Graduate Certificate in Asian Studies

The Graduate Certificate in Asian Studies can be earned by students in any Boston University graduate or professional program who fulfill the requirements outlined below, in addition to the requirements of their degree programs. No additional coursework is usually required because courses completed for the Asian Studies Certificate also usually fulfill course requirements toward students’ degree programs (post-BA degrees in Asian Studies are not offered). Courses with substantial Asian content from any of Boston University’s schools may be used toward the certificate, with approval from the BU Center for the Study of Asia (BUCSA) director.

The certificate helps students to gain a comprehensive, interdisciplinary, and cross-national understanding of Asia. While the BUCSA is housed in the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies, graduate students in any of BU’s schools can earn a Graduate Certificate in Asian Studies.


A list of pre-approved courses can be found on the certificate program’s website.

To receive the certificate, students must:

  • Successfully complete at least 16 credit hours of coursework in courses primarily focused on Asia, with a minimum grade of B in each course.
  • Concentration requirement: At least 12 of the 16 credits must focus on a subregional or substantive area (e.g., East Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, Central Asia; comparative government, cultural/archaeological preservation, Buddhism).
  • Include courses from at least two departments or schools.
  • Include no more than 4 credit hours of coursework in directed study or research, except with written permission of the director of BUCSA.
  • Complete a significant piece of research such as an MA or MFA thesis, doctoral dissertation, or two substantial research papers in graduate-level seminars, on Asia.
  • Demonstrate reading knowledge of an Asian language relevant to the course of study. This is demonstrated by passing the language proficiency test of the student’s own department where it is required. For students in schools or departments that do not offer language proficiency testing, BUCSA will arrange an assessment of reading proficiency.
  • Receive approval of completion from the director of BUCSA and the student’s faculty advisor.