Asian Studies

Department Chair: P. Richard Bohr

Department Coordinator/Assistant to the Chair of Asian Studies: Norma Koetter

The Asian Studies major and minor prepare students for personal and professional engagement in and with Asia in accordance with the Benedictine commitment to service, learning in community, multiculturalism, and global citizenship.  Graduates of Asian Studies at CSB/SJU have pursued careers in education, religion, government, law, business, medicine, journalism, non-profit and non-governmental activism, and other professional paths. 

This major offers an interdisciplinary and experiential liberal arts approach to the study of Asia's great traditions, modern transformation, global diaspora, and its pivotal role in today's world.   The curriculum offers a broad array of courses in art, economics, environmental science, gender studies, geography, history, language and literature, management, philosophy, political science, and religion.  Coursework is complemented by study abroad, May Term experiences, service learning, internships, teaching, and other experiential opportunities in China, Japan, and India.  Courses taken at our study abroad sites in China, Japan, and India count toward the major and minor.  (Please consult the Office of Education Abroad for a list of study abroad courses.)

Assessment of Student Learning

The Asian Studies Department pursues on-going assessment of the department's curriculum, pedagogy, and experiential offerings.  Through student surveys, oral presentations, the senior thesis, and experiential activities, we regularly assess the Department's efforts in meeting student objectives established in our Assessment Mission Statement and Plan.  Assessment data are used to assist the Asian Studies faculty in its periodic program review.

Standardized Major in Asian Studies (48 credits)

Students majoring in Asian Studies will be required to complete 48 credits of courses from the interdisciplinary offerings listed below. An introductory level course, ASIA 200, to be taken in the spring of the sophomore year, will expose students to a broad understanding of Asian Studies as a discipline.  ASIA 399, taken in the senior year, will act as a capstone experience in which students will explore a chosen topic in a more in-depth manner under the guidance of the Asian Studies faculty. Students majoring in Asian Studies are required to study an Asian language through the intermediate (CHIN212 or JAPN212) level; additional English-language courses to complete the major should be selected based on the student's specific interest, and in consultation with a faculty advisor. While most Asian Studies courses are centered on the humanities, students are expected to take at least 8 credits from the social sciences or the arts. All courses taken through CSB/SJU study abroad programs in China, Japan, and India will count toward the elective course requirements for the Asian Studies major.

Students will pursue a three-course concentration that is thematic, geographic, or chronological (e.g. "women in Asia," "India," or "nineteenth-century Asia") and which is explained in the student focus statement developed in the ASA 200 course and in consultation with the Chair of Asian Studies.

Asian Studies students must complete their Common Curriculum Experiential Learning requirement through an Asia- or Asian America-related experience which include but is not necessarily limited to CSB/SJU-approved semester study abroad, internship, teaching, and service learning activities  related to the student's chosen concentration.

No more than 4 credits from non-CSB/SJU study abroad experiences will apply toward the Asian Studies major without prior approval of the Chair of Asian Studies.

Minor in General Asian Studies (20 credits) 

The minor requires 20 credits:  Asia 200, 4 credits at the 100 level and 12 credits at the 300  level.  Chinese and Japanese language courses will not count for this minor,; students interested in pursuing a minor using coursework in these languages should consider the Chinese and Japanese minors offered through the department of Modern and Classical Languages.  Literature in translation courses offered under the MCLT course designation will count toward the Asian Studies minor. 

Minor in Chinese Language

This minor is administered by the Department of Modern and Classical Languages, and requires courses in Chinese language and culture.  For more information on the Chinese minor, go to: Modern and Classical Languages website at

Minor in Japanese Language

This minor is administered by the Department of Modern and Classical Languages, and requires courses in Japanese language and culture. For more information on the Japanese minor, go to: Modern and Classical Languages website at


        ART 208 Non-Western Art Survey: Asia (4)
        ART 240 Topics in Art History: Chinese Photography (4)
        ART 309 East Asian Gardens (4)
        ASIA 200 Introduction to  Asian Studies (4)
        ASIA 371 Individualized Learning Project in Asian Studies (4)
        ASIA 397 Asian Studies Internship (4)
        ASIA 399 Introduction to Asian Studies (4)
        CHIN 111/112 Elementary Chinese (4, 4)
        CHIN 211/212 Intermediate Chinese. (4, 4)
        CHIN 311/312, Third-Year Chinese (4, 4)
        COLG 280 May Term: Economic Development & Social Change in China (2) 
        ECON 316 Asian Economies (4)
        ECON 317  International Economics (4)
        ECON 362 Economic Development (4)
        ENGL 385 Literature of the Indian Subcontinent (4)
        ENGL 386 Tinsel Dreams: Cinema and Social Change in India (4)
        ENVR 300J Sustainability In Asia (4)
        GEOG 312 Geography of Asia (4)
        GEND 290B Chinese Women in Literature (4) 
        GEND 360 Colonial Violence  and the Mother-Daughter Relationship (4)
        GEND 381 Sex and Gender in Global Perspectives (4)
        HIST 114 East Asia Before 1800 (4)
        HIST 115 East Asia Since 1800 (4)
        HIST 116 South Asia Before 1500 (4)
        HIST 117 Indian Subcontinent Since 1500 (4)
        HIST 118 Islam and the West (4)       
        HIST 300 Topics in Asian American History (4)
        HIST 305 Gandhi and Nationalism (4)
        HIST 315 Islamist, Modernists, Mughals: Muslims in S. Asia (4)
        HIST 316 China in Revolution, 1800-1949 (4)
        HIST 317 The People's Republic of China. (4)
        HIST 319 Modern Japan, 1868-Present (4)
        HIST 368 The U.S. and the World (4)
        HONR 230 China in Focus: Photography of 1850-Present (4)
        JAPN 111/112 Elementary Japanese (4, 4)
        JAPN 211/212 Intermediate Japanese (4)
        JAPN 311/312 Third-Year Japanese
        MCLT 315  Folklore, Myth and Legend in Chinese and Chinese American Literature (4)
        MCLT 316 Radical Fantasies: Contemporary Japanese Women Writers (4)
        MCLT 319 Literary and Visual Modernities in Transnational East Asia (4)
        MGMT 305H Doing Business in Asia (4)
        MGMT 308 Introduction to International Business (4)
        MGMT 309 International Management Seminar (4)
        PHIL 156 Asian Philosophy (4)
        PHIL 339 Chinese Philosophy (4)
        POLS 323/GEOG 323  Middle East: Conflict and Change (4)
        POLS 346 Asian Politics (4)
        POLS 355 International Political Economy (4)
        THEO 363 World Religions (4)
        THEO 365 Islam and the Judeo-Christian Tradition (4)
        THEO 367 Modern Islamic Political Movements (4)