Asian Studies Major

Requirements for the Concentration in Asian Studies

12 units of which at least 7 are normally taken at Vassar. After declaration of the major, all courses taken towards the major must be graded. Students may request, however, that up to 1 unit of independent study or field work be counted towards the major.

1. Introductory-Level Study:

Two introductory level courses either offered by Asian Studies, cross-listed, or from the approved course list (excluding language courses).

2. Language:

Competency in one Asian language of the student’s concentration through the intermediate college level must be achieved and demonstrated by completion of relevant courses or special examination if the area of concentration is a country where English is not an official language. A maximum of four units of Asian language study may be counted toward the 12 units for the major. Arabic is offered through Africana Studies. Chinese and Japanese are offered by the Department of Chinese and Japanese. Hindi, Korean, and Turkish may be taken through the Self-Instructional Language Program. The language studied should be approved by the director.

3. Intermediate-Level Study:

A minimum of 3 units of intermediate course work (200-level) of direct relevance to Asia in at least two disciplines, selected from the lists of program courses and approved courses. Recommendation: At least two of these courses should be related to the student’s regional focus within Asia and at least one should be outside the area of regional specialty.

4. Advanced-Level Work:

A minimum of 3 units at the 300-level including the designated Asian Studies “Senior Seminar”, 1 unit of thesis work (ASIA 300-ASIA 301 or ASIA 302), and at least one additional 300-level seminar from the lists of program courses and approved courses. The senior seminar and the thesis constitute the Senior Year Requirement.

5. Discipline-Specific Courses:

Majors are expected to choose one or two disciplines in which they take courses and develop a theoretical or methodological sophistication that they bring to bear on their study of Asia, particularly in their thesis and senior seminar work. Introductory work in each discipline should be taken early to fulfill prerequisites for upper level work in the chosen discipline.

6. Area-Specific Courses:

Majors should try to include three or four courses (not including language study) that focus on a student’s geographical area of specialization within Asia, and two courses that include a geographic area other than the region of focus.