The New Education Gospel in China." Yingyi Ma, under contract with Columbia University Press.

“Learning and Living Globalization: Understanding International Students from Asia in American Universities." Yingyi Ma and Martha A. Garcia-Murrilo (Editors), Springer (2017) pp. 1-11.

“Fairness in Admission: Voices from Rural Female Students in Chinese Universities." Yingyi Ma and Lifang Wang,  Frontiers of Education in China, Vol 1, No. 1 (2016), pp. 44-73. 

More Publications

Research Grants and Awards

Member of the Pathway Through College Research Network. "The Timing of Entry to STEM." Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). 2018-2019.

Principal Investigator. Entry and Degree Attainment in STEM: The Intersection of Race/Ethnicity and Gender.” Funded by the Association for Institutional Research. 2013-2015.