Asian Studies at Boston University has grown over the last two decades into one of the best and most comprehensive clusters of faculty and resources in New England. Over fifty full-time faculty and instructors focus on Asia across nearly all relevant fields and geographical areas, from East Asia to Turkey.


The study of Asia is an integral part of the Boston University curriculum at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. The Asian Studies Major, an interdisciplinary major that draws on courses in a variety of humanities and social science departments, constitutes one of the most complete such programs in the country. The Department of Modern Languages and Comparative Literature offers rigorous training in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Persian, and Turkish. Many of BU’s schools and departments allow students to focus their studies on Asia. And the university offers an impressive array of exchange programs in Asia, while graduate students in the School of Management can study in Asia through offered International Field Seminars or the MBA+ Master of Arts in International Relations (MBA+ MA in IR) program.


Boston University is home to several important Asia-related research institutes, which coordinate closely with BUCSA.  The American Institute of Afghan Studies (AIAS) is the preeminent organization in the United States supporting the study of Afghanistan. It also maintains a unique collection of Afghan photographs and reportage. The Institute on Culture, Religion & World Affairs (CURA) brings together a multi-disciplinary community of scholars to encourage and support research on the role of religion in public affairs. BUCSA also cooperates with the Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future and the Global Development Policy Center in their work on Asia. Given the Pardee Center’s focus on large-scale societal issues such as development, environment, and public health, China and the Indian subcontinent naturally play a major role in its research and conferences.

Libraries and Collections

BU also has an extraordinary collection of library resources, including the Central Asian and Islamic Rare Book Collection. Smaller collections at Boston University include several thousand Chinese-language books in the Department of Modern Languages and Comparative Literature, 550 volumes on Japanese art as a gift from the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and small but important research collections and databases of Chinese and Japanese print media, mostly from the early twentieth century.