Asian Studies, BA and minor

The Asian Studies major and minor programs for undergraduates focus on East Asia and South Asia, with attention to Central Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Rim. It provides students with a broad interdisciplinary and comparative perspective to deepen understanding of how Asian people, nations, states, regions, and diasporas have developed, functioned, and interacted. The major is designed to be flexible, easily tailored to each student’s interests and learning goals, whether those goals focus on a certain country in the region or on a particular transnational issue(s) such as cultural flows, security, or economic development.

Every student builds an Asian Studies portfolio tracking his or her coursework, language learning milestones, study abroad experiences, participation in Asia-related events, conversations with visiting experts, and reflections. Seniors may present their research projects at an annual symposium. Students, therefore, have a continuous opportunity to explore, deepen, evaluate, and perhaps revise their own pre-existing beliefs and ideas about the global significance of this large and complex region. Graduates of the program are well prepared for graduate study and for careers in government, local and international non-governmental organizations, and the private sector.

BA Coursework Summary

The major in Asian Studies requires a total of 11 core and principal courses (four-credit courses), fifth semester proficiency in an Asian language (Chinese, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, or Urdu), and a mini-seminar (one credit). The 11 core and principal courses comprises three core courses, three principal courses in the social sciences, three principal courses in the humanities, and two additional principal courses as electives. These 11 courses and the mini-seminar must be completed with a grade of C or higher; seven of the 11 courses must be 300 level courses or higher; and, at least six courses must be taken on BU’s main campus in Boston or through the BU Study Abroad program. A maximum of five core and/or principal courses taken at other universities and accepted for BU credit may be counted toward the major, with prior approval by the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

For additional details about the major in Asian Studies program and to see the program’s course listing, please visit the website of the Center for the Study of Asia.

For a detailed explanation of the program’s requirements, please refer to the university bulletin.

Minor Coursework Summary

The East Asian Studies minor consists of the following requirements: knowledge of written and spoken Chinese, Japanese, Korean, or Vietnamese (or, where appropriate, another Asian language) through the 212 level or its equivalent, as demonstrated through testing; and six courses in East Asian studies, including the two East Asian Core courses in Pre-Modern Heritage and Modern Transformation. At least three of the non-language courses must be taken at Boston University.

For additional details about the Asian Studies minor program or to see the program’s course listing, please visit the website of the Center for the Study of Asia.

For a detailed explanation of the program’s requirements, please refer to the university bulletin.

Honors Program

Honors in Asian Studies may be earned by completing two semesters of independent senior honors work (CAS AI 401/402) and presenting an original research paper (thesis) in written and oral form to a committee of faculty readers. The committee will consider both the thesis and the result of the oral examination to determine whether the student will receive honors in the major. A grade of B+ or better in each semester of AI 401/402 is also required for the award of honors. While an honors project will normally require two on-campus semesters of research and writing, it is possible in some cases that a one-semester project can grow out of research that commenced during a semester of study abroad or service learning in Asia. Students doing honors work will present their work at an annual symposium to which all Asian Studies faculty and fellow majors will be invited.

Admission to the Honors Program requires an overall and major GPA of at least 3.20. Interested sophomores and juniors should contact Professor Min Ye to discuss ideas for research and faculty mentors.