Majors and Minors

Students in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures can pursue a Major in Asian Languages and Cultures (17 courses), with five different tracks (Chinese, Hindi-Urdu, Japanese, Korean, and Asian Humanities) and two minors (8 courses each): the minor in Asian Languages (Chinese, Hindi-Urdu, Japanese, Korean), and the minor in Asian Humanities.

For both the major and the minors, students are required to accomplish the following learning goals:

  • When they graduate, Asian Languages and Cultures majors and minors will have acquired proficiency in speaking, listening, reading, and writing one Asian language (Chinese, Hindi-Urdu, Japanese, or Korean). Proficiency indicates that students should be capable of:
    • speaking fluently with good grammatical, lexical and cultural accuracy in formal and informal speaking styles;
    • reading authentic texts such as literature, newspapers, and magazines (with a dictionary, as needed);
    • understanding spoken language in daily conversations, public speeches, and media;
    • engaging and discussing cultural values and assumptions in readings and mass media;
    • writing reports, letters, and notes in formal and informal language.
  • In addition to the four core linguistic skills (speaking, listening, reading, and writing an Asian language at third-year proficiency at least, fourth-year for honors), students will acquire the cultural literacy necessary for effective communication and sophisticated understanding of a culture of Asia. By sophisticated understanding of a culture of Asia, we mean:
    • knowledge of classical and modern literary texts, films, and other media;
    • ability to analyze and interpret texts in an informed and sensitive way, both orally and in writing;
    • understanding and experience of cultural practices, enabling successful interaction in an Asian cultural environment;
    • the ability to undertake and implement independent research, showing a command of primary and secondary sources.

Please note that only language courses beyond first year (111, 115) can count for the Major, and only language courses beyond the second year (121, 125) can count for the Minor. The prerequisite for enrolling in any 200-level language course is the completion of 111-3 or 115-3 with a grade of C- or better (or the equivalent thereof) or receiving official exemption from 100-level courses based on the relevant placement exam. Majors and Minors returning from a study abroad program must enroll in at least one (1) 300-level quarter culture course in the Department.

If you have questions about majoring or minoring in Asian Languages and Cultures, or would like to apply for a major or minor, contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies. You should always consult with your advisor to obtain permission for course substitutions, to help you choose courses for your concentration, to ask permission to count courses taken while abroad towards the major/minor, and to fill out the petition to graduate.

Studying Abroad

While we strongly encourage students to spend time abroad, we limit the number of courses that will count towards meeting the major and minor requirements. Students studying abroad may apply to have their work count towards the ALC Major or Minors. The department may accept up to two humanities courses taken while studying abroad (see major and minor requirement pages for details).