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 International MBA program.


Boston University is home to several important Asia-related research institutes, which coordinate closely with BUCSA. AsianARC, formerly the International Center for East Asian Archaeology and Cultural History (ICEAACH), is a nationally-recognized leader in archaeological research and education and serves scholars and students both at BU and internationally. It undertakes extensive teaching, research, and outreach activities, and disseminates information about archaeological research in East and Southeast Asia. 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 Boston University Institute for the Study of Muslim Societies and Civilizations (SMSC) is the centerpiece of the university’s scholars on the Muslim world, supporting interdisciplinary research and teaching across the humanities and social sciences. BUCSA and SMSC work together closely, reflecting the important role of Islam in South, Southeast, and Central Asia. BUCSA also cooperates with the Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future in its 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 and AsianARC’s comprehensive library on the archaeology, anthropology, and art history of early East, Northeast, Central, and Southeast Asia, built around the core holdings of K.C. Chang’s personal research library. 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.