Asian building on a lake

Degrees Offered: 
Minor, BA

Department Website

Undergraduate Admission

In this global age, the study of Asia is highly relevant in areas as diverse as the environment and resource management, geo­strategic conflicts, the spread of infectious disease and international trade. Its influences on the Western world can be seen in economics, politics, music, the arts, entertainment and religion. Many employers in this increasingly interconnected world seek job applicants with an international perspective. Asian studies students gain unique insight into a region of the world that is highly important in world politics, business and the arts. Specialized knowledge of Asia gives graduates an edge in the job market. In addition, an area specialty is an excellent way to lay the groundwork for life­long study of a region, whether as a career or a hobby.

Undergraduate Opportunities

The Asian studies major and minor at CU­ Boulder encompasses a diverse interdisciplinary study of Asia and gives students an opportunity to discover Asia through a wide variety of courses that reflect the astonishing diversity of the region. Many students choose Asian Studies as a second major or minor to complement the study of subjects such as history, international affairs and geography. Asian studies students receive a thorough grounding in the history of Asia and also study an Asian language: Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Sanskrit or Tibetan. All majors will complete their degree with the senior thesis or project in Asian Studies, an in­depth exploration of broad issues that relate to a subregion within Asia or the region of Asia as a whole. Minors may, but are not required to complete, a senior thesis or project.

A degree in Asian studies provides a broad base of knowledge that can be applied to any number of possible fields, including business, commerce, journalism, politics, publishing, the social sciences and teaching at all levels. Some students go on to do postgraduate work in business or law, or continue in Asian studies. Asian studies can open up new job possibilities at home and abroad for prospective engineers, health professionals, teachers and writers of all types. Upon completion of this course of study, students possess a highly­individualized and broad education in the Asian region that allows them to understand its history and culture as well as its current dynamics.

Undergraduate Degree Requirements

Research Opportunities

Asian studies students have access to a wide spectrum of facilities and programs across campus and around the world. The Center for Asian Studies (CAS) organizes Asia-­related events on campus and provides several scholarship and internship opportunities for undergraduates studying Asia. The Program for Teaching East Asia (TEA) sponsors innovative workshops for teachers and prospective teachers. Asian studies students have access to state-­of-­the-­art language instruction technology at the Anderson Language Technology Center (ALTEC) and access to the East Asian Library, located in Norlin Library, which is the largest collection of East Asian materials in the Rocky Mountain region. In addition, there are over 110 faculty members on the CU Boulder campus who either specialize in or have research interests in Asia. 

One of the most enriching experiences available to any student is studying abroad. The university offers more than 350 programs throughout the world, including over 40 in various locations throughout Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mongolia, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. All Asian studies students are strongly encouraged to study abroad; living a language and culture is the best way to learn about them. Students can earn credit that counts as though it had been earned on the Boulder campus, in some cases fulfilling major, minor and core curriculum requirements.