case western reserve university




About the Asian Studies Program at Case Western Reserve University

Asian studies has become an increasingly important area of study in North American colleges and universities. This is due in part to a growing acknowledgment that Asian cultures are of significance both regionally and globally. The Asian Studies Program offers students the opportunity to explore these cultures from a multidisciplinary perspective so that they are able to understand the social, cultural, political, and other forces that shape and have shaped Asian nations.

The Asian Studies Program draws on faculty and courses from such departments as anthropology, art history and art, economics, modern languages and literatures, history, philosophy, political science, and religious studies. A current list of approved courses is available from the program advisor. Departmental seminars and senior capstone courses in the Asian Studies Program may count toward the completion of the SAGES General Education Requirements.

The undergraduate program in Asian studies offers a major and a minor. Students are encouraged to take courses in different disciplines in order to obtain broad exposure to the languages, literature, art, culture, religious traditions, and political, economic, and social institutions of Asian countries. The Asian Studies Program also offers an honors program to qualified majors.

In addition to course offerings, the Asian Studies Program sponsors extracurricular activities that enhance the formal study of Asia and give students additional opportunities to explore and understand Asia’s importance in the global community. The program sponsors lectures and films and administers a Web site devoted to Asia. It also encourages students to participate in study abroad programs in Asian countries and to utilize Asian resources at the Cleveland Museum of Art and other local institutions.


The Asian studies major, which leads to a Bachelor of Arts degree, consists of 31 credit hours, including:

  • • At least 16 credit hours (two years) of Chinese or Japanese language
  • • 15 credit hours of Asia-related courses, selected in consultation with the program advisor
The 15 hours in Asia-related courses must be at the 200 or 300 level and come from at least three different departments.


The minor in Asian studies consists of 18 credit hours of Asia-related courses, selected in consultation with the program advisor. Only one year (8 credits) of language study (Japanese or Chinese) counts toward the minor.

The 18 hours in Asia-related courses must be at the 200 or 300 level and come from at least three different departments.

Honors Program

Asian Studies Honors is a semester-long program for Asian studies majors, normally taken during the senior year, which involves researching and writing an honors thesis. Honors program requirements include the completion of 12 semester hours of approved Asia-related courses, at least two semesters of study of an Asian language, and maintenance of a GPA of at least 3.0 overall and 3.2 in Asian studies courses.

A participating student enrolls in ASIA 398 Honors Thesis and writes a thesis under the direction of an Asian studies faculty member. The student also receives guidance from a second reader, who must be a member of the Asian Studies Program. A third reader, who need not be a member of the Asian Studies Program, is optional. Each student must maintain regular contact with the supervising faculty member in the various stages of researching and writing the thesis. Detailed guidelines and deadlines for the course are available from the program advisor.

Courses Available in East Asian Studies
Language Courses:

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 4
CHIN 302 Advanced Chinese II 4
CHIN 303 Topics in Chinese 3
CHIN 304 Topics in Chinese 3
CHIN 315 Business Chinese 3
CHIN 399 Independent Study 1-3
CHIN 415 Business Chinese 3
JAPN 101 Elementary Japanese I 4
JAPN 102 Elementary Japanese II 4
JAPN 201 Intermediate Japanese I 4
JAPN 202 Intermediate Japanese II 4
JAPN 301 Advanced Japanese I 4
JAPN 302 Advanced Japanese II 4
JAPN 225 Japanese Popular Culture 3
JAPN 245 Classical Japanese Literature in Translation 3
JAPN 255 Modern Japanese Literature in Translation 3
JAPN 350 Contemporary Japanese Texts I * 3
JAPN 351 Contemporary Japanese Texts II * 3
JAPN 355 Modern Japanese Novels and the West 3
JAPN 397 Senior Thesis I 3
JAPN 398 Senior Thesis II 3
JAPN 399 Independent Study 1-3
ANTH 353 Chinese Culture and Society 3
ASIA 235 Asian Cinema and Drama 3
Art History:
ARTH 203 The Arts of Asia 3
ARTH 204 Arts of East Asia 3
ARTH 302 Buddhist Art in Asia * 3
ARTH 307 Arts of China * 3
ARTH 308 Arts of Japan * 3
ARTH 340 Issues in the Art of China * 3
ARTH 398 Independent Study in Art History 1-3
HSTY 285 Modern Japan 3
HSTY 383 Readings in PRC History * 3
HSTY 385 Readings in Society and Culture in Modern Chinese History * 3
Political Science:
POSC 370C The United States and Asia * 3
POSC 370D The Politics of China * 3
POSC 370H China's Foreign Policy * 3
Religious Studies:
RLGN 217 Buddhism 3
RLGN 306 Interpreting Buddhist Texts 3


* These courses are simultaneously offered at the 400-level for graduate students.