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Undergraduate Program

Declaring the Major

The undergraduate group major in Asian studies is a rigorous but flexible interdisciplinary program designed to assist students to take advantage of the rich course offerings in the Asian field campuswide in a way that is not available through individual departments. There are three concentrations from which a student may select in the major: (1) a multi-area thematic concentration (2) a concentration on China, (3) a concentration on Japan. "Multi-area" includes all countries and regions of Asia. One of the areas chosen must be either China or Japan. Other areas can include Korea and countries in South Asia or Southeast Asia.

Declaring the Major

In order to become an Asian Studies major, students will have to complete:

  • Asian Studies 10 (Introduction to Asia). Note that AS 10 is offered only in the fall.
  • One lower-division history course (choose one from History 6A, 6B, 11, 14, Southeast Asian Studies 10A or 10B, Korean 7A, 7B, South Asian 1A and 1B)

All required courses must be taken for a letter grade. After you have fulfilled the above pre-requisite courses, you will need to go see the major advisor at the Undergraduate Office, 101 Stephens Hall, on Mondays and Wednesdays between 10-Noon and 1-4. Your major advisor will give you the paperwork needed to declare the major and put together an academic plan.

Transfer Students

Transfer students will have to meet the same pre-requisites as listed above. If you have taken the equivalent of Asian Studies 10 or a lower-division Asia-focused History course, please send the syllabus to the major advisor at asianst@berkeley.edu. If the major advisor does not deem the courses equivalent, then you will have to take the pre-requisite courses at Cal. It is recommended that you finish these requirements your first semester, so that you can focus on upper-division course work. See above for steps on declaring the Asian Studies major.

Transfer students typically come in with one year of language study from their community or junior college. In order to continue your language study at Cal, you will need to take the placement exam administered by the East Asian Languages and Cultures department. Results of the exam will indicate which classes you are eligible to register for at Cal. For China-focused students, the Chinese language placement exam is administered online. For Japan-focused students, the Japanese language placement exam is usually offered the first week of classes. Exam dates/times are listed on the website. Since registration for classes usually begins far in advance of the exam, you should sign up for the course level that seems most compatible with your prior study. If necessary, the language course level can be adjusted according to the exam results during the first week of classes. Contact the EALC staff for additional details.