Asian Languages and Cultures

Scope and Objectives

The Department of Asian Languages and Cultures offers a wide range of courses in the languages, literatures, religions, and cultural heritage of China, Japan, and Korea, as well as South and Southeast Asia. The department offers training in many specialized fields such as archaeology, film, folklore, history, linguistics, literature, mythology, religious studies, and cultural studies. Courses prepare students for careers in business, government service, international relations, journalism, law, publishing, teaching, and academic professions.

Undergraduate majors earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. The graduate program offers PhD degrees.

For undergraduates, the department offers majors that combine language study with courses taught in English that examine the rich cultural heritage of China, Japan, and Korea, as well as South and Southeast Asia. The majors also offer opportunities for education abroad in an Asian country. The language courses aim to develop the four skills of speaking, aural comprehension, reading, and writing in a balanced and mutually supportive manner. The lecture and seminar courses aim to develop critical thinking and writing skills through in-depth study of a culture within a broader historical and comparative context.

Undergraduate majors who wish to pursue graduate degrees are encouraged to apply for admission to the departmental honors program.

At the graduate level, the department offers highly selective PhD degree programs that train research scholars for academic careers in various fields of Asian culture, including literature, linguistics, film, religion, and history.

Courses for Nonmajors

The department offers many courses in which knowledge of Asian languages is not required. A current list is available on the Registrar’s course descriptions web page.