The Minor in Asian Studies

The interdisciplinary minor in Asian Studies allows students a high degree of flexibility in course selection. Students choose from several introductory courses that treat Asia as a world region, attain proficiency at or beyond the intermediate level in an Asian language, select electives from different departments, and finish up with a capstone course specially designated each semester for its interdisciplinary approach to a specific topic.

Our faculty provide resources related to advising, scholarships, and internship opportunities. All minors must meet with the Director when they declare their minor, typically in their sophomore year. They must also meet with the Director prior to choosing the senior capstone course.

Students take a minimum of 18 credits to fulfill the minor, 15 of which may not simultaneously be counted towards the Core or other major/minor requirements. The minor begins with an introductory survey course on Asia as a world region from the vantage point of a particular discipline (such as art, literature, history, or philosophy), and concludes with a senior capstone course that approaches a particular topic relevant to the study of Asia from an interdisciplinary perspective. Along the way, students have ample opportunity to hone their interdisciplinary skills and global outlook through a wide range of lower and upper level electives in different departments. Although no more than an intermediate proficiency in an Asian language is required (the same as the University Core requirement), further language study is encouraged.

Students who test out of the Core language requirement on the basis of native proficiency in an Asian language are strongly encouraged to study another Asian language on any level. Students interested in learning a second Asian language can count those as electives, including at the elementary level. In general, students principally interested in language-study can use all their electives for language courses beyond the Core requirement as long as they take 1 course on Asia as a world region and 1 interdisciplinary capstone course.

Take 1 introductory course on Asia as a world region (3 credits) from the following list. These courses offer surveys of a large geographical region of Asia from a particular disciplinary vantage point.


Attain intermediate proficiency in an Asian language. You may count 3 credits at the intermediate level toward the minor. Up to 6 additional credits may be taken beyond the intermediate level in place of electives. Students who test out of the language requirement may study a different language or take electives instead.


Take between 6 and 12 credits worth of electives from at least three different departments to bring the number of credits counted toward the minor to 15 (in addition to the Introductory class and language courses). The following thematic clusters are meant as a guide.


OPTIONAL FOR 2017-2018, MANDATORY FROM 2018-2019 ON. Take 1 of the two designated elective courses (3 credits) as a senior capstone course. These specially selected courses change every year but all feature interdisciplinary perspectives and are meant to bring Asian Studies seniors together to integrate what they have learned. In special circumstances it is possible to substitute with an elective course, with the director’s permission.