Minor in Asian Studies

The Asian Studies minor focuses on East Asia and South Asia, with attention to Central Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Rim. It provides a broad interdisciplinary and comparative perspective, to deepen understanding of how Asian people, nations, states, regions, and diasporas have developed, functioned, and interacted, and how they view the world and themselves. The minor is designed to be flexible and easily tailored to each student’s interest and learning goals, whether these interests center on a certain country in the region or on particular transnational issues such as cultural flows, security, or economic development. 

Asian Studies minors secure a strong foundation for further study of the region or for careers in government, nongovernmental organizations, and the private sector that deal with Asia. The minor complements the disciplinary foundation that students cultivate in their major, allowing them a systematic introduction and broad exposure to the region’s culture, politics, and history. Minors study an Asian language (Chinese, Hindi-Urdu, Japanese, Korean, or another language where appropriate) through the 212 level or its equivalent, acquiring linguistic and cultural proficiency sufficient for professional life in or related to the region. They develop competence in both humanities and social sciences, integrating these disciplinary approaches to understand the utility and limits of each.


The minor in Asian Studies requires a total of six 4-credit courses. These courses must all be completed with a grade of C or higher; at least four courses must be at the 300 level or higher.

  • Two of the six 4-credit courses must be taken in the humanities.
  • Two 4-credit courses must be taken in the social sciences, one of which must be in the History Department.

Students must also possess knowledge of written and spoken Chinese, Hindi-Urdu, Japanese, or Korean (or, where appropriate, another Asian language) through the 212 level or its equivalent, as demonstrated through testing. 

In principle, all courses must be taken on BU’s Charles River Campus or through BU Study Abroad. Up to three courses taken at other universities and accepted for BU credit may be counted toward the minor with prior approval by the Pardee School Associate Dean of Studies.

Students may count one additional language course beyond the fourth-semester level as one of the six required courses for the minor. A list of current Asian studies courses will be maintained on the website of the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies.