The Asian Studies major is an interdisciplinary program with an emphasis on the study of humanities, arts, social sciences and Asian languages as a way to understand Asian cultures. An Asian Studies major is ideal for a diverse group of students: those interested in a broad introduction to Asia, those interested in focusing on Chinese or Japanese language and culture studies, and those seeking a deeper global perspective to supplement another major.
The Asian Studies major allows students to gain competence in either Chinese or Japanese language and the understanding of Asian societies through a selection of courses in languages, linguistics, literature, film, economics, history, religion, art history, political science, anthropology, philosophy, psychology, as well as special interdisciplinary courses on Asia. Courses that count toward the major are listed under Asian Studies, Chinese, Japanese, Asian Conversations, and others which are cross-listed with other departments. Many Asian Studies courses also fulfill one or more general education requirements. Asian Studies majors are encouraged to use their language skills to experience an Asian culture firsthand through study or an internship in Asia. Level I courses provide introductions to the languages and the fields of Asian studies. Level II courses, including the Asian Conversations program, provide students a breadth of knowledge about Asia or intermediate study of language. Level III courses offer students the opportunity to do advanced study on a topic about Asia.
Students planning to pursue graduate work in an area of Asian Studies are strongly advised to develop competence in one of the disciplines (such as history, literature, economics, anthropology, religion, political science, etc.) by taking additional courses that teach the methods of the discipline.
Students interested in a major focused on a region of Asia other than China and Japan should contact the chair of the Asian Studies Department about the possibility of doing a contract major.