Our majors learn to view Asia from a variety of perspectives. Students who plan to elect an Asian Studies major must meet with the Asian Studies director, May Sim, who may be contacted directly (Smith Hall 522, firstname.lastname@example.org) or through Karen Todd, academic administrative assistant (Smith 329, email@example.com) to construct an initial plan of study.
To assist you and the director with planning your courses for a major, please review the requirements below, and then download the Asian Studies Major Course Planning Form (PDF), and enter your information on this fillable form. Please email a copy of the completed form to the director and bring a copy to the meeting with her. Once the director has approved the plan of study, students can add the major by completing the online process to change their academic plan.
Students may decide how they want to formulate their geographic focus, but they must fulfill the interdisciplinary pattern outlined below. In other words, a student might want to focus on China from a variety of disciplines, or on India and Southeast Asia, or expand their knowledge across the Asian region. We are prepared to consider individual proposals for a major in a specific theme — Public Health in Asia, for example, but this route can be taken only in consultation with the Asian Studies faculty and approval of the director. All majors, no matter what their direction, must take one year of an Asian language as described below. Students may take a maximum of 14 and a minimum of 10 courses.
Majors Requirements and Guidelines
- One introductory survey of Asia (PHIL 255 Asian Philosophy; RELS 106 Buddhism; or ANTH 170 Contemporary Asia). If these courses are not available to fit the schedules of students, the director can approve a substitute course that offers a broad perspective on Asia.
- One course on the Arts of Asia: This could include offerings in literature, theatre, studio art, art history, and music with a limit of three courses in the performing arts.
- One course that offers a historical perspective: This course should be taken with a faculty member in the history department who specializes in the area that a student chooses to investigate, e.g., in East, Southeast, or South Asia.
- One course that focuses on religion in one or more areas of Asia. Normally these courses would be taken from faculty in the religious studies department or in another department with the approval of the director.
- One course that provides a methodological or analytical framework for approaching the study of Asia. This course does not need to focus on an Asian theme. In consultation with their Asian Studies advisor, students may choose this course from approved offerings in academic departments.
- At least three additional courses on Asia with two of them above the 100 level.
- Language Requirement: The requirement for a major is knowledge of an Asian language equivalent to one year of college study in a language relevant to the geographic area or theme on which the student chooses to focus. This requirement can be fulfilled in a number of ways:
- Completion of one year of language study at the College.
- Completion of intensive language study as part of an approved study abroad program. (Note that all of the approved programs in Asia provide intensive language study options with additional classroom hours so that students cover in one semester the equivalent of two semesters of language study.)
- Completion of intensive language study in an approved summer program.
- Students who acquire knowledge of an Asian language in alternative ways, e.g., through advanced placement or non-credit bearing language study such as online courses or who are heritage speakers must be evaluated by a language placement exam. These students must take additional electives to fulfill the 10 course minimum requirement for the major. Students can email Prof. Ji Hao (firstname.lastname@example.org) regarding this process.
Students may elect a minor in Asian Studies in conjunction with any major. Students are normally expected to declare the minor by the second semester of their third year.
Students who plan to elect an Asian Studies minor must meet with the Asian Studies director, May Sim, who may be contacted directly (Smith Hall 522, email@example.com) or through Karen Todd, academic administrative assistant (Smith 329, firstname.lastname@example.org) to construct an initial plan of study.
To assist you and the director with planning your courses for a minor, please review the requirements below, and then download the Asian Studies Minor Course Planning Form (PDF) and enter your information on this fillable form. Please email a copy of the completed form to the director and bring a copy to the meeting with her. Once the director has approved the plan of study, students can add the minor by completing the online process to change their academic plan.
In order to fulfill requirements for the minor in Asian Studies, students must complete six courses according to the following requirements:
Minor Requirements and Guidelines
- One introductory course from a list of regular offerings that provide a broad overview of Asia (PHIL 255 Asian Philosophy; RELS 106 Buddhism; or ANTH 170 Contemporary Asia). Students who cannot enroll in one of these introductory survey courses can work with the director of the program to find a suitable alternative course.
- In addition to the introductory course, students must choose five electives on Asia.
- We strongly encourage students to elect at least one course in each of two subregions of Asia: South and Southeast Asia (India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Vietnam or Indonesia) and East Asia (China, Japan and Korea).
- Two courses taken in a College-approved Study Abroad Program may count toward the minor. Students should consult with the Asian Studies director to make sure that courses taken abroad fulfill the proper requirements.