Asian Studies Major
Asian Studies majors learn to view Asia from a variety of perspectives. Students who elect an Asian Studies Major must meet with the Asian Studies Director to construct an initial plan of study. Students decide how they want to formulate their geographic focus, but they must fulfill the interdisciplinary pattern outlined below. For example, students can decide to focus on China from a variety of disciplines, or consider South and Southeast Asia, or expand their knowledge across the Asian region. Within the interdisciplinary framework, students might also elect to take clusters of courses that permit a focus on a particular theme, such as economic transformation, war and migration, philosophical ideas, or artistic, cultural, and religious practices. All majors, no matter what their direction, must take one year of an Asian language.
Majors must meet the following requirements:
- One introductory survey of Asia ( ANTH 170 Contemporary Asia; PHIL 255 Asian Philosophy; RELS 106 Buddhism; RELS 120 Comparative Religions/World View; or a course approved by the Director).
- One course on the Arts of Asia. This could include offerings in literature, theatre, studio art, art history, or music, with a limit of three courses in the performing arts.
- One course that offers an historical perspective. 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 provides a methodological or analytical framework for approaching the study of Asia. This course does not necessarily need to be devoted to an Asian theme. In consultation with their Asian Studies advisor, students may choose this course from approved offerings in academic departments.
- One course that focuses on religion in one or more areas of Asia. Normally, this course would be taken from faculty in the Religious Studies department or in another department with the approval of the Director.
- At least three additional courses on Asia with two of them above the 100 level.
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:
- Completion of one year of language study at the College.
- Completion of intensive language 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.)
- Completion of intensive language study in an approved summer program.
- 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.