The East Asian Studies Major

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The East Asian Studies major is interdisciplinary and interdepartmental. Its primary purpose is to introduce undergraduates to the knowledge, language skills, and research methods they will need to enter various specialized professional paths relating to China, Japan, and Korea, including but not limited to advanced academic research. There is no minor in East Asian Studies.

Focus Areas

Starting in the fall of 2013, freshmen who decide to major in East Asian Studies will choose a focus area. They will be able to select from among three discipline-based focus areas—history, political science, or sociology—or create an individualized focus area. The introduction of focus areas will give the EAS major more structure. In addition to solid language training and content courses about the region, EAS majors will now get training in the methods and theory of a particular academic discipline. If they choose, East Asian Studies majors will still be able to double major in International Studies, as the requirements of each of the three focus areas overlap with those of International Studies.

Undergraduate Student Learning Objectives

  • Develop proficiency in speaking, listening, reading, and writing at least one East Asian language.
  • Demonstrate specialized knowledge of China, Japan, Korea, or multiple areas with a thematic concentration.
  • Apply the approaches of one selected discipline to the study of China, Japan, and/or Korea.
  • Acquire knowledge of historical developments and flows in the region.
  • Develop the ability to conduct in-depth research on a humanities or social science-related original topic of the student’s choice, using both English and East Asian language research and primary source materials. Toward this end, East Asian Studies majors have the option of capping their four years of study with a senior honors thesis, which must demonstrate original research drawing heavily on Chinese, Japanese, and/or Korean sources.

Requirements for the B.A. Degree

  • Students must complete at least six semesters of coursework in an East Asian language or languages as an undergraduate. At least one language must be completed at the third year level or higher.  If a student completes third year level language courses in one language and more advanced courses in that language are not available, the student may, with permission from the EAS director, substitute other EAS courses for up to two of the required language courses.
  • Complete an East Asian History survey course
    • 100.208 China: Neolithic to Song
    • 100.347 Early Modern China
    • 100.348 Twentieth-Century China
    • East Asian survey course offered by the History Department or History of Science and Technology Department
  • Choose ONE (1) focus area and complete all requirements listed for that area: History, Political Science, Sociology, or an individualized program. The individualized focus area requires approval of the EAS Director and requirements will be determined in consultation with the Director.
    • History
      • The full year Undergraduate Seminar in History 100.193 & 100.194
      • Two (2) East Asian Studies history courses. This can include offerings from the History Department or the History of Science and Technology Department. At least one (1) course must be at the 300-level or higher.
    • Political Science
      • Two (2) core courses at the 100 or 200-level; in two of the following subfields - American Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations, or Political Theory.
      • Two (2) East Asian Studies political science courses, one (1) of which must be at the 300-level or higher.
    • Sociology
      • Two (2) core courses chosen from the following:
        • 230.101 Introduction to Sociology
        • 230.202 Research Methods for the Social Sciences
        • 230.205 Introduction to Social Statistics
        • 230.213 Introduction to Social Theory
      • Two (2) East Asian Studies sociology or political science courses, one (1) of which must be at the 300-level or higher
    • Individualized Focus
      • Requires approval of the EAS Director. Focus requirements to be determined in consultation with the Director.
  • Three (3) additional East Asian Studies Courses. At least one (1) course must be at the 300-level or above.

Other Departmental Requirements

No major requirements may be taken pass/fail. All courses required for the major must be passed with a grade of C- or above.

The University encourages students enrolled in this program to take advantage of foreign study options. Courses and programs must be pre-approved by the student's Eats Asian Studies advisor.

Transfer credit policy: Up to six classes may be transferred from study abroad programs or other schools upon approval of the major advisor.

Honors in the major may be earned by maintaining a GPA of 3.7 in the major and writing a senior honors thesis by taking a year-long seminar, 310.431 & 310.432 Senior Thesis Seminar: East Asian Studies. The thesis seminar is six credits and may count towards two of the eight required EAS courses.

For further information, please consult the Degree Audit Checklist for the East Asian Studies major and visit the Office of Academic Advising.