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What is Asian Studies?
Asian Studies is an interdisciplinary area of study emphasizing the history, culture, art, and politics of Asians. The broad definition of Asian Studies includes cultures of all Asians diaspora not just limited to individuals of Asians descent living on the continent of Asia.
Accredited universities across this country have curated curriculum to support Asian Study programs of all types. Programs continue thriving as a result of industry demand, student interest, and faculty support in this domain. Colleges establish curriculum in Asian Studies that focus on various aspects of Asian history.
Examples of facets of study in Asian history degree programs include: politics, literature, history, humanities, sociology, social sciences, psychology, and art. Each discipline within the Asian culture is colored by other domains to help students understand behaviors and habits of a particular genre and era.
Top Degrees in Asian Studies
Degree programs in Asian Studies include traditional classroom programs, hybrid programs, and online degrees. All different types of learning formats may afford students the opportunity to earn various degrees. Students engrossed in Asian Studies may choose to earn an undergraduate degree such as an Associate’s of Arts (AA) or a Bachelor’s of Arts (BA). Alternatively, qualifying students may consider a graduate degree such as a Master of Arts (MA) or Doctorate degree.
Each varying degree program will necessitate degrees of challenging coursework along with associated responsibilities of that degree program. To illustrate, a student in an Associate's of Arts program will take two years to complete full-time study. AA programs blend introductory courses with general education. Meanwhile, a master's degree will take two years of full-time study as well but include a thesis and high-level courses that build upon lower level classes.
Asian Studies Courses in College
Coursework in Asian Studies will depend on the curricular design of the program coupled with the school’s resources and teaching capabilities. A general set of coursework you may find in a course catalog include the following classes:
- Introduction to Asia
- Early Empires in Asia
- Modern China
- History of India
- Southeast Asia Culture and History
- Economic Analysis
- Comparative Societies
- Social and Cultural Change
- Methods and Theories of Art in Asia
- Globalization and Gender
- Ancient Chinese Prose
- Contemporary Asian Literature & Language
- War, Empire, and Literature
- Urbanism in Asia
- Popular Cultures in Asia
- Music and Art in Asia
- Religions of Asia
Educational Requirements in Asian Studies
In terms of educational requirements, Asian Studies degree holders will have typically studied the following courses while in college:
- English Composition
- Behavioral Science
- Art History
- Foreign Language
- Political Science
- Education & Curriculum Training
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Employment Information & Career Specialization
Graduates with an Asian Studies degree have the training and knowledge to consider a variety of career paths. Career options can include general areas of work like teaching or specializations like a genomics analyst. The rich history, knowledge, and thinking skills can be parlayed into political careers, curriculum designing, journalist, sociology, or translator. To learn more about schools and degrees, simply filter schools offering Asian Studies via our school finder tool below.
Additional Resources in Asian Studies
Given the breadth of countries and nationalities represented in Asia, it may be hard to know where to start if you would like to learn more. A good starting point after looking at accredited colleges and universities includes national associations.
The top organizations and associations in Asian studies include the Association for Asian Studies (AAS) and the AAAS. Both institutions provide substantive resources for students and professionals to learn more about culture, society, and politics. Additionally, members can find professional networking opportunities and local chapters that may serve as a bedrock for relationships and further research.