Asian Studies

Asian Studies: Major, Minor

Home to major philosophical, religious, artistic, and political traditions that have shaped global history, Asia remains critically important in understanding the contemporary transnational marketplace and international politics. The Asian Studies Program at Holy Cross offers a variety of courses and a multidisciplinary framework for the exploration and interpretation of the diverse societies, cultures, and polities of Asia and the Asian diaspora.

Led by faculty from disciplines across the curriculum with teaching and research expertise in the Asian region, we offer a major and a minor, and sponsor activities and events beyond the classroom — often in collaboration with other academic departments and divisions. You will have the flexibility to explore your interests through courses in disciplines such as anthropology, economics, history, World Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, music, philosophy, political science, religious studies and theatre. 

Coursework may focus on a specific area — China, India, Vietnam, Japan, Indonesia or Nepal, for example — or a variety of themes from traditional and contemporary histories to social and political movements, religious foundations and transformations, economic development, philosophical approaches, artistic productions, and more. In addition to serving as a focus of a broad liberal arts education, Asian Studies majors and minors benefit from their interdisciplinary training to go on to graduate school and careers in international affairs, public policy, law, economics, journalism, and the arts.

Program Highlights

The Asian Studies program offers: 

  • A dynamic interdisciplinary approach that combines the humanities, social sciences, arts and culture, and language study
  • Access to a robust cocurricular program of campus speakers, visiting artists, panel discussions, symposia and exhibitions in the Cantor Art Gallery
  • Active engagement with the arts on campus, including opportunities to assist with gallery exhibitions, and participate in music, dance and theatre performances
  • Study abroad options in China, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Vietnam and Japan and opportunities to travel to Asia for short courses in May and the summer months
  • The opportunity to study four years of Chinese language
students in cantor art gallery
Cocurricular Programming

Workshops introducing Buddhist meditation and an annual Chinese Lunar New Year celebration are among our many cocurricular offerings.

Balinese Arts Program

Learn about Balinese gamelan music and dance with our own gamelan ensemble and Indonesian instructors.

group photos of students studying abroad
Study Abroad

Study abroad in China, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Vietnam or Japan.

Asian Studies News

2021 Alpha Sigma Nu student honorees. Photo by John Buckingham
30 Holy Cross Students Inducted Into Jesuit Honor Society
Alpha Sigma Nu acceptance is granted to less than four percent of the class
From left to right: Xinmeng (Brenda) Duan '22, Claudia Davila '20, Zicong (Chris) Li '21 and Jinze Mi '23.
Students Share What It Was Like Living Through the Pandemic at an Empty Holy Cross
Nearly all Holy Cross alumni have experienced life on a bustling campus, from noisy, packed dining spaces to hilly paths teeming with foot traffic. But when the pandemic forced students to return to their homes last March, a small group …
photo collage, Alpha Sigma Nu recipients
31 Holy Cross Students Inducted Into Jesuit Honor Society
Thirty-one Holy Cross students were inducted into Alpha Sigma Nu,  the Jesuit honor society founded in 1915, at a virtual ceremony held recently. The new inductees exemplify the society’s values of excellence in scholarship, loyalty and service.  Selection to Alpha …