Paterno Fellows Program

Paterno Fellows Program

The Department of Asian Studies encourages students interested in the study of Asia, its history, its languages, its politics, and its culture to become Fellows. In upper-level courses and tutorials with a faculty advisor, Fellows create a personalized and challenging course of study. We invite superior students with a GPA of 3.4 or higher to apply for the Paterno Liberal Arts Undergraduate Fellows Program in Asian Studies, Chinese, or Japanese. While there are no special requirements to become a Paterno Fellow in Asian Studies, students must meet the below requirements once in the program. 


Advisor: Although an undergraduate advisor can help initiate the Fellows Program in Asian Studies, a Fellow must find a Faculty Advisor who can help direct all aspects of the Fellow’s program in the specialty of interest. Hence, the Advisor should be chosen as soon as possible. The Advisor provides the critical support and advice necessary to realize the intent of the Fellows program.

Advisor/Fellow Meetings: It is expected that upper-division Fellows meet regularly with the faculty advisor, at least once a month, to assess their progress.

Research Project: Fellows will complete a research or creative project under the guidance of their Advisor. That project can be begun in the Asian Studies seminar, 405W, ideally in the junior year, or in an independent study.

Academic Performance: A Fellow is expected to maintain a 3.4 GPA.

Second Major or Enhanced Minor: Based on research interests, Fellows must add a relevant concurrent major or enhanced minor. These majors/minors can be in fields that directly pertain to Asia (Asian Studies, Chinese, Japanese) or in complementary fields (Art History, Comparative Literature, History, Political Science, and so on).

Study Abroad and Internship: The Fellow is expected to spend at least one semester abroad in Asia, through a study abroad program and/or an internship.

Languages: Fellows may choose either the Liberal Arts Communication Excellence certificate, or complete an additional two courses beyond the 12th credit-level proficiency in an Asian language.

Honors Course Completion: In the freshman and sophomore years, take three honors courses per year (9 credits a year, 18 credits total). In the junior and senior years, complete at least 14 honors credits. Honors-level courses include:

  • Honors courses designated by the following suffixes: H, M, T, or U.
  • Honors-option courses following the procedures of the Schreyer Honors College and approved by the department’s honors adviser.
  • 400-level courses taken in the first four semesters.
  • 500-level courses
  • International study, according to the following schedule:
    • Fall or spring semester: 3 credits
    • Full-year: 6 credits
    • Summer or other short-term trips: 1 credit for 10 days to 4 weeks abroad; 2 credits for more than 4 weeks abroad