Asian Studies Program

What You Will Learn

Our Mission

The Asian Studies major provides you with the opportunity to study in depth one of the most important regions in the world. The importance of Asia derives from its large population, long history, complex and diverse societies and cultures, and rising economic significance. As the peoples and nations of the world become increasingly interconnected, successful leaders and citizens will benefit from a mastery of this key region.

Global Citizenship

Global Citizenship

You will learn to be a global citizen through developing a nuanced and interdisciplinary perspective on Asia, and a skill set of translingual and transcultural knowledge. This will be furthered by the requirement that you participate in an international experience in Asia, which for most of our students means completing a semester abroad through our programs in Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, or Osaka.

Responsible Leadership

Responsible Leadership

You will have the opportunity to develop problem-solving and change-making skills as a responsible leader by taking courses with great emphasis on Asian perspectives offered in Political Economy, Political Science, International Business, and Social Entrepreneurship; you can then put these skills into practice by participating in internship programs, especially in Shanghai. The assumption here is that leadership can only be "responsible" when one has a nuanced understanding of the historical and local context in which such leadership occurs.

Productive Careers

Productive Careers

You will learn the skills necessary for a productive career most directly through Political Economy courses, which include many courses in Economics, International Affairs, International Business, Social Entrepreneurship, and Communications; and through participation in our diverse internship programs. Furthermore, History courses will provide the necessary context for you to understand different regional traditions and their modern transformations. These courses, along with other Asian-themed courses, will better prepare you to navigate the ever-changing, globalized world and lead you to a productive career.

 

Meaningful Lives

Meaningful Lives

The dimension of meaningful lives is addressed in the History and Culture courses, which include many courses in Asian religions, especially Buddhism—the only truly pan-Asian religious tradition, which has exerted great influence in South Asia (its place of origin), East Asia, and Southeast Asia. It is quite evident that Buddhist traditions represent extended and sophisticated reflections on questions regarding what makes life meaningful; and the same holds true for the traditions of Hinduism, Jainism, Confucianism, and Taoism, all of which are introduced to every Asian Studies major and minor through our core course on Asian Religions.