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The Bachelor of Arts in Asian Studies

Total Course Requirements for the Bachelor's Degree: 120 units

See Bachelor's Degree Requirements in the University Catalog for complete details on general degree requirements. A minimum of 40 units, including those required for the major, must be upper division.

A suggested Major Academic Plan (MAP) has been prepared to help students meet all graduation requirements within four years. You can view MAPs on the Degree MAPs page in the University Catalog or you can request a plan from your major advisor.

General Education Pathway Requirements: 48 units

See General Education in the University Catalog and the Class Schedule for the most current information on General Education Pathway Requirements and course offerings.

Diversity Course Requirements: 6 units

See Diversity Requirements in the University Catalog. Most courses taken to satisfy these requirements may also apply to General Education .

Literacy Requirement:

See Mathematics and Writing Requirements in the University Catalog. Writing proficiency in the major is a graduation requirement and may be demonstrated through satisfactory completion of a course in your major which has been designated as the Writing Proficiency (WP) course for the semester in which you take the course. Students who earn below a C- are required to repeat the course and earn a C- or higher to receive WP credit. See the Class Schedule for the designated WP courses for each semester. You must pass ENGL 130I or JOUR 130I (or equivalent) with a C- or higher before you may register for a WP course.

Study Abroad Students

Students studying in an accredited study abroad program in Asia are encouraged to consider undertaking a major or minor in Asian Studies. Study abroad students should consult with the Asian Studies Coordinator about the transferability of coursework before departing for Asia. It is often possible to complete 24-26 units of the major in a relevant study abroad program, or 15-17 units of the minor.

Course Requirements for the Major: 32 units

Completion of the following courses, or their approved transfer equivalents, is required of all candidates for this degree.

3 courses required:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
This course is also offered as AAST 110 .
This interdisciplinary course offers students an introduction to some of the many issues facing Asian nations today, grounded in an understanding of the historical, cultural, religious, and philosophical influences that underlie these challenges. The course examines the role of individuals in creating societal change in Asia through such things as political advocacy, cultural innovation, technological invention, the generation of literature, economic decision-making, military force, corruption, and other methods of influence. 3 hours lecture. This is an approved General Education course. This is an approved Global Cultures course. (021219)
Prerequisites: ENGL 130 or JOUR 130 (or equivalent) with a grade of C- or higher.
This variable-content capstone seminar is devoted to the critical reading, evaluation, and discussion of major recent scholarship on Asia. Works are selected from a variety of disciplinary perspectives with an effort to cover several Asian areas (Japan, China, Southeast Asia, South Asia) and to deal with critical issues of the day. Students will lead discussions, evaluate arguments, and write critical essays at a level appropriate to graduating seniors with a major in Asian Studies. Required seminar for majors. 3 hours seminar. This is an approved Writing Proficiency course; a grade of C- or better certifies writing proficiency for majors. (000999)
An introduction to the religions of the East: Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism. 3 hours lecture. This is an approved General Education course. This is an approved Global Cultures course. (008128)

23 units selected from:

Students must select a 6-9 units each from Group A and Group B, and 8 units from Group C for a minimum of 23 units. 12 units must be upper division.

Group A: Humanities

6-9 units selected from:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Survey of the major visual arts of India, China, and Japan from the prehistoric to the nineteenth-century period. An emphasis on the traditional Buddhist, Taoist, and Shinto arts. 3 hours lecture. This is an approved Global Cultures course. (000707)
This course is also offered as HIST 377 .
Focus on the role gender plays in shaping and defining East Asian history, from 19th century to the present. Analysis of gender construction, sexuality, the family, and issues of universal human rights in context of China, South Korea, and Japan. 3 hours lecture. This is an approved General Education course. This is an approved Global Cultures course. (021173)
Focuses on America's Vietnam experience. Emphasis on the domestic and foreign policy repercussions of U.S. involvement, the mythological and symbolic components of the war, and its legacies. 3 hours lecture. (004546)
Cultural, economic, and political evolution of eastern Asia from antiquity to 1800. Emphasis on common traditional heritage of China and Japan. 3 hours lecture. This is an approved General Education course. This is an approved Global Cultures course. (004560)
Cultural, economic, and political evolution of eastern Asia from 1800 to the present. Emphasis on the transformation of the traditional heritage of China and Japan through revolution and modernization. 3 hours lecture.This is an approved Writing Intensive course. This is an approved General Education Capstone course. This is an approved Global Cultures course. (021358)
This course is also offered as ASST 377 .
Focus on the role gender plays in shaping and defining East Asian history, from 19th century to the present. Analysis of gender construction, sexuality, the family, and issues of universal human rights in context of China, South Korea, and Japan. 3 hours lecture. This is an approved General Education course. This is an approved Global Cultures course. (021173)
This course explores tradition and new trends in 18th and 19th century China, the Western impact and the Chinese response, the nationalist and the communist movements, changes in values and the society after 1949, and the ongoing economic reforms. 3 hours seminar. This is an approved Global Cultures course. (004661)
History of Japan from the end of exclusion (about 1853) to the present, with emphasis on the modernization of Japan and the road to Pearl Harbor. 3 hours seminar. This is an approved Global Cultures course. (004660)
An introduction to Japanese history and geography, as well as Japanese art forms, literature, philosophy, education, economy, customs, language, and politics. Course also includes a comparison of Japanese and American organizational theories. 3 hours discussion. This is an approved Global Cultures course. (000993)
A philosophical analysis of major ideas in Chinese, Japanese, and Indian thought and their relationship to basic philosophical developments in the west. 3 hours discussion. This is an approved Global Cultures course. (007185)
This course provides an introduction to the religions and cultures of India and the surrounding region known as South Asia. The main traditions that are examined are Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Islam, and Sikhism, all of which have deeply influenced the wider culture and each other throughout their evolution over the centuries in India. Students become acquainted with their doctrinal, philosophical, devotional, ritual, and social features. 3 hours lecture. This is an approved General Education course. This is an approved Global Cultures course. (008181)
An exploration of the religious dimension of Chinese culture, focusing on the Confucian, Buddhist, and Chinese Buddhist traditions (with particular attention to Chan/Zen) and their relations with each other. 3 hours seminar. (021194)
A discussion of the roots and transformation of the Buddhist teachings in India, China, Japan, and Tibet. Special emphasis will be given to major trends and problems in contemporary Buddhism. 3 hours lecture. This is an approved Global Cultures course. (021199)

Group B: Social and Applied Sciences

6-9 units selected from:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisites: ECON 103.
This course surveys theoretical approaches and policy options to the problems of development and underdevelopment in Latin America, Africa, and Asia. Agricultural transformations, industrial development, balance of payments problems, the role of foreign aid, direct foreign investment, the economic role of international institutions such as the World Bank, and other related topics are included in this course. 3 hours lecture. (002673)
Prerequisites: ECON 101 or ECON 102 or faculty permission.
A survey and analysis of economic development in the Pacific Rim and its linkages with politics, history, society, and foreign policy. Topics covered include trade, tariffs, subsidies, balance of payments, savings, investment, government deficits, environment, agricultural economics, and economic growth. 3 hours discussion. (002674)
This course is also offered as POLS 446D .
3 hours lecture. (004873)
An examination of the politics of Asia. Emphasis may vary among East, South-East, and South Asia. The study of the response of Asian political systems to the dual challenges of modernization and Western pressure will be combined with an analysis of contemporary political institutions and events. 3 hours lecture. (007535)
This course is also offered as INST 446D .
3 hours lecture. (004873)
This course is also offered as AAST 152 .
This course examines the Asian experience in the U.S. over the last 150 year by focusing on the experiences of different Asian ethnic groups. The focus is on early arrival and settlement, and contemporary issues in Asian American communities, including immigration, racism, and Asian American identity. 3 hours lecture. This is an approved General Education course. This is an approved US Diversity course. (000003)

Group C: Languages

8 units selected from:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Introduction to Chinese language and Culture. Emphasis is on the fundamental skills of understanding, speaking, reading and writing Chinese. 3 hours discussion, 2 hours activity. This is an approved General Education course. (020752)
Prerequisites: CHNS 101A.
Continuation of CHNS 101A. Emphasis is on the fundamental skills of understanding, speaking, reading, and writing Chinese. 3 hours discussion, 2 hours activity. This is an approved General Education course. (020753)
Prerequisites: CHNS 102A.
Students review and expand language skills and cultural concepts introduced in CHNS 101A and CHNS 102A. This course includes composition and reading. 3 hours discussion, 2 hours activity. This is an approved General Education course. (020754)
Prerequisites: CHNS 201.
Students review and expand language skills and cultural concepts introduced in CHNS 101A, CHNS 102A, and CHNS 201. This course includes composition and reading. 3 hours discussion, 2 hours activity. This is an approved General Education course. (020755)
Introduction to the Japanese language and culture. Emphasis on the development of fundamental skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing with clear understanding of basic sentence structures. Acquisition of Hiragana and Katakana characters (phonetic symbols). 3 hours discussion, 2 hours activity. This is an approved General Education course. (005334)
Prerequisites: JAPN 101 or faculty permission.
Continuation of JAPN 101. Special attention to different verb forms and essential auxiliary expressions. Appropriate language use in a variety of social settings. Acquisition of 110 Kanji characters (ideographic symbols). 3 hours discussion, 2 hours activity. This is an approved General Education course. (005335)
Prerequisites: JAPN 102 or faculty permission.
Review of major grammatical structures and further development of the student's cultural awareness and proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing Japanese. Special attention to logical discourse development. Acquisition of 200 Kanji characters (ideographic symbols). 3 hours discussion, 2 hours activity. This is an approved General Education course. (005336)
Prerequisites: JAPN 201 or faculty permission.
Continuation of review of major grammatical structures and further development of the student's cultural awareness and proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing Japanese. Special attention to refining and expanding discourse. Acquisition of 300 Kanji characters (ideographic symbols). 3 hours discussion, 2 hours activity. This is an approved General Education course. (005337)

Note: Students who have taken 6-8 units of another language from an accredited program either in the United States or through study abroad should consult with the Asian Studies Coordinator regarding possible substitutions.

Electives Requirement:

To complete the total units required for the bachelor's degree, select additional elective courses from the total University offerings. You should consult with an advisor regarding the selection of courses which will provide breadth to your University experience and possibly apply to a supportive second major, a minor, or study abroad in Asia.

Grading Requirement:

All courses taken to fulfill major course requirements must be taken for a letter grade except those courses specified by the department as Credit/No Credit grading only.

Advising Requirement:

Advising is mandatory for all majors in this degree program. Consult your undergraduate advisor for specific information.

Honors in the Major:

Honors in the Major is a program of independent work in your major. It requires 6 units of honors course work completed over two semesters.

The Honors in the Major program allows you to work closely with a faculty mentor in your area of interest on an original performance or research project. This year-long collaboration allows you to work in your field at a professional level and culminates in a public presentation of your work. Students sometimes take their projects beyond the University for submission in professional journals, presentation at conferences, or academic competition. Such experience is valuable for graduate school and professional life. Your honors work will be recognized at your graduation, on your permanent transcripts, and on your diploma. It is often accompanied by letters of commendation from your mentor in the department or the department chair.

Some common features of Honors in the Major program are:

  1. You must take 6 units of Honors in the Major course work. All 6 units are honors classes (marked by a suffix of H), and at least 3 of these units are independent study (399H, 499H, 599H) as specified by your department. You must complete each class with a minimum grade of B.
  2. You must have completed 9 units of upper-division course work or 21 overall units in your major before you can be admitted to Honors in the Major. Check the requirements for your major carefully, as there may be specific courses that must be included in these units.
  3. Your cumulative GPA should be at least 3.5 or within the top 5% of majors in your department.
  4. Your GPA in your major should be at least 3.5 or within the top 5% of majors in your department.
  5. Most students apply for or are invited to participate in Honors in the Major during the second semester of their junior year. Then they complete the 6 units of course work over the two semesters of their senior year.
  6. Your honors work culminates with a public presentation of your honors project.

While Honors in the Major is part of the Honors Program, each department administers its own program. Please contact your major department or major advisor to apply.

Honors in Asian Studies

To be eligible for Honors in Asian Studies, students must have completed all courses for the major with a GPA of 3.5. They must complete two years of a foreign language or have established competency in an Asian language. Upon recommendation by a faculty member and after an interview, the student will take 6 units of ASST 499H, Senior Honors Thesis, culminating in a public presentation of the project. In addition, an Asian experience of some sort (e.g., an international study program, language study in Asia, a summer project or internship, etc.) is strongly encouraged.

Catalog Cycle:13