UW-Madison Home Division of International Studies
About Students Faculty Outreach Events News Resources Support Us aa

Degrees and Certificates



Fellowships and Grants

Study Abroad

Advising Program


Student Organizations


Students Awards


2013 Korean Studies Grant




Undergraduate concentration in East Asian Studies

for the Asian Studies major

The East Asian Studies concentration encompasses China, Japan, and Korea — Pacific Rim nations characterized by rich cultural heritages, critical geopolitical positions and rapidly expanding economies. East Asia plays a central role in world politics and the global economy, and the importance of this region will increase in the 21st century.

This concentration is for undergraduates who are interested in a wide range of careers (business, public service, law, teaching, research, etc.) and who seek a focused yet multidisciplinary education with solid grounding in East Asian language and civilization. Students interested in the major should begin language study as early as possible.

The East Asian Studies concentration is administered by the Center for East Asian Studies. The center coordinates courses offered in diverse departments of the university and maintains a roster of over sixty faculty members whose teaching and professional work focus on East Asia. Students who choose this option are strongly encouraged to participate in study abroad programs in China, Japan, or Korea, administered by the University of Wisconsin or other institutions.

Required Course Work for the Undergraduate Major

A minimum of 30 credits selected according to the guidelines below are required for the major. A complete list of currently approved courses for this major can be obtained from the center, or can be accessed online at the web site listed above. To assure familiarity with language, general breadth of knowledge about East Asia, and rigor in a single discipline, the following are required:

  • Language: At least two years of an East Asian Language — Chinese, Japanese, Korean, or Tibetan. East Asian studies majors are required to take at least two semesters of work beyond first-year or elementary-level courses. The first- and second-semester courses in one foreign language do not count towards the 30-credit minimum for the major, but other East Asian language credits do count.
  • Humanities: At least 8 credits are required in East Asian civilization and the humanities: art history, Buddhist studies, film (communication arts), history, literature, music, philosophy, religion, theatre, etc.
  • Social Sciences: At least 8 credits are required in East Asian social sciences: anthropology, business, economics, geography, history, law, political science, sociology, etc.
  • Concentration: At least 8 credits (not including language credits) must be concentrated in a single discipline (i.e., History Department).

  • Upper-level courses: All students must fulfill the L&S school requirement of at least 15 credits of upper-level work in the major. Any course numbered 300 or above (except Langasia 366, 367, 375, 376) will count toward this requirement. (click here for a list of eligible upper-level courses).

  • Additional courses: Courses not listed here may also count towards degree requirements if the course content is at least 25% East Asian, or if a paper focusing on East Asia and worth at least 25% of the final semester grade is offered. Questions regarding these courses should be directed to the East Asian Studies advisor.

  • Senior thesis: By the end of the junior year, a student choosing to do a two-semester senior thesis should have a faculty member agree in writing to supervise the thesis work. Students should register for East Asian Studies courses 691 and 692 to receive credit for thesis work.

Honors in the Major

Students who wish to graduate with Honors in the Concentration in East Asian Studies major may do so by fulfilling the following requirements:

  • receive permission from the CEAS adviser to register as an honors major, no later than the beginning of the junior year. To be eligible, the student must have an overall GPA of at least 3.5.
  • obtain the consent of a member of the EAS core or affiliated faculty to serve as adviser for the honors thesis. In general, the student should take a course with this faculty member before asking him or her to become the student's adviser.

  • take at least three to six additional course credits at the intermediate to advanced level, selected in consultation with the EAS adviser, as preparation for senior thesis research.

  • write an honors thesis, for two semesters of credit (EAS 681-682), under the supervision of the faculty adviser.

  • achieve a GPA of at least 3.5 in EAS courses.

Students should check with the department honors adviser at least once a year to make sure that requirements have not been modified, as well as to seek guidance about planning the best possible Honors in the Major curriculum that reflects their special interests.



Copyright © 2008 Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System.
Center for East Asian Studies, International Institute, 333 Ingraham Hall, 1155 Observatory Drive,
Madison, WI 53706-1397 email: eas@eastasia.wisc.edu tel:(608)262-3643 fax:(608)265-2919