Asian Studies Program

Program Director: Sophia Geng

Administrative Assistant: 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, leadership, and global citizenship.  Graduates of Asian Studies at CSB/SJU go on to pursue careers in education, religion, government, diplomacy, international relations, 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 studies, gender studies, global business leadership, geography, history, language and literature, management, philosophy, political science, and theology. 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 complete listing of study abroad courses.)

Assessment of Student Learning

The Asian Studies Program pursues on-going assessment of its curriculum, pedagogy, and experiential offerings. Through student surveys, oral presentations, the senior thesis, and experiential activities, we regularly assess the Program'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.

Major in Asian Studies (48 credits)

Students majoring in Asian Studies are required to complete 48 credits of courses from the interdisciplinary offerings listed below. A gateway course, ASIA 200, to be taken in the spring of the sophomore year, exposes students to a broad understanding of Asian Studies. ASIA 399, taken in the senior year, is the a capstone experience in which students 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 many 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 Director 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 Director of Asian Studies.

Minor in 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 Languages and Cultures.  Literature in translation courses offered under the LNGS (formerly MCLT) course designation will count toward the Asian Studies minor. 

Minor in Chinese Language

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

Minor in Japanese Language

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

Courses for Major/Minor

ASIA 200 - Intro to Asian Studies

ASIA 271 - Independent Study

ASIA 371 - Independent Study

ASIA 397 - Internship

ASIA 399 - Asian Studies Capstone

ART 208 - Non-Western Art Survey: Asia

ART 240 - Topics in Art History: Chinese Photography

ART 309 - East Asian Gardens

CHIN 111/112 - Elementary Chinese

CHIN 211/212 - Intermediate Chinese. 

CHIN 311/312 - Third-Year Chinese

COLG 280 - May Term: Economic Development & Social Change in China

ECON 316 - Asian Economies

ECON 317 - International Economics

ECON 362 - Economic Development

ENGL 385 - Literature of the Indian Subcontinent

ENGL 386 - Tinsel Dreams: Cinema and Social Change in India 

ENVR 300J - Sustainability in Asia

GBUS 337 - Doing Business in Asia

GBUS 341 Operations

GEND 290B - Chinese Women in Literature 

GEND 360 - Colonial Violence and the Mother-Daughter Relationship

GEND 381 - Sex and Gender in Global Perspectives

HIST 114 - East Asia Before 1800

HIST 115 - East Asia Since 1800

HIST 116 - South Asia Before 1500

HIST 117 - Indian Subcontinent Since 1500

HIST 118 - Islam and the West

HIST 300 - Topics in Asian American History

HIST 305 - Gandhi and Nationalism

HIST 315 - Islamist, Modernists, Mughals: Muslims in South Asia

HIST 316 - China in Revolution, 1800-1949

HIST 317 - The People's Republic of China.

HIST 319 - Modern Japan, 1868-Present

HIST 368 - The U.S. and the World

HONR 230 - China in Focus: Photography of 1850-Present

JAPN 111/112 - Elementary Japanese

JAPN 211 - Intermediate Japanese I

JAPN 212 - Intermediate Japanese II

JAPN 311/312 - Third-Year Japanese

MCLT 315 - Folklore, Myth and Legend in Chinese and Chinese American Literature

MCLT 316 - Radical Fantasies: Contemporary Japanese Women Writers

MCLT 319 - Transnational East Asia

MGMT 201 - Principles of Management in a Global Context

PHIL 156 - Asian Philosophy

PHIL 339 - Chinese Philosophy

POLS 121 Intro to International Relations

POLS 223 Comparative Politics

POLS 346 - Asian Politics

POLS 355 - International Political Economy

POLS 358 - Topics: International Relations and Comparative Politics: Security

THEO 327 - Judaism/Christianity/Islam

THEO 363 - World Religions

THEO 365 - Islam and the Judeo-Christian Tradition

THEO 369B - Modern Islamic Political Movements

Courses (ASIA)