The study of Asia is highly relevant and important in this global age in areas as diverse as the environment and resource management, geo-strategic 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. 

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 such subjects as history, international affairs, and geography. Asian studies students will receive a thorough grounding in the history of Asia and will 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 in-depth exploration of broad issues that relate to a sub-region within Asia or the region of Asia as a whole. Minors may, but are not required to complete, a Senior Thesis or Project.

Upon completion of this course of study, you will have received a highly-individualized and broad education in the Asian region that will allow you to better understand its history and culture as well as its current dynamics.

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.

Many employers in this increasingly interconnected world seek job applicants with an international perspective. As an Asian Studies student, you will gain unique insight into a region of the world that is highly important in world politics, business, and the arts. Your specialized knowledge of Asia will give you an edge in the job market. In addition, an area specialty is an excellent way to lay the groundwork for life-long study of a region, whether as a career or a hobby.


Career Services ( helps students discover who they are, what they want to do, and how to get there. They are the bridge between academics and the world of work.

Career Services offers free services for all CU-Boulder degree-seeking students, and alumni up to one year after graduation. Meet individually the staff to discuss major and career exploration, internship or job searching, and graduate school preparation.

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, 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. You can earn credit that counts as if you had taken courses on the Boulder campus, in some cases fulfilling major, minor and core curriculum requirements. You may spend a few weeks to a full academic year abroad, depending on the program you select.

Prior language study or other prerequisites are necessary for some programs, so early planning for study abroad is encouraged. Further information about study abroad is available from the Office of International Education, 303-492-7741 or

Please speak with your advisor for specific recommendations; the following is intended to be a general outline only and there may be flexibility to this plan.

Asian Studies 4-Year Plan
Average 30 credits per year


First Year – Fall Semester
(3) : Traditional Asian Civilization (Two courses required, see Degree Audit for choices)
ASIA (5): 1st Semester Single Asian Language (example: 1010)
CORE (3): Skills Acquisition (example: Lower-Division Written Communication)
Elective/MAPS (3)

First Year – Spring Semester
(3) :Traditional Asian Civilization (Two courses required, see Degree Audit for choices)
ASIA (5): 2nd Semester Single Asian Language (example: 1020)
CORE (3): Skills Acquisition (example: Quantitative Reasoning & Mathematic Skills)
Elective/MAPS (3)

Second Year – Fall Semester
(3): Modern Asian Civilization (See Degree Audit for choices)
ASIA (5): 3rd Semester Single Asian Language (ex: 2110)
CORE (3): Content Area of Study (example: Contemporary Societies)
CORE (3): Skills Acquisition (example: US Context)
Elective/MAPS (3)

Second Year – Spring Semester
ASIA 2000
(3): Gateway to Modern Asia
ASIA (5): 4th Semester Single Asian Language (ex: 2120)
CORE (3): Natural Science
CORE (3): Content Area of Study (example: Lower-Division Literature & the Arts)
Elective/MAPS (3)  

Third Year – Fall Semester
(3): Elective (Three courses required, see Degree Audit for choices)
CORE (3): Content Area of Study (example: Upper-Division Literature & the Arts)
CORE (3): Content Area of Study (example: Natural Science with lab)
Elective/MAPS (3)
Elective/MAPS (3)

Third Year – Spring Semester
(3): Elective (Three courses required, see Degree Audit for choices)
CORE (3): Content Area of Study (example: Natural Science)
CORE (3): Content Area of Study (example: Ideas & Values)
Elective/MAPS (3)
Elective/MAPS (3)

Fourth Year – Fall Semester
ASIA 4830
(3): Capstone Seminar in Asian Studies
CORE (3): Content Area of Study (example: Historical Context)
CORE (3): Content Area of Study (example: Contemporary Studies)
Elective/MAPS (3)
Elective/MAPS (3)

Fourth Year – Spring Semester
(3): Elective (Three courses required, see Degree Audit for choices)
*ASIA (3): Elective (Three courses required, see Degree Audit for choices)
CORE (3): Content Area of Study (example: Upper-Division Written Communication)
CORE (3): Content Area of Study (example: Human Diversity)
Elective/MAPS (3)

*Additional elective may be required to reach the total upper-division credit hours required for the major (18)