About the Program
The Major
The Minor
Study Abroad
Undergraduate Research Opportunities & Awards
Postgraduate Research Opportunities & Awards
Alumnae in Focus
News & Events
East Asian Studies

Related Links

The major

The major in East Asian Studies offers students an opportunity to develop a coherent and comprehensive understanding of the great civilizations of the Asia Pacific region. The study of East Asia should be considered an integral part of a liberal arts education. Through an interdisciplinary study of these diverse cultures, students engage in a comparative study of their own societies and values. The major also reflects the emergence of East Asia politically, economically and culturally onto the world scene especially during the last century, and anticipates the continued importance of the region in the future. It therefore helps prepare students for post-graduation endeavors ranging from graduate training to careers in both the public and private sectors dealing with East Asia.

Advisers: Marnie Anderson, Ernest Benz, Suzanne Gottschang, Kimberly Kono, Jessica Moyer, Sujane Wu and Dennis Yasutomo

EAS Major Advising Worksheet 2017

EAS Learning Goals


Forty credits, including:

Basis courses

The second year of an East Asian language, which can be fulfilled by Chinese 220 and 221, Japanese 220 and 221, or Korean 201 and 202, or higher-level courses.

Extensive language study is encouraged, but only two courses at the second-year level or higher will count toward the major. Normally, language courses will be taken at Smith. Students with native or near-native fluency in an East Asian language must take a second East Asian language. (Native and near-native fluency is defined as competence in the language above the fourth-year level.)

Survey courses

  1. One history course that covers a period in East Asian history before 1800:
  • HST 211
  • HST 212
  • HST 220
  • HST 221
  • HST 222
  • HST 223
  1. EAS 100 Modern East Asia (normally by the second year) (usually offered in the fall)


Six elective courses, which shall normally be determined in consultation with the adviser from the list of approved courses.*

  • Four of the elective courses shall constitute an area of concentration, which can be an emphasis on the civilization of one country (China, Japan or Korea) or a thematic concentration (e.g., comparative modernization, religious traditions, women and gender, political economy, thought and art). Other concentrations may be formulated in consultation with an adviser.
  • Electives must include courses in both the humanities and social sciences.
  • Electives must include courses on more than one East Asian country.
  • One of the elective courses must be a Smith seminar on East Asia.
  • One elective may be a course, approved by the adviser, offering a broader comparative framework for East Asian Studies.
  • At least half of the course credits toward the major must be taken at Smith.
  • No more than two (2) 100-level courses shall count as electives.
  • No course taken for a satisfactory/unsatisfactory grade counts toward the major.
  • Students with double majors may count a maximum of three (3) courses toward both majors.

*Smith courses not included on the approved list may count toward the major if the student obtains the approval of her adviser. No more than one such course shall be applied toward the major.