Download a PDF of this section: The Faculty of Arts Print this page Email this page

Asian Studies

The Department of Asian Studies offers programs of study that lead to the degrees of Doctor of Philosophy, Master of Arts, and Bachelor of Arts. The department also collaborates with Film Studies; International Relations; Linguistics; Museum Studies; Philosophy; Religion, Literature and the Arts; and Women's and Gender Studies.

Please visit the Department for current offerings.

For information on advanced degrees see graduate Asian Studies.

The courses offered at the undergraduate level fall into two categories:

  1. Category 1: Courses on the contemporary and historical cultures of South, Southeast, and East Asia, that do not require knowledge of an Asian language (these are listed under the heading Asian Studies); and
  2. Category 2: Courses in language, including advanced reading courses, that introduce the student to literary, philosophical, and historical works in their original language (these courses are listed under the specific language headings).

Courses in category 1 are open to all students in the Faculty of Arts. Courses in category 2 are designed to provide the essential training for those who wish to proceed to further scholarly studies in the field of Asian Studies at the graduate level. However, in the more elementary courses, language training at the appropriate level is also provided for those who wish to obtain some knowledge of Chinese, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, or South Asian languages (Hindi, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Urdu) as part of their general education or with a view to later practical use.

Study of the necessary languages should begin as early as possible in a student's academic career. A good foundation in language studies is a prerequisite for admission to graduate studies. Those who do not have the necessary preparation when they apply will be asked to make up this deficiency. Credit is not normally given to graduate students for such preparatory work.

Majors hosted by the Department of Asian Studies may be declared upon completion of 27 credits.

Major in Asian Area Studies

The Major requires 48 total credits of ASIA coursework, of which at least 30 credits must be from courses numbered 300 or above which focus on ASIA. Those 48 credits must include:

  • ASIA 100 and 101
  • 6 credits of ASIA at the 200-level
  • At least 12 credits of one language taught in the Department of Asian Studies
  • At least 18 from ASIA courses at or above the 300-level, of which 6 credits must be at the 400-level
  • An additional 3 credits of a research-intensive course offered by the Department
  • A grade of at least 60% is required in each language course in order to advance to another course in the same language.

The Major does not allow for double-majoring within the Department. The Minor cannot be combined with the Major in Asian Area Studies.

Majors in Asian Area Studies who go on exchange for two semesters will be required to take a minimum of one 3-credit 400-level ASIA course upon their return.

Minor in Asian Area Studies

The Minor in Asian Area Studies requires a total of 30 credits of coursework, as follows:

  • 6 credits of one Asian language
  • 24 credits of ASIA courses, of which at least 18 must be at or above the 300-level

The Minor cannot be combined with the Major in Asian Language and Culture.

Major in Asian Language and Culture

Students can choose between the following areas of specialization:

China
Chinese Literature
Japan
Korea
South Asia

The Major requires 48 credits of coursework on ASIA, of which at least 30 credits must be from courses numbered 300 or above.

Those 48 credits must include:

  • 12 to 18 credits of courses 300-level or above in one language taught in the Department of Asian Studies, which must include at least 6 credits at the 400-level:

    1. If Chinese is the language of specialization, CHIN 431 (one term only) (heritage learners) or CLCH 389 - 399 (two terms) (non-heritage learners). Previous to 2014S ASIA 389 - 399 can be used in place of CLCH 389 - 399.
    2. CHIN 461, 463, 464, 471, 473, 474, 481, 483, and 484 cannot be counted towards the specialization in China.
    3. In the case of Chinese Literature, 12 to 18 credits of 400-level CHIN courses
    4. Students with little or no prior knowledge of the language they wish to focus on may be required to earn up to 24 credits in that language before they take any 300-level language courses. However, they will still be required to earn 30 credits in courses 300-level or above in addition to those 24 lower-division credits.
    5. 12 to 18 ASIA credits in courses 300-level or above, of which at least 3 credits must be from an area beyond that of the language of specialization.
    6. 3 credits from a research-intensive course offered by the Department.

A grade of at least 60% is required in each language course in order to advance to another course in the same language.

The Major does not allow for double-majoring within the Department. The Minor cannot be combined with the Major in Asian Languages and Culture.

Majors in Asian Language and Culture who go on exchange for two semesters will be required to take a minimum of one 3-credit 400-level ASIA course upon their return.

Minor in Asian Language and Culture

The Minor requires a total of 30 credits of coursework, as follows:

  • 12 to 18 credits of coursework in one language taught in the Department of Asian Studies, of which 6 credits must be at or above the 300-level.
  • 12 to 18 credits of ASIA courses, of which at least 12 must be at or above the 300 level.

The Minor cannot be combined with the Major in Asian Area Studies.

Honours Program in Asian Studies

The Honours program is designed to provide preparation for outstanding students who intend to pursue graduate studies. Admission to the Honours program is by permission of the Department and requires a minimum overall average of 76% and at least 80% in program-related courses already taken. Students are required to maintain an 80% average in Department courses to graduate. In addition to the regular Major requirements for either Asian Area Studies or Asian Language and Culture, graduation in the Honours program requires completion of ASIA 499 - Honours Thesis.

Page last updated: June 16, 2014

a place of mind, The University of British Columbia

Student Services
Vancouver Campus
1874 East Mall
Vancouver, BC Canada V6T 1Z1

Emergency Procedures | Accessibility | Contact UBC | © Copyright The University of British Columbia