UMass Boston

Asian Studies BA

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Emerge with a broad, multi-disciplinary understanding of the cultures of Asia.

As a student in the Asian Studies BA program at UMass Boston, you will acquire a deep understanding of the rich cultural, historical, and linguistic diversity of Asia. Not only will you have the opportunity to focus your studies on South or East Asia, but you will gain the knowledge and skills necessary to become a leader in a global context.

In this program, you will:

  • Gain a nuanced appreciation of the diverse cultures and societies of Asia, preparing you to work and engage with people from different backgrounds
  • Hone your language proficiency with courses in various Asian languages, including Chinese, Japanese, and Vietnamese
  • Develop a broad understanding of the historical, political, economic, and social forces that shape contemporary Asia, and emerge prepared to analyze complex issues

Career Possibilities

Work in international business, leveraging your knowledge of Asian cultures, languages, and markets to build relationships and negotiate deals. Pursue a career in education and research and contribute to the advancement of knowledge about Asian cultures. Or, work in a non-profit or humanitarian organization, promoting cross-cultural understanding and social justice. Whatever your goals, UMass Boston is here to support you.

Become a(n):

  • International Business Person
  • Translator/ Interpreter
  • Educator
  • Community Advocate
  • Diplomat
  • Journalist

Plan Your Education

How to Apply

Apply for Admission

Please review the first-year and transfer apply pages for important information about application requirements, deadlines, and application status check.

Apply as a First-Year Student

Apply as a Transfer Student

Deadlines & Cost

Early action deadline: November 1; Regular Decision Deadline: March 1

Financing Your Education

Become a Beacon and pursue your passion in UMass Boston’s diverse, supportive environment. Many students across our 200+ undergraduate and graduate programs receive financial aid—providing access to an education that’s exceptional and affordable. Click below to learn more about financial aid opportunities and deadlines.

Financial Aid Deadlines & Application Process 

Scholarships for First-Year & Transfer Students

For additional information regarding tuition and fees, please visit the Bursar’s Office or send an email to Bursar@umb.edu.

Curriculum

For detailed course descriptions, please visit the university catalog for Asian Studies BA.

Core Courses (6 Credits)

Take two courses from the list below.

  • ASIAN 115L - Survey of South Asia 3 Credit(s)
  • or

  • ASIAN 161L - East Asian Civilizations since 1850 3 Credit(s)
  • PHIL 297 - Asian Philosophy 3 Credit(s)

Capstone (3 Credits)

  • ASIAN 488L - The Idea of Asia 3 Credit(s)

Major Track (24 Credits)

Students must choose a track in either East Asia or South Asia.

  • East Asia Track
  • South Asia Track

East Asia Track   

Track Requirements:

Complete one South Asia elective, a two course intermediate language requirement, and five East Asia electives.

Course Requirements:

South Asia Elective (3 Credits)

Take one 300-level course related to South Asia.

  • ASIAN 357L - Women in South Asian Religions: Gender Ideology and Practice in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam 3 Credit(s)
  • ECON 336 - Economic Development 3 Credit(s)
  • ECON 337 - Emerging Economies in Asia 3 Credit(s)
  • HIST 364L - India since 1857 3 Credit(s)
  • HIST 456 - Faith and Politics in Islam: Devotion, Reform, and Jihad in Historical Perspective 3 Credit(s)
  • SOCIOL 375L - Indian Cinema 3 Credit(s)
  • WGS 345 - Gender, Religion and Politics in South Asia 3 Credit(s)
  • WGS 355L - Gender, Development, & Globalization 3 Credit(s)

Intermediate Language (6 Credits)

  • CHINSE 201 - Intermediate Chinese I 3 Credit(s) and
  • CHINSE 202 - Intermediate Chinese II 3 Credit(s)
    or
  • JAPAN 201 - Intermediate Japanese I 3 Credit(s) and
  • JAPAN 202 - Intermediate Japanese II 3 Credit(s)

Note:

Students with no knowledge of these languages will need to take CHINSE 101 and CHINSE 102 or JAPAN 101 and JAPAN 102 as prerequisites for placing into the intermediate 200-level language courses.

Students who place out of CHINSE 201 or JAPAN 201 must take one other course related to East Asia, 200 level or above, to substitute for the 201-level language course that they are not taking.

Students who place out of both CHINSE 201 and CHINSE 202 or JAPAN 201 and JAPAN 202 must take two other courses related to East Asia, 200 level or above, to substitute for both of the 200-level language courses that they are not taking.

(We currently do not offer two intermediate level courses in Vietnamese. Students who wish to count Vietnamese as fulfillment of the language requirement should consult the director of Asian Studies.)

East Asia Electives (15 Credits)

Take five courses related to East Asia from the list below. At least three courses must be at the 300-level or above.

Introductory language courses can only count toward this requirement if they are different from the language used for the intermediate language requirement and with approval.

Any ASIAN courses

  • ART 104L - Introduction to East Asian Art 3 Credit(s)
  • ART 256 - The Arts of Japan 3 Credit(s)
  • ART 258 - The Arts of China 3 Credit(s)
  • ART 362L - Japanese Art from 16th to 20th Centuries: Japan and the West 3 Credit(s)
  • ASIAN 155L - Great Books of East Asia: Classics of Love and War 3 Credit(s)

Any CHINESE courses

  • ECON 337 - Emerging Economies in Asia 3 Credit(s)
  • HIST 280 - Special Topics 1-3 Credit(s) (if pertaining to East Asia)
  • HIST 359L - Women in Modern China 3 Credit(s)
  • HIST 360L - Traditional China 3 Credit(s)
  • HIST 361L - The History of Modern China 3 Credit(s)
  • HIST 363L - Modern Japan 3 Credit(s)

Any JAPAN courses

  • MLLC 155L - Great Books of East Asia: Classics of Love and War 3 Credit(s)
  • MLLC 368 - Shanghai 3 Credit(s)
  • POLSCI 202 - Comparative Politics 3 Credit(s)
  • POLSCI 387 - The Government and Politics of China (C) 3 Credit(s)
  • RELSTY 358L - Psychology, Politics, and Philosophy in East Asia 3 Credit(s)

South Asia Track

South Asia Track   
Track Requirements:
Complete 24 credits from eight courses including one East Asia elective and seven South Asia electives.

Course Requirements:
East Asia Elective (3 Credits)
Complete one elective related to East Asia at the 300-level or higher.

  • ART 362L - Japanese Art from 16th to 20th Centuries: Japan and the West 3 Credit(s)
  • ASIAN 358L - Psychology, Politics, and Philosophy in East Asia 3 Credit(s)
  • ASIAN 359L - Women in Modern China 3 Credit(s)
  • ASIAN 360L - Traditional China 3 Credit(s)
  • ASIAN 361L - The History of Modern China 3 Credit(s)
  • ASIAN 362L - Japanese Art from 16th to 20th Centuries: Japan and the West 3 Credit(s)
  • ASIAN 363L - Modern Japan 3 Credit(s)
  • ASIAN 366L - Re-made in Asia: Tellings and re-tellings from the Buddha to Godzilla 3 Credit(s)
  • ASIAN 371 - Environmental Issues in China 3 Credit(s)
  • CHINSE 301 - Advanced Chinese I 3 Credit(s)
  • CHINSE 302 - Advanced Chinese II 3 Credit(s)
  • CHINSE 303 - Readings in Chinese: 20th Century 3 Credit(s)
  • CHINSE 305 - Readings in Chinese: Classical 3 Credit(s)
  • CHINSE 320 - Introduction to Teaching Chinese Language 3 Credit(s)
  • CHINSE 377L - Topics in Chinese Cinema 3 Credit(s)
  • HIST 357 - The Vietnam War 3 Credit(s)
  • JAPAN 301 - Advanced Intermediate Japanese I 3 Credit(s)
  • JAPAN 302 - Advanced Intermediate Japanese II 3 Credit(s)
  • MLLC 368 - Shanghai 3 Credit(s)
  • POLSCI 387 - The Government and Politics of China (C) 3 Credit(s)

South Asia Electives (21 Credits):
Complete seven electives related to South Asia. At least two courses must be at the 200-level or above. A minimum of three courses must be at the 300-level or above.

  • ASAMST 226 - Becoming South Asians 3 Credit(s)
  • ASIAN 233L - Introduction to Islam 3 Credit(s)
  • ASIAN 235L - Yoga in History, Philosophy, and Practice 3 Credit(s)
  • ASIAN 239L - Hindu Myth and Narrative: the Epics and Puranas 3 Credit(s)
  • ASIAN 271L - Religion and the Arts 3 Credit(s)
  • ASIAN 357L - Women in South Asian Religions: Gender Ideology and Practice in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam 3 Credit(s)
  • ECON 336 - Economic Development 3 Credit(s)
  • ECON 337 - Emerging Economies in Asia 3 Credit(s)
  • HIST 364L - India since 1857 3 Credit(s)
  • HIST 456 - Faith and Politics in Islam: Devotion, Reform, and Jihad in Historical Perspective 3 Credit(s)
  • SOCIOL 375L - Indian Cinema 3 Credit(s)
  • WGS 345 - Gender, Religion and Politics in South Asia 3 Credit(s)
  • WGS 355L - Gender, Development, & Globalization 3 Credit(s)

Related Minors

Asian American Studies Minor
UMass Boston's Asian American Studies Program combines culturally responsive classroom instruction with mentoring, community-building, service-learning, and advocacy. Through this holistic approach, our program addresses the social and academic needs of students, as well as the critical capacity-building needs of local Asian American communities in Boston.

Cross-Cultural East Asian Studies Minor
The minor in cross-cultural East Asian studies is designed for students wishing to develop a broad, multi-disciplinary understanding of the cultures of East Asia (China, Korea, Vietnam, and Japan.)

East Asian Languages Minor (Chinese, Japanese, or Vietnamese)
The minor in East Asian language is designed to permit students focused language study in concert with coursework in allied disciplines. UMass Boston offers Chinese and Japanese, with limited offerings in Vietnamese as well. Students in this minor must focus on one of these languages and complete coursework through the second year of language study.

South Asian Studies Minor
The minor in South Asian Studies is designed for students wishing to develop a broad, multi-disciplinary understanding of the cultures of South Asia, focusing on India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Nepal, Bhutan, and Sri Lanka.

Graduation Criteria

Degree Requirements

If this is the student’s only or primary major, the degree requirements below must be completed for graduation. See graduation requirements for more information.

University Requirements

College of Liberal Arts Requirements for Bachelor of Arts

Major Requirements

Complete 33 credits from eleven courses including two core course requirements, one capstone, and eight courses in either the East Asia or South Asia track.

GPA: A minimum GPA of 2.0 is required for all major courses.
Pass/fail: No courses taken pass/fail may be applied toward the major.
Residency: At least seven courses for the major must be completed at UMass Boston.

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Asian Studies Department

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