Majoring and Minoring

For complete information about majoring and minoring, see the online catalog.


The Major Program

Students considering a major in Asian studies should begin by completing AS 100 Introduction to Contemporary Asian Studies, an interdisciplinary course that examines current events and contemporary social/political/economic concerns in Asia. Students should declare the major by the end of the sophomore year, at which time, in consultation with their advisors, they will choose a primary area of concentration and establish an intellectually coherent schedule of study. The major requires one semester on an approved overseas study program in Asia. Students should work with their advisors to ensure their concentration and overseas study program build a strong foundation for AS 410 Asian Studies Colloquium.

The core of the Asian studies curriculum consists of the Introduction to Contemporary Asian Studies course, a humanities foundation course, and the Asian Studies Colloquium. Upon declaring a major, students will choose a concentration and design a program of study around a conceptual or theoretical problem. The major is divided into three concentrations: China, Japan, and Asia. The China and Japan concentrations require two years of either Japanese or Chinese language. Core courses are designed to provide the historical, economic, political, and cultural background necessary to commence further investigation into the Asian region. Electives are intended to allow the student to further specialize by region, theory, and/or concept. One out-of-AS curriculum course is allowed, with the approval of the advisor and the program director, to further theoretical and/or conceptual integration. The major culminates in AS 410 Asian Studies Colloquium.

The minor in Asian studies enables students to combine a major in the arts, humanities, social sciences, or sciences with a focus on Asian studies.

A major in Asian studies is appropriate for students who desire future employment in diplomacy, consultancy, education, international organizations, public service, international finance, law, academics, translation, and interpretation, among other fields, or who seek a broad, systematic liberal arts background to support further scholarly study in related social science and humanities fields.

Finding Asian studies courses on WebAdvisor

Major Requirements

A minimum of 40 semester credits (28 credits must be exclusive to the major).

All concentrations must complete the following requirements:

  • AS 100 Introduction to Contemporary Asian Studies

  • One historical foundation course, chosen from the following:

    History of Early East Asian Art
    History of Buddhist Art
    Early East Asian History
    Religions and Cultures of East Asia
    or a course at Lewis & Clark or abroad that has been approved by the program director.
  • AS 410 Asian Studies Colloquium

  • Seven courses (28 semester credits) determined by the concentration (see below). At least two of these courses must be from advanced Asian-studies-approved courses at the 300 level or higher. At least one elective must be taken in the humanities and at least one must be taken in the social sciences. Students may apply a maximum of 4 semester credit hours of internship or directed reading toward the elective requirement (approval required).

  • At least one semester overseas on an approved program in Asia: China, India, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, or Thailand. (See the Office of Overseas and Off-Campus Programs for specific program and application information.) Two courses taken on an overseas program may be applied to the major, depending upon the number and level of courses, and pending advisor and program director approval. The limit on overseas courses does not apply to IS 249.

    China Concentration (28 additional credits)

    • CHIN 202 or higher language course

    • 20 additional credits of which at least 8 must be at the 300 level or higher. At least one elective must be taken in the humanities and at least one must be taken in the social sciences. The credits must include at least:

      • 16 credits chosen from the China concentration
      • 4 credits chosen from the Asian studies curriculum outside the China concentration
    • 4 additional credits from the Asian studies curriculum. (The AS program director may approve the use of one course from outside the approved AS curriculum when it contributes to preparation for the colloquium.)

    Japan Concentration (28 additional credits)

    • JAPN 202 or higher language course

    • 20 additional credits of which at least 8 must be at the 300 level or higher. At least one elective must be taken in the humanities and at least one must be taken in the social sciences. The credits must include at least:

      • 16 credits chosen from the Japan concentration
      • 4 credits from the Asian studies curriculum outside the Japan concentration
    • 4 additional credits from the Asian studies curriculum. (The AS program director may approve the use of one course from outside the approved AS curriculum when it contributes to preparation for the colloquium.)

    General Asia Concentration (28 additional credits)

    • 28 credits chosen from Asian studies curriculum (excluding language courses). At least 8 credits must be at the 300 level or higher. At least one elective must be taken in the humanities and at least one must be taken in the social sciences. (The AS program director may approve the use of one course from outside the approved AS curriculum when it contributes to preparation for the colloquium.)

    Language courses will not be applied to the general Asia concentration.

    Minor Requirements

    A minimum of 20 credits. 12 credits must be exclusive to the minor.

    • AS 100 Introduction to Contemporary Asian Studies

    • One historical foundation course, chosen from the following:

      History of Early East Asian Art
      History of Buddhist Art
      Early East Asian History
      Religions and Cultures of East Asia
    • 12 credits from the approved Asian studies curriculum. At least four credits must be at the 300 level or above. One course may be an Asian language class. Two courses from an overseas studies program may be applied to the minor, pending approval of advisor and program director. The limit on overseas courses does not apply to IS 249.

    Asian Studies Curriculum

    China Concentration Courses
    Urban Experience in China
    Art and Empire
    Intermediate Chinese II
    Introduction to Chinese Literature in Translation
    Introduction to Chinese Literature in Translation
    Chinese Conversation
    Chinese Conversation
    Topics in Chinese Literature in Translation
    Topics in Chinese Literature in Translation
    Readings and Composition in Chinese
    Advanced Readings in Chinese
    Advanced Readings in Chinese: Society and Culture
    Making Modern China
    Personal Narratives in Chinese History
    China in the News: Socio-Anthropological and Historical Perspective on Modern China
    China in the World
    History of Family, Gender, and Sexuality in China
    Anthropology of Print Media
    Power and Resistance
    Japan Concentration Courses
    The Art of Tea in Japanese Culture I
    Making Modern Japan
    Japan at War
    Religion, Society, and the State in Japanese History
    Popular Culture and Everyday Life in Japanese History
    Japan Past and Present (The limit on overseas courses does not apply to this course.)
    Intermediate Japanese II
    Introduction to Japanese Literature in Translation
    Introduction to Japanese Literature in Translation
    Japanese Conversation
    Japanese Conversation
    Topics in Japanese Literature in Translation
    Topics in Japanese Literature in Translation
    Readings and Composition in Japanese
    Readings and Composition in Japanese II
    Advanced Readings in Japanese: Society and Culture
    Advanced Readings in Japanese: Fiction and Nonfiction
    Religions of Japan
    General Asian Studies Courses
    History of Early East Asian Art
    History of Buddhist Art (may only be applied once to the major)
    Art After 1945 (when Asia-focused)
    Theory in Practice (when Asia-focused)
    Contemporary Korean Culture
    Early East Asian History
    The Emergence of Modern South Asia
    Perspectives on the Vietnam War
    India in the Age of Empire
    Reading Colloquium (when Asia-focused)
    Gamelan Ensemble
    Hindustani Voice Private Lessons
    Sitar Private Lessons
    Tabla Private Lessons
    Workshops in World Music (when Asia-focused)
    Music of Asia
    Topics in Music (when Asia-focused)
    Indian Philosophy
    Religion and Culture of Hindu India
    Religions and Cultures of East Asia
    Buddhism: Theory, Culture, and Practice
    Buddhism and Gender
    Family, Gender, and Religion: Ethnographic Approaches
    Seminar in Asian Religions
    Southeast Asia: Development, Resistance, and Social Change
    South Asian Cultures
    Pacific Rim Cities
    Theory Through Ethnography
    Borderlands: Tibet and the Himalaya
    Anthropology of Tourism: Travel in Asia