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Asian Studies, Bachelor of Arts

Institute for Asian Studies


As an Asian Studies major, you will engage in comprehensive and critical study of the cultural and linguistic development of the Asian world, both as a whole and as individual societies. The Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree combines language instruction with courses about the history, literature, philosophy, religion, society, and politics of Asian cultures.

You may combine the B.A. in Asian Studies with a graduate degree in East Asian StudiesBusiness Administration, or Accounting to earn both graduate and undergraduate degrees in only five years of study.

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Department Contact

Hung-Yi Erik Shen

Associate Director, Institute for Asian Studies

Associate Director, Institute for Asian Studies
[email protected]


For more information about admission to this and other acclaimed undergraduate programs at St. John’s University, please visit Undergraduate Admission.


More Information

As an Asian Studies major, you 12 credits of Chinese (CHI), Japanese (JPN), or Korean (KOR) language courses. You may combine different languages, but must complete at least one course above level three in a language.

You will complete ASC 1300 and 2610 and satisfy your remaining credit requirements from among the following courses. Eligible juniors and seniors may also take graduate-level East Asian Studies or Chinese Studies courses with director approval.

  • ASC 1230 Contemporary China
  • ASC 1250 Contemporary Japan
  • ASC 1300; 1310 Introduction to the Civilizations of Asia I; II
  • ASC 1330 Contemporary Korea
  • ASC 1480 Introduction to Chinese Thought
  • ASC 1490 Introduction to Japanese Thought
  • ASC 1650 Sports in China
  • ASC 1800 Introduction to Buddhism
  • ASC 2210 Chinese Literature in Translation
  • ASC 2480 Doing Business in China
  • ASC 2510 History of Modern East Asia
  • ASC 2540 America Meets China
  • ASC 2610 Discovering China
  • ASC 2710 Governments and Politics of the Far East
  • ASC 2720 Governments and Politics of South and Southeast Asia
  • ASC 3710 Banking in East Asia
  • ASC 4953 Readings and Research

As a major in Asian Studies, you develop an understanding in language learning, cultural and social competencies, historical and political developments, and economic and business trends. You also gain strong communication, writing, and intercultural skills.

You may pursue various career fields including history, international business, international correspondence, interpretation and translation, and education.

Historians research, analyze, interpret, and write about the past by studying historical documents and sources. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of historians is projected to grow 6 percent from 2018 to 2028, about as fast as the average for all occupations. 

Correspondents and broadcast news analysts inform the public about news and events. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, overall employment of reporters, correspondents, and broadcast news analysts is projected to decline 10 percent from 2018 to 2028. Declining advertising revenue will have a negative impact on employment growth for these occupations. 

Interpreters and translators typically need at least a bachelor’s degree; however, the most important requirement is native-level proficiency in English and at least one other language. Interpreters work in settings such as schools, hospitals, courtrooms, meeting rooms, and conference centers. Some work for translation and interpretation companies, individual organizations, or private clients. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of interpreters and translators is projected to grow 19 percent from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations. Globalization and large increases in the number of non-English-speaking people in the United States will drive employment growth and job prospects should be best for those who have professional certification. 

Employment of secondary school teachers is projected to grow 4 percent from 2018 to 2028, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Rising student enrollment should increase demand for high school teachers, but employment growth will vary by region. High school teachers are required to earn a master’s degree to continue in the field.

Similarly, employment of post-secondary teachers is projected to grow 11 percent from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations. Both part-time and full-time post-secondary teachers are included in this projection. However, professors are generally expected to earn both a master’s and doctoral degree in order to achieve tenure at a college or university.