Asian Studies Major

Our goal for majors is that they view Asia from a variety of perspectives.  Students who plan to elect an Asian Studies Major must meet with the Prof. Karen Turner, Asian Studies Director (O'Kane 357) to construct an initial plan of study. 

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 with the consultation of 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 ten courses.  Majors must meet the following requirements:

  • One introductory survey of Asia (History 103: Perspectives on Asia: Traditional Asian Cultures; History 104: Perspectives on Asia: Modern Transformations; Anthropology 170: Contemporary Asia; or RELS 206 Buddhism). 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 an historical perspective (beyond HIST 103 or 104): This course should be taken with a faculty member in the history department who specializes in the area that a student chooses to investigate 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 on Asia in any department, with the provision that the course includes attention to methodologies in the social sciences. This course would normally be taken with faculty in anthropology, economics, sociology, or political science, or by approval of the director (e.g., SOCL 101; ANTH 101; ECON 205; HIST 200).
  • Two courses on Asia 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:
  1. Completion of one year of language study at the College.
  2. 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.)
  3. Completion of intensive language study in an approved summer program.
  4. 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 ten course minimum requirement for the major.


Procedure for Electing a Major

Download the "Change of Academic Plan" form with a major in Asian Studies, and a copy of your unofficial transcript from STAR.  You must make an appointment with the Director of Asian Studies (Prof. Karen Turner, to construct an initial plan of study.  Have the Director of Asian Studies and your advisor sign the form.  Bring the form and transcript to Karen Todd, Administrative Assistant for Asian Studies (Smith Rm 329).