Asian Studies Program

Program Director: Deborah Pembleton
Administrative Assistant: Norma Koetter

The Asian Studies Program prepares students for engaged global citizenship and life-long personal and professional involvement with Asian societies through focused interdisciplinary study. The program offers students a wide variety of opportunities for robust intellectual engagement with the arts, economics and business, history, literature, politics, philosophy and religion of the many cultures and nations of Asia and the global Asian diaspora. Graduates of Asian Studies at CSB/SJU go on to pursue careers in education, religion, government, diplomacy, international relations, law, business, medicine, journalism, non-profit and non-governmental activism, and other professional paths.

The curriculum offers a broad array of courses in art, economics, environmental studies, gender studies, global business leadership, geography, history, language and literature, music, peace studies, philosophy, political science, and theology. Coursework is complemented by significant opportunities for experiential learning, including study abroad programs in Asia as well as internship, teaching, service-learning, and other volunteer opportunities available locally, nationally, and internationally. Some courses taken at our study abroad sites in China and Japan may count toward the major and minor. (Please consult the Office of Education Abroad for a complete listing of courses.)

Assessment of Student Learning

The Asian Studies Program conducts annual assessment of student learning. Through appropriate written assignments, presentations, student surveys, and exit interviews, we regularly assess our pedagogy and curriculum.

Acceptance to Major Requirements

Course Requirements:  ASIA 200
Minimum Grade and/or GPA for required courses:  2.00 GPA
Minimum Cumulative GPA:  2.00

Major in Asian Studies (48 credits)

Students majoring in Asian Studies are required to complete 48 credits of courses from the interdisciplinary offerings listed under courses. ASIA 200, to be taken in the spring of the sophomore year, exposes students to a broad understanding of Asian Studies and is the gateway to the major. ASIA 399, taken in the senior year, is the capstone experience in which students work with Asian Studies faculty mentors to develop and complete a project that culminates in a research paper and public presentation. Students majoring in Asian Studies are required to study an Asian language through the intermediate (CHIN 212 or JAPN 212) level; additional English-language courses to complete the major should be selected based on the student's specific interest, and in consultation with a faculty advisor. While many Asian Studies courses are centered on the humanities, students are expected to take at least 8 credits from the social sciences or the arts. Typically, the seminar from the CSB/SJU study abroad programs in China and Japan will count for the Experiential Learning requirement of the major; one other course may count towards the electives for the major. No more than 4 credits from non-CSB/SJU study abroad experiences will apply toward the Asian Studies major without prior approval of the Director of Asian Studies.

Students will pursue a three-course concentration that is thematic, geographic, or chronological (e.g., "women in Asia," "India," or "nineteenth-century Asia") and which is explained in the student focus statement developed in the ASIA 200 course and in consultation with the student's Asian Studies faculty advisor.

Asian Studies students must complete their Common Curriculum/Integrations Curriculum Experiential Learning requirement through an Asia- or Asian America-related experience which includes but is not necessarily limited to CSB/SJU-approved semester study abroad, internship, teaching, and service-learning activities related to the student's chosen concentration.

Minor in Asian Studies (20 credits) 

The minor requires 20 credits:  Asia 200, 4 elective credits at the 100 or 200 level and 12 credits at the 300 level.  Up to 4 credits of Chinese and Japanese languages courses of 212 or higher CAN count for the Asian Studies minor. These courses may include 212, 311, 312, and ILP of 300 level or higher on either CSB/SJU campuses or study abroad sites.  Literature in translation courses offered under the LNGS course designation will count toward the Asian Studies minor. 

Minor in Chinese Language

This minor is administered by the Department of Languages and Cultures, and requires courses in Chinese language and culture.  For more information on the Chinese minor, go to the Languages and Cultures website at

Minor in Japanese Language

This minor is administered by the Languages and Cultures and requires courses in Japanese language and culture. For more information on the Japanese minor, go to the Department of Languages and Cultures website at

Courses (ASIA)