Majors & Programs


East Asian Studies

Why Major in East Asian Studies?

The major in East Asian Studies entails the comprehensive study of the cultures and societies of East Asia in an interdisciplinary program that encompasses language, literature, history, anthropology, art history, film, philosophy, and religious studies. Washington University is one of this nation’s oldest centers for the study of China and Japan. The East Asian Studies department offers an impressive range of courses in modern Chinese and Japanese languages through the advanced level in addition to classical language study. A more modest but growing program of Korean language study is also available. Our dedicated teacher-scholars are committed to mentoring undergraduates with an interest in East Asia.

Study Options

Our humanities-based course of study is broad and flexible, and students can easily arrange for a double major within the College of Arts & Sciences or a dual major with another school in the University. Prime EAS majors will complete a capstone experience and are also encouraged to work toward senior honors, which will involve working closely with a faculty advisor on a research project culminating in an honors thesis.

Career Options

Given the increasingly Asian-oriented global economy, career possibilities are expanding dramatically. Our broad-based curriculum prepares students for East Asia-focused careers in academia, diplomacy, business, education, and law, among others.

Features of the Program

East Asian Studies requires at least two semesters of Chinese, Japanese, or Korean beyond the second-year level. Majors select upper-level courses from at least three different disciplines and at least two different areas of East Asia.

Study Abroad

Studying abroad for a summer, a semester, or a year is strongly encouraged. You may choose from our programs in China, Japan, and Korea. In China, Washington University offers our own program located at Fudan University in the city of Shanghai. In Japan, there are several excellent study abroad opportunities from which to choose: the Kyoto Consortium for Japanese Studies (KCJS), based in Kyoto; and the Waseda University study abroad program based in Tokyo. Yonsei University and the Seoul National University offer exchange programs in Korea. Through study abroad you will have the opportunity to experience the culture you’ve studied in the classroom while improving your foreign language skills.

Course Sampler

  • Modern Chinese, Japanese, and Korean languages
    Chinese Civilization, Japanese Civilization, Korean Civilization
    Contemporary Chinese Culture and Society
    China’s Urban Experience: Shanghai and Beyond
    Early and Modern Chinese Literature
    Surveys of Japanese Literature, from the Classical to the Contemporary
    Japanese Film
    Chinese and Japanese Art History
    Historical Landscape and National Identity in Modern China
    Early Modern Chinese History
    Modern Japanese History

Join us. Take the next step.

Visit campus Apply now