Asian Studies B.A. – Liberal Arts Emphasis

College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Contact: Michelle Low, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

Location: Candelaria 0095

Telephone: 970.351.1366

Fax: 970.351.2829

Advising Information:

Students must consult with their assigned major advisor each semester prior to registering.

Assigned advisor is available through the Ursa login;; under Student tab Academic Profile channel and is term specific. If no advisor is listed, contact the major program for advisor information.

The program consists of three parts:

  1. Liberal Arts Core (LAC) Credits
  2. Required Major Credits
  3. University-Wide Credits

Program Description:

The program in Asian Studies prepares individuals who have a broad understanding of Asia as a region, and in-depth understanding of a particular region of Asia through the study of the languages, history, literatures, arts, and cultures of Asia. Upon completion of this course of study, students will have a highly individualized but broad familiarity with the region, and will also understand the history and culture of Asia, as well as how this history and the various cultures affect its current dynamics.

The program fosters knowledge and study of international, specifically Asian, issues, as well as national and local diversity by inclusion of courses on the Asian Diaspora. Courses in Asian civilizations, literature, history, and the arts train students in Asian culture, and develop their cultural competence. Because the program requires study of Asian languages and encourages study abroad to one of UNC’s direct exchange partner institutions in Asian countries, this program prepares student to work effectively with “diverse populations.”

Students completing this program will have linguistic competence in at least one Asian language, and an understanding in Asian cultures, literature, art and history. Students are further encouraged to take on a minor in other subjects that complement their understanding of Asia, and enable them to continue to graduate studies in Asian studies, or to broaden their career prospects.

Program Admission Requirement:

Academic Good Standing.

Program Requirements:

  • A thesis is required to graduate from the program. The student should begin their thesis proposal at least two semesters before the intended graduation date. Both the thesis topic and the thesis advisor must be presented to and approved by the Asian Studies Board in the semester before graduation. Thesis credit will be taken as a directed study in the program of the thesis advisor. Additionally, students must present their thesis in a public setting, such as UNC Research Day or a thesis defense.
  • Students must maintain a C or better in courses to be counted towards the major. C- is not acceptable.

Program Recommendations:

Suggested minors are: Business Administration, Chinese, Film, Recreation, Tourism and Hospitality, History, or Women’s Studies.

Degree Requirements — 120 Credits

Degree Requirements

1. Required Specified LAC — 3 credits

LAC area 4 — History

HIST 113Asian Civilization II: From 1500 to the Present


Remaining LAC — 37 credits

See “Liberal Arts Core ”.

2. Required Major — 61 credits

Take the following course:

HIST 112Asian Civilization I: From Prehistory to 1500



A 3-hour directed study must be completed with an approved advisor, taken under the advisor's academic unit.


Choose one of the following courses:

CHIN 450Modern Chinese Literature


CHIN 495Topics in Traditional China


HIST 495Topics in Asian History


JAPN 450Japanese Literature


Choose six credits from the following courses:

CHIN 216Masterpieces in Chinese Literature


ENG 236Ethnic American Literature


ENG 262Masterpieces of World Literature


HIST 211History of Asian America


Advisor approval is required prior to registering for ENG 236 and ENG 262, which can only count toward this requirement if at least 1/3 of the course focuses on Asia.

Choose six credits from the following courses:

HIST 307History of China to 1500


HIST 309History of Southeast Asia


HIST 310History of China Since 1500


HIST 311History of Japan


Language Requirement: 28 credits in Asian languages

Students may divide the 28 credits among more than one Asian language, but must also achieve at least intermediate-mid level proficiency in one Asian language, demonstrated through 1) the Simulated Oral Proficiency Interview (SOPI) based on ACTFL standards and 2) a written examination in which students translate graded texts from the target languages into English.

Choose 12 credits from the following courses:

Coursework must be selected from at least two prefixes.

ANT 313Modernization and Development


ART 391Japanese Art


ART 392Chinese Art History


CHIN 116Introduction to Chinese Civilization


GEOG 344Asia: Special Topics


JAPN 116Contemporary Japan


MIND 181Great Traditions of Asia


MUS 247Music Cultures of the World


PSCI 319Asian Politics


WS 285Global and Cross Cultural Perspectives of Women


Advisor approval is required prior to registering for the following courses, which can only count toward this requirement if at least 1/3 of the course focuses on Asia.

ANT 408Workshop in Anthropology

3 - 12

ANT 470Seminar in Anthropology


FL 296Study Abroad Experience


FL 395Special Topics

1 - 4

FILM 320Special Topics in Film


PHIL 300Topics in Philosophy


ANT 313, ANT 408, ANT 470, ART 391, ART 392, FILM 320, GEOG 344, PHIL 300, and PSCI 319 have prerequisites outside of the major requirements.

3. University-Wide Credits — 19 credits