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Degree Overview: Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Degree in Asian Studies

Majors Overview January 27, 2015

Asian studies features the cultures, politics, and histories of Asian civilizations and nations. Many colleges and universities in the U.S. offer Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree programs in Asian Studies.

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Degree Program in Asian Studies

Students enrolled in Asian studies programs (usually interdisciplinary) are expected to complete coursework in topic areas such as anthropology, sociology, international relations, political science, art history, language, economics, philosophy, and literature. Concentration options offered in some programs have a particular focus on cultural studies, East Asian languages, or the political economy of Asia.

Russia, Japan, China, and Korea are the countries of focus. Students enrolled in the program must also fulfill foreign language requirements in an Asian language, such as Chinese, Korean, or Japanese. Some schools offer Asian studies programs with a focus on Asian American studies, which deal mainly with Asians’ experiences in the United States.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to have a high school education or equivalent. Students seeking admission to some schools may also have to complete lower division education requirements and high school classes.


Coursework is devised to introduce subject areas such as international relations, history, and economics. Additionally, liberal arts and general education courses may cover topic areas such as communication, humanities, performing arts, science, and mathematics.

Students may also be allowed to choose electives from topic areas such as non-Asian region studies, gender studies, or ethnic studies. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as the following:

•Korean history
•International relations of Russia
•Asian cultures in film
•Imperial China
•Chinese calligraphy
•Chinese politics
•Japanese literature
•Japan and the U.S.
•Japanese foreign policy

Career Courses

Those who’ve earned a bachelor’s degree in Asian studies may seek entry-level careers in business, diplomacy, government, and education. They may opt for job titles such as:

•High school teacher
•Language translator and interpreter

Continuing Education Choices

Those that graduate from the bachelor’s degree program may opt for continuing education through graduate studies in Asian studies, including degree options such as a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Asian Studies and comparable programs in comparative politics, international relations, and economics. Some schools also offered Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees in Asian Studies.

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