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Major in Asian Studies

The major in Asian Studies focuses on the history, culture, and societies of Asia. Beyond courses specifically in Asian Studies, it can include courses in Art History, Chinese, Comparative Literature, Economics, Geography, Hindi, History, Japanese, Korean, Philosophy, Political Science, Religious Studies, and Theater.

Majors in Asian Studies become analysts of culture and history, learn how to relate the present to the past, and the past to the future. They analyze historical documents, learn to think contextually about social and ecological change, and to understand the history of the world as a group of systems, and as a single system.

All majors must take the fourth semester of an Asian language (Chinese, Japanese, Hindi, or Korean), as well as courses in Asian history, religion, literature or philosophy. Study abroad is not required, but it is highly encouraged.

Double majoring in Asian Studies: Many students in majors such as Chinese, Japanese, Comparative Literature, History, or Religious Studies have added Asian Studies as a second major. Double majors in Chinese and Japanese must take at least two Asian Studies courses (one of which must be at the 400 level) that focus on regional topics, or on countries that are not identical with their language major. Also, at least 12 credits cannot be double-counted in the double major.

Study Abroad in Asia: Charlotte Eubanks has developed a PowerPoint presentation that outlines options for Penn State undergraduates who want to major or minor in Asian Studies programs and go abroad. Find it here. Students can also find information on study abroad programs by visiting the Global Programs Website at: http://global.psu.edu/.



Download Major Checklist

Recommended Academic Plan for Asian Studies: http://laus.la.psu.edu/current-students/advising/recommended-academic-plans/docs/ASIA.pdf

The major requires a total of 31 credits, divided as follows:

Prescribed Courses: ASIA 100 (3)

Additional courses: Select 4 credits beyond the 12th-credit level of proficiency in an Asian language: CHNS 110 IL (4), JAPNS 110 IL(4), or the equivalent.
Select 3 credits from the following: HIST 174 GH;IL(3), HIST 175 GH;IL(3),  HIST 176 GH;IL(3)  or RLST 003 GH;US;IL (3)
Select 3 credits from the following: ASIA 405 IL(3) or ASIA 405Y IL(3).

Supporting Courses and Related Areas: Select 18 credits from a department list with at least 12 credits at the 400 level; additional further credits in language studies may be permitted up to 6 credits (credit received for a specific course will not count in more than one category) (Sem: 1-8). 

Courses not on the list, that deal substantially with Asia in any discipline may also count, pending approval of the Asian Studies adviser.

Students must earn a C or better in all courses applied to the major.

Below is the most recent version of the departmental list:

ARCH 312 (3), ARCH 317 (3), ART H 120 GA;IL(3), ART H 320 GA;IL(3), ART H 340 GA;IL (3),  ART H 440 IL (3), ASIA 004 GH;IL (3), ASIA 083S IL(3), ASIA 100 GH;IL (3), ASIA 188 GH;IL (3), ASIA 197 (3), ASIA 401 IL (3-6), ASIA 404 IL (3), ASIA 405Y IL(3), ASIA 440 Il (3), ASIA 489 IL (3), CHNS 083SIL(3), CHNS 120 GH;IL(3), CHNS 121 GH;IL(3), CHNS 401 IL(4), CHNS 402 IL(4), CHNS 403Y IL(4); CHNS 404 IL (4), CHNS 410 IL (3), CHNS 411 IL (3), CHNS 421 IL (3), CHNS 422 IL (3), CHNS 423 Il (#), CHNS 424 (3), CHNS 426 IL (3), CHNS 452 IL(3), CHNS 453 IL(3), CHNS 454 IL (3), CHNS 455 IL (3),CHNS 496(1-18), CMLIT 004 GH;IL(3), CMLIT 111 GH;IL(3), CMLIT 404 IL(3), CMLIT 448 IL (3), ECON 474(3), HIST 172 IL(3), HIST 174 GH;IL(3), HIST 175 GH;IL(3), HIST 176 GH;IL(3), HIST 475Y IL(3); HIST 480 IL(3), HIST 481 IL(3), HIST 483 IL(3), HIST 485Y IL(3), HIST 486 IL(3), JAPNS 120 GH;IL(3),JAPNS 121 GH;IL(3), JAPNS 401 IL(4), JAPNS 402 IL(4), JAPNS 403Y IL(3), JAPNS 404 IL (3), JAPNS 410 IL (3), JAPNS 421 IL (3), JAPNS 422 IL (3), JAPNS 423 IL (3), JAPNS 424 IL (3), JAPNS 425 IL (3), JAPNS 426 IL (3), JAPNS 450 IL (3), JAPNS 452 IL(3), JAPNS 453 IL(3), JAPNS 454 IL (3), JAPNS 496(1-18), PHIL 007 GH;IL(3), PL SC 458(3), RL ST 003 GH;US;IL(3), RL ST 103 GH;US;IL(3), RL ST 104 GH;US;IL(3), RL ST 181 IL(3), RL ST 408 US;IL(3); RL ST 409 US;IL(3), RL ST 481 IL(3), RL ST 483 IL(3), THEA 406 IL(3) (Sem: 1-8).

Courses not on the list above may count toward the major. However, students must receive approval from the Asian Studies adviser to use other courses in the Asian Studies major. The approval process is not complex and can be done via e-mail. Furthermore, ad hoc offerings (083; x96; x97) must be applied to the major manually. These courses may include:

  • Any course numbered x96 or x97 that deals with Asia in any discipline
  • Any PSU course not listed above that deals with Asia
  • Any course dealing with Asia from another institution that appears on a student's PSU transcript as transfer credit
  • Any course dealing with Asia taken while participating in a PSU-sponsored study abroad program. Non-PSU study abroad programs require prior approval before their courses can be applied to the major.

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Magdalena Rohling(mmr26@psu.edu) is the undergraduate adviser for the major and minor in Asian Studies, Chinese and Japanese.  She is located at 233-C Burrowes Building. For walk-in hours and appointments visit http://la.psu.edu/current-students/undergraduate-students/advising. Select “Appointments” and click the “Advisers” link at the top of the page to view her hours for the week.

Please make an appointment if you need help with:
• your next semester schedule (language pre-majors and majors)
• concurrent major planning (feasibility, courses needed)
• academic difficulty
• Faculty Senate petitions (retroactive withdrawal or registration, etc.)

You may schedule an appointment through the following website: http://la.psu.edu/current-students/undergraduate-students/advising

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The Asian Studies Program
102 Old Botany Building| University Park, PA 16802
ph: 814.867.3260 | fax: 814.863.3528 | email: asianstudies@psu.edu