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Undergraduate Program

Undergraduate Student Learning Goals

The undergraduate major in Asian studies is a rigorous but flexible interdisciplinary program that is offered by a Faculty Group. It is designed to offer students access to the rich course offerings in the Asian field campus-wide in a way that is not possible through departmental major requirement structures. Each student's program is individually planned to assure deeper knowledge of one East Asian culture and language and also a broad range of inter-area and disciplinary perspectives.

Through courses with Asia specialists in departments throughout the campus, students choose to concentrate on either China, Japan or on a theme in multiple areas. Majors also study the appropriate language for at least two years. Asian Studies 10, the core lower-division gateway course to the major, explores both historical connections and cultural diversity within Asia as a broad region that encompasses South and Southeast as well as East Asia. In addition, students take at least one upper-division course on a region of Asia outside of their area of specialization. For a disciplinary focus, majors take at least two classes from one department, one of which introduces theory and methods.

A number of Asian Studies majors are double majors, finding the focus on Asia useful for complementing the political science major, or business, or anthropology, or art history, for just four examples.

Specific undergraduate student learning goals

  • Demonstrate specialized knowledge of China, Japan or of multiple areas with a thematic concentration.
  • Acquire language skills in one foreign language depending on the student's area of focus (Mandarin Chinese for a China emphasis; Japanese for a Japan focus; Chinese, Japanese or Korean, as appropriate for the multi-area thematic concentration).
  • From perspectives of more than one discipline, understand the study of China or Japan or, in the case of the multi-area thematic concentration, of countries and regions of East Asia, Southeast Asia and South Asia.
  • Apply approaches of one selected discipline to the study of China or Japan or, in the case of the multi-area thematic concentration, of countries and regions of East Asia, Southeast Asia and South Asia.
  • Demonstrate understanding of research methods in that discipline.
  • Acquire relatively deeper knowledge of one Asian culture other than China or Japan.
  • Demonstrate basic knowledge of the multiplicity of countries and cultures that make up the region.
  • Acquire knowledge of historical flows in the region.
  • Develop understanding of contemporary trends.
  • Formulate well-organized and well-supported arguments.
  • Show evidence of critical thinking skills.

Click here to download the explanation/representation of how undergraduate student learning goals intersect with curriculum requirements.