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

Academic Conference Goes Virtual in Response to Pandemic
As faculty members across the College worked to transition their courses to a distance-learning format this semester, one of the many logistical challenges to tackle was the annual Academic Conference, where students present the results of their independent work in …
Holy Cross campus scenic. Photo by Avanell Brock
Holy Cross Ranks Among Top Undergraduate Fulbright Scholarship Producers
According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, the College of the Holy Cross ranks once again as one of the top undergraduate producers of Fulbright students during the 2019-2020 academic year. This year, Holy Cross students are spanning the globe, …
A photo of Dinand Library flanked by budding spring trees
Eight Holy Cross Students, Recent Alumni Receive Distinguished Scholarships
College of the Holy Cross students and alumni have earned an impressive array of scholarships this year from prestigious organizations, including the Knight-Hennessy Scholar Program and the Fulbright Program. These honors are testimony to the astonishing intellectual curiosity of Holy …