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Undergraduate Catalog 2013

Asian Studies


View Faculty Details


Constantine Vaporis


Devin T. Hagerty
David Mitch
E. Michael Richards
Manil Suri
Wendy Takacs
Ka-Che Yip

Associate Professors

Irene Chan
Jean Fernandez
Theodore S. Gonzalves
Brian K. Grodsky
Preminda Jacob
Anna M. Shields

Assistant Professors

Tamara Bhalla
Amy Bhatt
Meredith Oyen


William Brown
Tomoko Hoogenboom
Julie Oakes
Kyung-Eun Yoon


Yeon K. Krippes
Yasuko Nadayoshi-Walcott

Courses in this program are listed under ASIA.

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, Theatre 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.

Academic Advising

Students are assigned a principal advisor when declaring Asian Studies as a major, a minor, or when selecting the certificate program 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.

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.

Major Program

The Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Asian Studies consists of 42 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.  One Asian language through the 302 level (languages currently offered: Chinese, Japanese and Korean).

CHIN 101: Elementary Chinese I (4)

CHIN 102: Elementary Chinese II (4)

CHIN 201: Intermediate Chinese I (4)

CHIN 202: Intermediate Chinese II (4)

CHIN 301: Advanced Chinese I (3)

CHIN 302: Advanced Chinese II (3)

CHIN 309: Business Chinese (3)

CHIN 319: Chinese Translation (3)

JPNS 101: Elementary Japanese I (4)

JPNS 102: Elementary Japanese II (4)

JPNS 201: Intermediate Japanese I (4)

JPNS 202: Intermediate Japanese II (4)

KORE 101: Elementary Korean I (4)

KORE 102: Elementary Korean II (4)

KORE 201: Intermediate Korean I (4)

KORE 202: Intermediate Korean II (4)

KORE 301: Advanced Korean I (3)

KORE 302: Advanced Korean II (3)

KORE 309: Business Korean (3)

KORE 310: Korean in Social and Cultural Context (3)


Elective Courses (minimum 15 credits)*  Electives must be in three or more disciplines (e.g. HIST, ECON, PHIL); at least nine elective credits must be upper level (300 or above).

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. 

ASIA 300:  Special Topics in Asian Studies (changes each semester)

ASIA 329 (Cross-listed as MLL 329):  Early and Medieval Chinese Literature

ASIA 399:  Internship in Asian Studies

ASIA 400:  Special Projects in Asian Studies

ENGL 448: Seminar in Literature and Culture: Literature of Empire (3)

ECON 280: The International Economy (3) (SS)

ECON 382: Asian Economic History (3) (Culture, Writing Intensive)

GWST 342: Gender in Modern South Asia (3)

HIST 380/GWST 380: Women and Gender in Asia (3) (Culture)(AH)

HIST 381: From Samurai to Salaryman - Japanese History through Film and Literature (3) (Culture)

HIST 383: Japan in the Shogun Age (3) HIST 385: Contemporary Japan (3)

HIST 387: Medicine and Health Care in China (3) (Culture) 

HIST 388: Society and Culture in China (3) (Culture)

HIST 458: Japan to 1800 (3)

HIST 459: Japan Since 1800 (3)

HIST 477: History of China to 1644 (3)

HIST 478: History of China, 1644 to 1912 (3)

HIST 479: History of China, 1912 to 1949 (3)

HIST 480: Contemporary China, 1949 to the Present (3)

HIST 494: Colloquium in World History (when topic is Asian) (3)

HIST 497: Historical Research (when topic is Asian) (3)

MLL 220: Film and Society in China (3) (Culture)

MLL 311: Introduction to Korean Culture (3) (Culture)

MLL 315: Society in Contemporary Korean Films (3) (Culture)

MLL 322: Classics of the Japanese Cinema (3) 

MLL 327: Modern Japanese Culture (3)

MLL 328: Traditional Chinese Fiction and Drama (3) (AH, Culture)

MLL 329:  Early and Medieval Chinese Literature (cross-listed as ASIA 329)

MUSC 230: Musics of the World (3) (AH, Culture)

PHIL 334: Asian Philosophy (3)

POLI 371: Comparative Asian Politics (3)

POLI 381: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific Region (3)

POLI 472: Modern Indian Politics (3)

POLI 473: Mahatma Gandhi’s Political Experiments with Truth (3)

POLI 448: Politics and International Relations of South Asia (3)

*Students who begin their formal study of one Asian language at a level higher than 101 may, upon completion of the 302 level, take courses in a second Asian language or may take additional electives to meet the total credit requirement of 42 credits. 

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 Courses (3 credits)

ASIA 100: Introduction to Asian Studies

HIST 103: East Asian Civilization (3) (Culture)

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.

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:

Student Organizations

All students are encouraged to participate in the Asian Studies student-run Council of Majors. 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: