East Asian Studies

Major only

East Asian Studies is an interdisciplinary major which draws from both social sciences and humanities departments, including language, anthropology, political science, history, and economics. Each of these various subject areas allows the student to focus on the historical, social, political, religious, cultural, and economic aspects of the East Asian countries. The major’s primary purpose is to introduce undergraduates to the knowledge, language skills, and research methods they will need to enter various specialized professional paths relating to China, Japan, and Korea, including but not limited to advanced academic research.

Highlights of the Hopkins Program

The purpose of the East Asian studies major is to introduce students to the knowledge, language skills, and research topics and methods needed to work in international service or academia. Under the supervision of an interdisciplinary advisory committee, students create their own programs of study, which typically focus on one country or a group of countries that form a coherent area. Students complete a balance of course work in language and area studies, including at least six semesters of Chinese, Japanese, or Korean in addition to courses in history, literature, politics, sociology, anthropology, and history of science. The major leads to various specialized professional paths, including advanced academic research.


Sample First Semester Schedule
  • Begin study of an Asian language at the appropriate level
  • An introductory course in East Asian studies
  • Consider an elective N, Q, or E course to begin distribution requirements
  • Consider a course in history, political science, or sociology
  • Elective course
  • Total 12-17 credits

Career Exploration

Skill Set

The “real world” skills you’ll develop with a major in East Asian Studies:

  • Working with original sources in many fields (philosophy, history, art, music, natural sciences)
  • Reading for content and structure
  • Communicating between cultures
  • Creating and evaluating logical arguments
Career Center

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