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Graduate Certificate

The Department of Asian Studies offers a graduate certificate in the interdisciplinary study of the societies and cultures of Asia. The certificate offers graduate students a perspective on Asia that goes beyond the student’s particular disciplinary specialization, and signals that the student has achieved competence in an Asian language. The certificate offers a valuable credential for students who wish to undertake career opportunities in Asia, or work in a field related to Asian countries, institutions, or populations. An Asian studies certificate also allows students in professional schools to take advantage of the many global opportunities in business, law, education, and health care.


The certificate in Asian studies is open to any student enrolled in graduate study at Vanderbilt University. The certificate is awarded upon fulfillment of the following three categories of requirements:

  • Completion of at least 12 credit hours of interrelated graduate-level coursework.
  • Demonstration of proficiency (both oral and written) in an Asian language, assessed through testing. Tests will be administered by a Vanderbilt professor or lecturer following American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages guidelines. Students must achieve a score indicating an intermediate-mid level of proficiency.
  • Attendance at a minimum of five academic Asian studies events.

Please note the following requirements regarding coursework:

  • Courses may include those offered directly by the Department of Asian Studies, as well as graduate courses from other departments that have been approved by the chair of the department.
  • Coursework must be focused on a specific theme and form an intellectually coherent whole.
  • Up to 6 credit hours of specifically named required courses of a student’s primary degree program may count toward the certificate.
  • At least 6 credit hours must come from outside the student’s home discipline.
  • Graduate courses successfully completed at Vanderbilt University prior to admission to the program may be counted toward the certificate requirements with the approval of the department chair. An undergraduate course may be substituted for a graduate course required by the program’s curriculum, with the approval of the department chair and the Graduate School.


Students wishing to enroll must complete an intent to enroll form, which must be signed by the student, the chair of the Department of Asian Studies, and the director of the Graduate Program (DGS) for the degree program in which the student is enrolled. A signed copy of the form must be submitted to the Graduate School and to the University Registrar’s Office.