Effective Date: Fall 2015

May be elected as a departmental major

The major in Asian Studies offers students an opportunity to pursue interests in the traditional and modern civilizations of Asia. The particular courses to be counted toward the major will depend on the individual student’s submajor. Students choose a submajor and then have the option to additionally focus on a field of study. An intellectually coherent combination of fields is permitted.


Suggested Fields of Study:

Chinese Studies
Japanese Studies
Korean Studies
South Asian Studies
Southeast Asian Studies
Cultural Studies
Gender Studies
Performing Arts
Visual Culture

Prerequisites to the Major

  1. One year (or first-year proficiency) of an Asian language taught in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures.
  2. ASIAN 235. Introduction to Asian Studies.

Prerequisites to Declaration

ASIAN 235 must be completed before declaring the major.

Requirements for the Major

Asian Studies Language Requirement

All majors must have fourth-term proficiency in an Asian language appropriate to their submajor. Majors are strongly encouraged to continue their language training beyond the second year requirement. This is particularly important, if not essential, for students contemplating a graduate program in an Asian field.

These credits do not count toward the credits needed for the major.

Required Courses

Course Requirements
30 credits at the 200-level and above, 15 of which must be at the 300-level or above. (At least 15 credits must be taken in residence at the University of Michigan.) The plan for the major is designed in consultation with, and approved by, a department advisor.
Submajor requirement
At least 15 credits in courses in the student’s submajor (e.g., South Asian Studies). Students are encouraged to plan their submajor courses in relation to a field of study, if one has been chosen. Up to 10 credits from language courses at the 300 level or above may be counted toward the submajor requirement. 5 credits or more must be taken in Asian Studies in the student’s submajor; classical languages (Sanskrit, Classical Japanese, Classical Chinese, Javanese, Old Tibetan) may be used to satisfy this portion of the requirement.
Breadth requirement [9 credits]
  1. ASIAN 381. Research Seminar for Majors. 
  2. At least six credits from either or both of the following two categories:
    1. Courses exclusively focused on one of the submajors outside the student's chosen submajor, (e.g., a student in the Korean Studies submajor could elect ASIAN 210, The Philippines: Culture and History),
    2. Trans-regional courses focused on more than one of the submajors (which could include the student's submajor) (e.g., ASIAN 220, Introduction to the Study of Asian Religions, or ASIAN 367, Languages of Asia).
Cognate requirement

At least 6 credits elected outside the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures from either or both of the following categories:

  1. theory or methodology courses that are focused on either the student’s chosen field of study or on a discipline complementary to the study of Asia (e.g., Statistics, Linguistics, Social Theory), or
  2. courses in the student’s chosen submajor, but taken in a department other than Asian Languages and Cultures.

Honors Plan

Candidates for  Honors  must complete all regular requirements for the major, and maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.4 and at least 3.5 in courses elected as part of the major. They must also demonstrate the ability to do original work by writing an Honors thesis and must elect the appropriate Honors course(s). Recommendations for the designation of "Honors," "High Honors," and "Highest Honors" in Asian Studies are made on the basis of the student's performance in departmental Honors courses and the quality of the student's Honors thesis.

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