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Asian Studies

Asian Studies (BA)

Offered by the Asian Studies programCollege of Arts and Sciences, the BA in Asian Studies aims to understand Asia in a dynamic global context. It enhances students' understanding of historical and contemporary global culture and politics by enabling students to engage with an extensive and intensive study of Asia in the past and present. Students explore the societies of East and South Asia and their global ramifications. The program offers a lively academic study of Asia through interdisciplinary curriculum, internships, international exchange programs, and study abroad.

Admission to the Program

Formal admission to the major requires a grade point average of 2.00 (on a 4.00 scale) and the approval of the program director.

University Requirements

  • 120 credit hours with a cumulative GPA of 2.00 or better
  • Completion of college writing requirement
  • Completion of university mathematics requirement

General Education Requirements

  • A total of ten courses, consisting of two courses from each of the five foundational areas
  • At least one course from Area Five: The Natural and Mathematical Sciences must include a laboratory science component
  • No more than two courses may be taken in the same discipline

Major Requirements

  • 39 credit hours with grades of C or better including at least 15 credit hours at the 300-level or above
  • Demonstrate proficiency in at least one Asian language equivalent to two years of college-level study as certified by the Department of World Languages and Cultures

Course Requirements

Core Requirements (9 credit hours)

Electives (12 credit hours)

12 credit hours from the following or other courses approved by the major advisor:

Internship (3 credit hours)

Note: With approval of the major advisor, up to an additional 3 credit hours of internship may also be applied toward the elective requirements.

  • 3 credit hours in an approved internship

Concentration (12 credit hours)

12 credit hours from the following or other approved upper-level courses, focusing on a concentration determined by the student's research interests; concentrations may be discipline-based (history and politics, arts and culture, philosophy and religion) or region-based (China, India, Japan, Korea):

Senior Capstone Project (3 credit hours)

  • 3 credit hours in an approved capstone project course

University Honors Program

To graduate with University Honors in the major through the University Honors Program, students must meet the requirements detailed on the Honors website and have been enrolled as either a first-year student between Fall 1989 and Spring 2014, or as a transfer or self-nominated student through Spring 2015. The University Honors Program should not be confused with the AU Honors Program, which begins in Fall 2014 and has separate requirements, also detailed on the Honors website.

Combined Bachelor's and Master's Degrees

American University offers students the opportunity to earn both undergraduate and graduate degrees through its combined bachelor's/master's programs. See Combined Bachelor's and Master's Degrees for more information.