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Asian Studies Program

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Asian Studies Major

The Major in Asian Studies requires a minimum of 36 hours of coursework and is designed to ensure that graduates have both depth and breadth in their understanding of Asia.

 The major has four parts:

·  Language (18 hours): Students must study a minimum of 2 ½ years of a modern Asian language, or achieve a proficiency level equal to that of the first semester of the third year (“Advanced”). The program currently offers full curricula in Chinese and Japanese language.  Courses taken abroad can count toward the language component, but the highest-level language course of a student’s curriculum must be taken at Vanderbilt. Credit hours for the first semester of the first year do not count for the Language component, but can count toward the Electives component.

·  Specialization (6 hours): Students deepen their knowledge of their chosen country of focus (either China or Japan) through two courses on that country’s history, politics, religions, or visual cultures.

·  Perspectives (6 hours): In order to acquire a multifaceted perspective on Asian culture, students complete two courses that emphasize Asia as a region, or that focus on theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of Asia. 

·  Electives (6 hours):  can include any ASIA and ASIA-eligible courses, including the first semester of the first year of language study (which does not count toward the 18 hours of language credit).

We also strongly recommend that students study abroad in Asia in a Vanderbilt-approved program.  Most study abroad credit hours will count toward the Asian Studies major.  Two caveats hold:  the highest language course of a student’s curriculum, as well as both “Specialization” courses, must be taken at Vanderbilt.