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Asian Studies

The University offers a broad range of courses dealing with Indian, Chinese and Japanese cultures. The Asian Studies Committee, headed by the director of Asian Studies, oversees both a major in Asian Studies and a minor in Asian Studies. Students with a special interest in Asia are urged to take advantage of opportunities to study, either for a term or a full academic year, in India, China or Japan. (The Asian Studies Program has substantial scholarships available for all Asian Studies majors wishing to study in Asia.) Graduates of the Asian studies program typically go on to employment in business and education or enter professional and graduate schools. In addition to a major or minor in Asian Studies, minors in Japanese and Chinese language are offered. The Asian Studies Committee periodically reviews the list of courses that may be applied to both the Asian Studies major and minor.

Course Catalog

Requirements for a major

Asian Studies

Total courses required Ten
Core courses Three of the following introductory courses: ARTH 133, ARTH 135, ARTH 234, ASIA 140, ASIA 150, ASIA 197, HIST 253, HIST 254, HIST 255, POLS 253, REL 130, REL 253 and ASIA 480.

ASIA 480

The Inter-Cultural Competency Requirement (ICCR) can be fulfilled in one of three distinct ways: 1.) Completion of two semesters of a Chinese or Japanese language at DePauw at any level; 2.) Successful completion of an intensive summer language class in Japanese, a Chinese language or an Indian language at an approved program; 3.) Successful completion of a semester-long immersive study abroad experience in India, China or Japan. (Please note that substantial guaranteed funding is available for Asian Studies majors seeking to participate in an accredited study abroad program.)

DePauw courses that count toward the ICCR include: CHIN 161, CHIN 162, CHIN 261, CHIN 262, CHIN 361, CHIN 362, JAPN 151, JAPN 152, JAPN 251, JAPN 252, JAPN 351, JAPN 352

The ICCR may be waived for students from Asia or those with extensive knowledge of an Asian language. However, all majors must take the equivalent of 10 courses inclusive of DePauw courses and off-campus study programs. Scholarships are available for all majors wishing to participate in an immersive semester-long cultural experience abroad or in an approved off-campus summer program regardless of linguistic abilities or prior experience in Asia.

Other required courses A minimum of four courses from among the following (2 of the 4 courses must be at the 300-400 level): ANTH 290 (when an Asian topic), ARTH 231, ARTH 232, ARTH 233, ARTH 234, ARTH 331, ARTH 332, ARTH 333, ARTH 334, ASIA 250, ASIA 281, ASIA 282, ASIA 290, ASIA 390, ASIA 470, CHIN 261, CHIN 262 CHIN 361, CHIN 362, ENG 265, ECON 330, HIST 252, HIST 290 (when an Asian topic), HIST 351, HIST 353, HIST 490 (when an Asian topic), HIST 491, JAPN 251, JAPN 252, JAPN 351, JAPN 352, JAPN 451, PHIL 210, POLS 253, REL 253, REL 257, REL 258, REL 290 (when an Asian topic), REL 357, REL 359, REL 491 (when Asian topic). - A number of other courses apply toward the Asian Studies program. See the Schedule of Classes each semester for a complete listing.
Number 300 and 400 level courses Three including ASIA 480
Senior requirement and capstone experience All Asian Studies Majors must complete the Asian Studies Senior Seminar (ASIA 480) with a grade of "C" or above. A student usually takes ASIA 480 in the fall semester of the senior year; in it, the student will complete a substantial essay, including an oral presentation.
Additional information
  • A maximum of 3 courses per term (and 5 in total) may be counted toward the major from semester-long study abroad programs. >An approved intensive summer language program covering the equivalent of a year's worth of Asian language study at DePauw will fulfill the inter-cultural competency requirement and the student may receive up to 2 language credits toward the Asian Studies major.
  • Although a maximum of 5 language courses can count toward the Asian Studies major we strongly encourage students to take full advantage of DePauw's offerings in Asian languages in order to deepen their understanding of Asian cultures and peoples.
Writing in the Major The writing in the major requirement for Asian Studies includes three components: 1. the evaluation of a student-writing portfolio; 2. the assessment of a major's self-reflective statement to be carried out in the fall before a student undertakes work in the senior seminar; and 3. the evaluation of a student's senior thesis and defense. Declared majors are required to submit a portfolio of written work in Asian Studies courses before beginning work on the Senior Seminar thesis. Students select 3 papers from 3 different courses that count toward the Asian Studies major and that demonstrate the student's intellectual trajectory in the field. The portfolios are reviewed by at least 2 members of the Asian Studies steering committee. The portfolio papers form the basis of a discussion between the student and advisors regarding writing strengths and weaknesses to be addressed as the student undertakes his/her senior-writing project. During the portfolio review students are given an opportunity to identify their authorial voice and to reflect upon how their written work coheres within the major and sets the stage for work in the Senior Seminar. This process is designed to assist students in the identification of an intellectual project for the senior thesis.

Subsequent to conversations during the portfolio review and before undertaking their senior seminar projects students are required to submit personal reflections, ranging from 750 to 1200 words, that bridge their portfolios to the topics of their senior theses. In their reflections, students discuss their academic interests and address issues raised in conversations about papers selected for their portfolios. Like the portfolios, the reflections are read by at least two faculty members in Asian Studies. The faculty members provide comments on the reflections before the students embark upon their senior thesis projects.

The Asian Studies Senior Seminar is designed to develop and assess the overall writing skills of our majors. It is the capstone course of the Asian Studies program. The seminar utilizes brainstorming, in-class and out-of-class writing, outlining, drafting, peer-review, instructor consultation, and final presentations to accomplish the developmental and assessment goals of the course. The initial proposals and final drafts of senior theses are read by 2 readers: the faculty member who guides the seminar and another faculty member whose special field is related to the thesis topic. Final papers range between 30-40 pages.

Requirements for a minor

Asian Studies

Total courses required Five
Core courses Approved courses chosen from those listed for the major, drawn from at least two disciplines
Other required courses No more than two courses in Asian language and no more than two courses from an off-campus program may be included in the minor. The 300-400 level course must be taken on campus and may not be an independent study course.
Number 300 and 400 level courses One


Total courses required Five
Core courses None
Other required courses Five credits in Chinese language courses at the 200-level or above. Only one of these courses may be taken off-campus.
Number 300 and 400 level courses Two


Total courses required Five
Core courses None
Other required courses The minor requires a minimum of five courses in Japanese language at the Elementary Japanese II (JAPN 152) level or above. Only one of the courses toward the minor may be taken off-campus.
Number 300 and 400 level courses Two-Three