At which campus can I study this program?
This is an interdisciplinary major, with a strong disciplinary core, for students who want a basic understanding of the background and contemporary aspect of East, Southeast, or South Asia. Students are expected to focus their coursework largely on one major Asian area.
What is Asian Studies?
Asian Studies focuses on the history, culture, and societies of Asia. It can include the study of the languages, societies, cultures, histories, economies, and politics of the countries and peoples of Asia. This is an interdisciplinary major, with a strong disciplinary core, for students who want a basic understanding of the background and contemporary aspect of East, Southeast, or South Asia.
You Might Like This Program If...
- You are interested in the languages, cultures, histories, or societies of one or more of the countries of Asia.
- You are curious about other parts of the world.
- You want to think contextually about cultures, historical trends, social change, and political structures.
- You want to understand the history of the world as a group of systems and as a single system.
Entrance to Major
In order to be eligible for entrance to this major, a student must:
- attain at least a C (2.00) cumulative grade-point average for all courses taken at the University; and
- have third-semester classification.
For the Bachelor of Arts degree in Asian Studies, a minimum of 124 credits is required:
|Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements||24|
|Requirements for the Major||31|
3 of the 24 credits for Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements are included in the Requirements for the Major, General Education, or Electives and 0-12 credits are included in Electives if foreign language proficiency is demonstrated by examination.
Per Senate Policy 83-80.5, the college dean or campus chancellor and program faculty may require up to 24 credits of coursework in the major to be taken at the location or in the college or program where the degree is earned. For more information, check the Recommended Academic Plan for your intended program.
Connecting career and curiosity, the General Education curriculum provides the opportunity for students to acquire transferable skills necessary to be successful in the future and to thrive while living in interconnected contexts. General Education aids students in developing intellectual curiosity, a strengthened ability to think, and a deeper sense of aesthetic appreciation. These are requirements for all baccalaureate students and are often partially incorporated into the requirements of a program. For additional information, see the General Education Requirements section of the Bulletin and consult your academic adviser.
The keystone symbol appears next to the title of any course that is designated as a General Education course. Program requirements may also satisfy General Education requirements and vary for each program.
Foundations (grade of C or better is required.)
- Quantification (GQ): 6 credits
- Writing and Speaking (GWS): 9 credits
- Arts (GA): 6 credits
- Health and Wellness (GHW): 3 credits
- Humanities (GH): 6 credits
- Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS): 6 credits
- Natural Sciences (GN): 9 credits
Integrative Studies (may also complete a Knowledge Domain requirement)
- Inter-Domain or Approved Linked Courses: 6 credits
University Degree Requirements
First Year Engagement
All students enrolled in a college or the Division of Undergraduate Studies at University Park, and the World Campus are required to take 1 to 3 credits of the First-Year Seminar, as specified by their college First-Year Engagement Plan.
Other Penn State colleges and campuses may require the First-Year Seminar; colleges and campuses that do not require a First-Year Seminar provide students with a first-year engagement experience.
First-year baccalaureate students entering Penn State should consult their academic adviser for these requirements.
6 credits are required and may satisfy other requirements
- United States Cultures: 3 credits
- International Cultures: 3 credits
Writing Across the Curriculum
3 credits required from the college of graduation and likely prescribed as part of major requirements.
Total Minimum Credits
A minimum of 120 degree credits must be earned for a baccalaureate degree. The requirements for some programs may exceed 120 credits. Students should consult with their college or department adviser for information on specific credit requirements.
Quality of Work
Candidates must complete the degree requirements for their major and earn at least a 2.00 grade-point average for all courses completed within their degree program.
Limitations on Source and Time for Credit Acquisition
The college dean or campus chancellor and program faculty may require up to 24 credits of course work in the major to be taken at the location or in the college or program where the degree is earned. Credit used toward degree programs may need to be earned from a particular source or within time constraints (see Senate Policy 83-80). For more information, check the Suggested Academic Plan for your intended program.
B.A. Degree Requirements
Foreign Language (0-12 credits): Student must attain 12th credit level of proficiency in one foreign language. See the Placement Policy for Penn State Foreign Language Courses.
B.A. Fields (9 credits): Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Arts, Foreign Languages, Natural Sciences, Quantification (may not be taken in the area of the student's primary major; foreign language credits in this category must be in a second foreign language or beyond the 12th credit level of proficiency in the first language)
Other Cultures (0-3 credits): Select 3 credits from approved list. Students may count courses in this category in order to meet other major, minor, elective, or General Education requirements, except for the General Education US/IL requirement.
Requirements for the Major
A grade of C or better is required for all courses in the major. To graduate, a student enrolled in the major must earn at least a C grade in each course designated by the major as a C-required course, as specified by Senate Policy 82-44.
|Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better|
|ASIA 405Y||Seminar in Asian Studies||3|
|Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better|
|Select 4 credits beyond the 12-credit level of proficiency in an Asian language from the following, or the equivalent:||4|
|Level Two Chinese B|
|Level Two Japanese B|
|Level Two Korean B|
|Select 6 credits from the following:||6|
|Introduction to the Religions of the East|
|What is Asia?|
|Sports in Asia|
|Asian Popular Culture|
|Introduction to Hinduism|
|Introduction to Buddhism|
|War and Memory in Asia: Twentieth Century and beyond|
|Asian Traditions of Health, Medicine, and the Body|
|Supporting Courses and Related Areas|
|Supporting Courses and Related Areas: Require a grade of C or better|
|Select 18 credits from a department list with at least 12 credits of which are to be at the 400-level 1||18|
Independent study credits selected in consultation with adviser; additional further credits in language studies may be permitted up to 6 credits. Credit received for a specific course will not count in more than one category. Courses not on the list that deal substantially with some aspect of Asia in any discipline may also count, pending approval of an adviser.
Integrated B.A. in Asian Studies and M.I.A. in International Affairs
Requirements for the Integrated B.A. in Asian Studies and M.I.A. in International Affairs can be found in the Graduate Bulletin.
The objectives of the university’s academic advising program are to help advisees identify and achieve their academic goals, to promote their intellectual discovery, and to encourage students to take advantage of both in-and out-of class educational opportunities in order that they become self-directed learners and decision makers.
Both advisers and advisees share responsibility for making the advising relationship succeed. By encouraging their advisees to become engaged in their education, to meet their educational goals, and to develop the habit of learning, advisers assume a significant educational role. The advisee's unit of enrollment will provide each advisee with a primary academic adviser, the information needed to plan the chosen program of study, and referrals to other specialized resources.
Liberal Arts Academic Advising
Use the Liberal Arts Majors and Minors web page to see the contact information for the specific adviser(s) of this program
Suggested Academic Plan
The suggested academic plan(s) listed on this page are the plan(s) that are in effect during the 2021-22 academic year. To access previous years' suggested academic plans, please visit the archive to view the appropriate Undergraduate Bulletin edition (Note: the archive only contain suggested academic plans beginning with the 2018-19 edition of the Undergraduate Bulletin).
Asian Studies, B.A. at University Park Campus and Commonwealth Campuses
The course series listed below provides only one of the many possible ways to move through this curriculum. The University may make changes in policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements at any time. This plan should be used in conjunction with your degree audit (accessible in LionPATH as either an Academic Requirements or What If report). Please consult with a Penn State academic adviser on a regular basis to develop and refine an academic plan that is appropriate for you.
|ASIA 3, 100, 100Z, 101N, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106N, or 197*||3||ASIA 3, 100, 100Z, 101N, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106N, or 197*||3|
|ENGL 15, 30H, ESL 15, ENGL 137H, or CAS 137H‡||3||CAS 100, ENGL 138T, or CAS 138T||3|
|Asian Language Level 1||4||Asian Language Level 2||4|
|General Education Course||3||General Education Course||3|
|First-Year Seminar||3||General Education Course (GQ)‡||3|
|Major Course from Supporting Courses and Related Areas List*||3||Asian Language Level 110*||4|
|Asian Language Level 3||4||General Education Course||3|
|General Education Course (GQ)‡||3||General Education Course||3|
|General Education Course||3||US Cultures Course||3|
|BA Knowledge Domain Course||3||BA Knowledge Domain Course||3|
|ASIA 405Y*||3||Asian Language Level 402||4|
|General Education Course||3||4XX Level Major Course from Supporting Courses and Related Areas List*||3|
|General Education Course||3||ENGL 202B‡||3|
|BA Knowledge Domains Course||3||General Education Course||3|
|Asian Language Level 401||4||Elective||3|
|4XX Level Major Course from Supporting Courses and Related Areas List*||3||Asian Language Level 404||4|
|Asian Language Level 403||4||4XX Level Major Course from Supporting Courses and Related Areas List*||3|
|General Education Course (GHW)||1.5||General Education Course (GHW)||1.5|
|Total Credits 124|
Course requires a grade of C or better for the major
Course requires a grade of C or better for General Education
Course is an Entrance to Major requirement
Course satisfies General Education and degree requirement
University Requirements and General Education Notes:
US and IL are abbreviations used to designate courses that satisfy University Requirements (United States and International Cultures).
W, M, X, and Y are the suffixes at the end of a course number used to designate courses that satisfy University Writing Across the Curriculum requirement.
GWS, GQ, GHW, GN, GA, GH, and GS are abbreviations used to identify General Education program courses. General Education includes Foundations (GWS and GQ) and Knowledge Domains (GHW, GN, GA, GH, GS, and Integrative Studies). Foundations courses (GWS and GQ) require a grade of ‘C’ or better.
Integrative Studies courses are required for the General Education program. N is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate an Inter-Domain course and Z is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate a Linked course.
All incoming Schreyer Honors College first-year students at University Park will take ENGL 137H/CAS 137H in the fall semester and ENGL 138T/CAS 138T in the spring semester. These courses carry the GWS designation and replace both ENGL 30H and CAS 100. Each course is 3 credits.
Bachelor of Arts Requirements:
Bachelor of Arts students must take 9 credits in Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Fields (Humanities; Social and Behavioral Sciences; Arts; World Languages [2nd language or beyond the 12th credit level of proficiency in the 1st]; Natural Sciences; Quantification). The B.A. Fields courses may not be taken in the area of the student’s primary major. See your adviser and the Degree Requirements section of this Bulletin.
Bachelor of Arts students must take 3 credits in Other Cultures.
See your adviser and the full list of courses approved as Other Cultures courses.
- Students pursuing this major at a campus might require summer attendance, study abroad, or additional semesters to complete the major coursework. In their second semester, students should contact the University Park adviser to discuss options and plan their major courses accordingly.
A B.A. in Asian Studies can be the basis for careers in the public sector (diplomatic corps, armed forces, intelligence, etc.), international law, business, public relations, journalism, travel and hospitality, careers requiring foreign travel or living abroad in Asia, language specialist (translating, interpreting, teaching).
With an Asian Studies degree, you'll be prepared for a career in a wide range of industries and professions, including the public sector (diplomatic corps, armed forces, intelligence, etc.), international law, business, public relations, journalism, travel and hospitality, careers requiring foreign travel or living abroad in Asia, language specialist (translating, interpreting, teaching).
Opportunities for Graduate Studies
International Affairs programs, law, or the study of Asia in various disciplines, such as art history, literature, history, religion, philosophy, political science, and sociology.