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Undergraduate Catalog 2011

Asian Studies

Courses in this program are listed under ASIA and CHIN and JPNS and KORE.

The Asian Studies program (major, minor, upper-division certificate) enables students to explore the history, culture, languages and literatures, societies, politics, economics, philosophy, art and music of Asia. The combination of foreign language and area studies across a number of disciplines History, Modern Languages and Linguistics, Political Science, Economics, English, American Studies, Music and Philosophy will introduce undergraduates to the knowledge, language skills and research methods specific to those disciplines and help to prepare them for various professional paths related to Asia. Asian Studies is an increasingly relevant academic program for the 21st century, particularly given Asia’s considerable economic, political, military and cultural impact across the globe.

The UMBC Asian Studies Program draws upon a faculty of over twenty specialists, from ten different departments. These include internationally recognized scholars who take teaching as seriously as they do research as well as skilled language instructors. The program’s faculty also help students learn how to apply the knowledge and analytical skills gained through the study of Asia to satisfying careers and life-long learning.

Career and Academic Paths

The Asian Studies major program will equip students with the knowledge and skills including foreign languages to help prepare them for various professional paths related to Asia, such as advanced academic research, international relations, international business and trade, governmental service, and international law. The minor and upper-level certificate programs will enable them to gain a basic understanding of Asia that will give them an important international perspective on whatever field they may choose to pursue.
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Academic Advising

Students are assigned a principal advisor, the program director, when declaring Asian Studies as a major, a minor, or when selecting the certificate program, but are also free to contact individual faculty members to discuss their options in the program. Advisees are urged to utilize information on the Asian Studies Web site (, to consult with the Program Director and program faculty, and take part in program activities, including its annual lecture series and the Asian Studies Student Council.
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Study Abroad

The Asian Studies program encourages, but does not require, students to study abroad in Asia. Asian Studies works closely with the Study Abroad office to help students select the program most suited to them, one that will offer them the type of overseas experience they are seeking as well as advance their progress through the Asian Studies major, minor or certificate program.
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Major Program

The Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Asian Studies consists of 37 credits distributed as follows:

Required courses

A. Core Courses (6 credits)

  • ASIA 100 Introduction to Asian Studies
  • HIST 103 East Asian Civilization (C)

B. Language (minimum 16 credits)

CHIN 101, 102, 201, 202


JAPN 101, 102, 201, 202


KORE 101, 102, 201, 202

Students placing at a level higher than 101 are still required to take a minimum of sixteen credits of language through study at the 300-level.

Students who test out of the language requirement through Advanced Placement (AP) exam, currently available only for Chinese and Japanese, or students who receive equivalency for the 201-level proficiency requirement (please refer to the section on language requirements:, may complete the language requirements for a second Asian language or take the equivalent number of additional elective credits.

Elective Courses (15 credits)

Electives must be in three different disciplines (e.g. HIST, ECON, PHIL).

No grade lower than “C” in any course will be counted toward the major with the exception of ASIA 399 (a P/F course). Students may apply up to 3 credits earned in ASIA 399 as elective credits for the Asian Studies major.

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Minor and Certificate Programs

Recognizing that a basic understanding of Asia is a crucial component of an undergraduate education in any field, the program offers a minor and upper-level certificate in Asian Studies.

Minor Program (18-21 credits)

Required Course (3 credits)

ASIA 100

Elective Courses (15-18 credits)

Students may include up to two semesters of an Asian language for elective credit.

No grade lower than a “C” in any course will be counted towards the minor.

Upper-Division Certificate Program

Fifteen credits required at the 300-400 level (no language required).

No grade lower than a “C” in any course will be counted towards the certificate.

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Special Opportunities: Internships

Students have the opportunity to enhance their classroom experience by participating in internships in the US Department of State, Smithsonian Institution, Walters Art Museum, and other national and local government departments, NGO’s and non-profit organizations. In addition, internships abroad have, in recent years, become a significant way of combining study abroad with work experience. For further information about internship opportunities, contact the Asian Studies program director or visit the Asian Studies program website:
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Student Organizations

All students are encouraged to participate in the Asian Studies Student Council. The council meets monthly for lectures and informal discussions on historical topics and careers. The council also sponsors guest speakers and field trips to museums and historic sites.

Students are also encouraged to participate in any of the activities of a wide variety of student organizations related to Asia, cultural/ethnic organizations (e.g., Asian Students Connection, Japanese Culture Club) and those involving hobbies, sport or general interest (e.g., Anime Society, Jujitsu Club, Tea Empire). For more information, please visit the Asian Studies website:

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