By working closely with other academic departments, Asian Studies offers a wide variety of courses that are designed to acquaint students with the history, institutions, religions, cultures and languages of Asia. Majors and minors establish firm foundations for further study.
Asian Studies students are encouraged to participate in the Colleges’ off-campus programs in China, India, Japan, Jordan, Korea, Taiwan, Tunisia, and Vietnam. All courses designated ASN are taught in English.
The program offers an interdisciplinary major, a B.A., and an interdisciplinary minor.
A senior Asian Studies major will be able to demonstrate:
- A multidisciplinary perspective centered on Asia.
- Foundational abilities in one or more Asian languages, including appropriate proficiencies in reading, writing, listening, and speaking.
- An understanding of current and historical cultural, social, geographical, and political diversity within Asia.
- The ability to plan and carry out scholarly research and give a scholarly presentation on an Asian topic in English.
A Note on Languages
At present, the Colleges have fully staffed language instruction in Chinese and Japanese. Arabic and Vietnamese are offered abroad and on campus, the latter remotely taught from Viet Nam. It is structured in cycles (Vietnamese 101 and 201 in the Fall and Vietnamese 102 and 202 in the Spring) in order to give students the opportunity to study up to four semesters. Historically, the Colleges have offered Hebrew, Hindi, and Korean at various levels, through study abroad programs, distance learning, and other means.
If you’d like to view a full listing of our course options in Asian Studies or any other subject, please visit the Online Course Catalogue.
Requirements for the Major (B.A.)
interdisciplinary, 12 courses
Four courses in one Asian language: Arabic, Chinese, Hebrew, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, or Vietnamese. (Students exempted from this requirement by passing a proficiency test permitting them to enter the third year or above of an Asian language must still complete 10 courses.) The departmental introductory course: ASN 101/HIST 107 Trekking Through Asia; at least two core courses on Asia in the social sciences division; at least two core courses on Asia from the humanities division that are not language courses; at least two Asian Studies electives; and the departmental capstone course: ASN 401 Senior Colloquium. All courses must be passed with a grade of C- or higher. Credit/no credit courses cannot be counted towards the major. At least two of the 12 courses must be at the 300 or 400 level.
Requirements for the Minor
interdisciplinary, 7 courses
At least two courses in one Asian language. Students may be exempted from this requirement by passing a proficiency test permitting them to enter the second year or above of an Asian language. Students who take advantage of this exemption still must complete at least five non-language courses in Asian studies for the minor. The departmental introductory course: ASN 101 Trekking Through Asia; at least one social science course on Asia; at least one humanities course on Asia; at least two Asian Studies electives. At least one course on Asia must be at the 300 or 400 level. All courses must be passed with a grade of C- or higher. Credit/no credit courses cannot be counted towards the minor.