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Asian Studies

BA in Asian Studies

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)

  • 3 credit hours in an approved introductory Asian studies course
  • HIST-250 Empires and States in East Asia FA3 (3)
  • PHIL-211 Introduction to Asian Philosophy (3) or RELG-210 Non-Western Religious Traditions FA3 (3)

Electives (12 credit hours)

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

  • ANTH-230 India: Its Living Traditions FA3 (3)
  • ARTH-225 Buddhist Arts of Asia FA1 (3)
  • ARTH-320 Introduction to the Arts of Japan (3)
  • ECON-458 Economics of theWorld Regions (3) (approved topics)
  • HIST-214 History of the World Regions (3) (approved topics)
  • HIST-447 Asian Studies (3) (topics)
  • PHIL-418 Chinese Philosophy (3)
  • PHIL-419 Buddhist Philosophy (3)
  • RELG-473 Hinduism (3)
  • SISU-212 China, Japan and the United States FA3 (3)

Internship (3 credit hours)

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

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):

  • ARTH-423 East-West Photography (3)
  • ARTH-424 Envisioning the Nation: Modern and Contemporary Art in Asia (3)
  • CHIN-308 Chinese Immersion: Folklore (1) (study abroad)
  • CHIN-309 Chinese Immersion: Popular Culture (1) (study abroad)
  • CHIN-310 Chinese Immersion: Social Issues (1) (study abroad)
  • ECON-458 Economics of theWorld Regions (3) (approved topics)
  • HIST-485 Hiroshima, Nagasaki & Beyond (3)
  • LIT-242 Chinese Literature and Society (3) (study abroad)
  • LIT-467 Advanced Studies in World Literature (3) (approved topics)
  • PHIL-413 Studies in Asian Philosophy (3) (topics)
  • RELG-470 Islam (3)

Senior Capstone Project (3 credit hours)

  • 3 credit hours in an approved capstone project course


University Honors Program

To graduate with University Honors, students must be admitted to the University Honors Program, maintain a minimum cumulative GPAof 3.50, and receive grades of B or better in all University Honors course work. There are three levels of University Honors course requirements: Level I (100-200-level); Level II (300-level and above); and Level III (Honors Capstone Project). The department Honors coordinator advises students in the University Honors Program regarding requirements for graduating with University Honors in the major.


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.