In the College of Arts and Sciences .
The Department of Asian Studies and associated faculty members in other departments encompass the study of East Asia, South Asia, and Southeast Asia and offer courses in most of the disciplines of the social sciences and the humanities. Over 40 faculty members specialize in topics arranged under our rubrics of “Literature and Linguistics ,” “Religion ,” and “Society and Culture ,” as well as offering more broad courses under our “General Education ” heading. Asian Studies courses through the 4400-level (ASIAN is the prefix) are taught in English and are open to all students in the university. Some of these courses may be counted toward majors in other departments; others fulfill various distribution requirements.
K. Taylor, chair (350 Rockefeller Hall, (607) 255–5095); N. Admussen, A. Blackburn, B. Bledsoe, D. Boucher, M. Chapman, E. Choi, B. de Bary, S. Divo, C. Formichi, A. Fuhrmann, W. George, D. Gold, G. Green, B. Herath, H. Huang, S. Ichikawa, N. Jagacinski, J. Kanemitsu, Y. Katagiri, N. Larson, J. M. Law, J. Lee, Y. Lee-Mehta, L. McCrea, D. McKee, R. McNeal, S. Mukherjee, S. Oja, J. Pandin, H. Phan, N. Sakai, T. Savella, S. Singh, S. Son, M. Song, M. Suzuki, Q. Teng, T. Tranviet, D. X. Warner, L. Zheng; Emeritus: E. Gunn, T. L. Mei, J. Wolff; Associated Faculty: A. Carlson, J. Chen, Z. Chen, S. Cochran, A. Cohn, M. Fiskesjo, R. Herring, T. J. Hinrichs, D. Holmberg, M. Katzenstein, V. Koschmann, T. Loos, T. Lyons, K. March, K. McGowan, H. Miyazaki, S. Mohanty, V. Munasinghe, V. Nee, A. Nussbaum, A. Pan, P. Sangren, E. Tagliacozzo, N. Uphoff, J. Whitman, A. Willford
To become an Asian Studies major, applicants must first successfully receive a minimum grade of B in at least two Asia content courses. These may include one language course, but writing seminars do not fulfill the requirement. Applications to major in Asian Studies must be approved by the director of undergraduate studies.
Completion of the major requires 30 credits at the 2200-level and beyond with a minimum grade of B (S-U grades not accepted), including:
- one course at the 3300-level
- one course at the 4400-level
- a maximum of 6 credits of language study beyond those required for proficiency may be used
- at least one course from two of the Asian Studies course categories (RL, SC, LL)
- demonstration of two-year proficiency in an Asian language:
♦ testing into and completing the second semester of the second year of that language
♦ obtaining a two-year proficiency test result
♦ testing into a language course beyond the 2200-level
Certain courses about Asia offered in other departments at the 1100 level may fulfill requirements with approvals from the major advisor and director of undergraduate study, e.g., HIST 1910 /CAPS 1910 /ASIAN 1191 .
Category Key: Courses in Asian Studies are broken into different categories. To determine which category a course falls in, please note the reference at the end of each course description. The key is as follows: GE = General Education, LL = Literature and Linguistics, RL = Religion, and SC = Society and Culture.
To be eligible for honors in Asian Studies, a student must have a cumulative GPA of 3.7 in all Asian Studies area courses and must successfully complete an honors essay during the senior year. Students who wish to be considered for honors should apply to the director of undergraduate studies during the second semester of their junior year. The application must include an outline of the proposed project and the endorsement of a supervisor chosen from the Asian Studies advising faculty. During the first term of the senior year, the student does research for the essay in conjunction with an appropriate Asian Studies course or ASIAN 4401 . By the end of the first term, the student must present a detailed outline of the honors essay and have it approved by the project supervisor and the director of undergraduate studies. The student is then eligible for ASIAN 4402 , the honors course, which entails the writing of the essay. At the end of the senior year, the student has an oral examination (with at least two faculty members) covering both the honors essay and the student’s area of concentration.
Minor in East Asian Studies
A candidate for the bachelor of arts or science degree at Cornell may minor in East Asian studies by completing at least 18 units of course work in East Asian studies.
A recommended plan would include either ASIAN 2211 , ASIAN 2212 , or ASIAN 2218 and four additional courses. Students normally take five courses in East Asian Studies from those East Asian courses listed (China, Japan, Korea) either under Asian Studies or from other Asian-related courses taught outside of the Asian Studies department. Of these, nonlanguage courses should be selected at the 2200-level or above. Two courses in an East Asian language at the 1100-level or above may be counted toward the minor. Language study is strongly encouraged. East Asian graduate courses may also be taken for the minor, as well as East Asia–related courses with a research paper on an East Asian topic. Appropriate courses taken through Cornell Abroad in East Asia may also be counted toward the minor. A minimum grade of B must be received for all courses counted toward the minor. S–U courses are ineligible. Students minoring in East Asian studies should select an advisor from the East Asia Program faculty for consultation on their course of study. For more information, contact the Department of Asian Studies, 350 Rockefeller Hall, (607) 255-5095, or lrc.cornell.edu/asian.
Minor in South Asian Studies
A candidate for the bachelor of arts or science degree at Cornell may minor in South Asian studies by completing at least 18 units of course work (typically five courses) in South Asian studies. A recommended plan would include ASIAN 2215 and four additional courses. These courses are selected from South Asian courses listed under the Department of Asian Studies, or from other Asian-related courses offered by other departments. Of these, nonlanguage courses should be selected at the 2200-level or above. Two courses in an South Asian language at the 1100-level or above may be counted toward the minor. Language study is strongly encouraged. Appropriate South Asian graduate course work may be included in the minor with consent of the instructor and the advisor. One South Asian–related course with a research paper on a South Asian subject may be included with the consent of the advisor and the director of undergraduate studies. A minimum grade of B must be received for all courses toward the minor. S–U courses are ineligible. Students minoring in South Asian studies are considered members of the South Asia Program and will have an advisor from the program faculty. (This advisor will supervise a student’s minor and does not substitute for a student’s major advisor.) For more information, contact the Department of Asian Studies, 350 Rockefeller Hall, (607) 255-5095, or lrc.cornell.edu/asian.
Minor in Southeast Asian Studies
A candidate for the bachelor of arts or science degree at Cornell may minor in Southeast Asian studies by completing at least 18 units of course work, including a history course and three courses or seminars at the intermediate or advanced level. Up to two Southeast Asian language courses at the 1100-level or above may be included in the minor courses. A recommended plan would include ASIAN 2208 and four additional courses. A minimum grade of B must be received for all courses counted toward the minor. S-U courses are ineligible. Students taking a minor in Southeast Asian studies are members of the Southeast Asia Program and will have an advisor from the Southeast Asia program faculty. Such students are encouraged to commence work on a Southeast Asian language either at the 10-week intensive courses offered by the Southeast Asia Studies Summer Institute (SEASSI) or by studying for a semester at IKIP Malang, Indonesia; Khon Kaen University, Thailand; or Hanoi University, Vietnam. Fellowships are available for undergraduates through the Cornell Abroad Program. For more information, contact the Department of Asian Studies, 350 Rockefeller Hall, (607) 255-5095, or lrc.cornell.edu/asian.
Intensive Mandarin Program At Cornell (IMPAC)
For full information, brochures, etc., see the *IMPAC Program Director in 387 Rockefeller Hall or e-mail: email@example.com or lrc.cornell.edu/impac.
Formerly part of Cornell’s FALCON Program, IMPAC is designed to help students develop “copability” in Mandarin Chinese by bringing them to the level where they can make progress on their own even with no further instruction. This summer language program provides over 200 hours of language exposure—which exceeds even the exposure that students living in China typically receive. This allows students to develop levels of fluency, accuracy, and control that are not achieved in other academic settings. For more information and application forms, please visit the IMPAC web-page, at lrc.cornell.edu/impac. Three small interactive classes per day are conducted entirely in Chinese, and one lecture is conducted in both Chinese and English. Additional class time each day is devoted to reading and writing practice. Students are also required to spend at least two one-hour sessions per day in the language lab. Up to three hours of additional preparation time in the language lab or at home is necessary in the evenings. The demands of this 18-credit program do not normally permit students to take other courses simultaneously.
Students must formally apply to the program. To guarantee course availability and scholarship eligibility, applications must be received by March 1. After that, applicants are reviewed on a rolling basis and acceptance is contingent on the availability of spaces. Applications are available in 387 Rockefeller Hall.
There are many strong options for study abroad in Asia. Cornell Abroad helps students plan a year or semester abroad as part of their Cornell undergraduate degree. Cornell has affiliations with several programs and institutions in Asia and sends students to those and others.
Cornell is affiliated with IUP, the Inter-University Program for Chinese Language Studies in Beijing (at Tsinghua University) and is a member of CIEE and IES, organizations sponsoring study abroad programs offering Chinese language instruction at several levels as well as courses in Chinese studies in the humanities and social sciences. Students may also study at other programs in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.
Cornell is a member of the consortium of the Kyoto Center for Japanese Studies, an undergraduate semester or year program in Japanese language and Japanese studies. An agreement with International Christian University (ICU), outside Tokyo, permits Cornell students to attend that institution. Cornell students have attended CIEE and IES programs as well as other programs and institutions in Japan.
Cornell is a member of the American Association of Indian Studies, which offers fellowships for intensive study in India or Hindi, Bengali, and Tamil. There are study abroad options in universities or other organizations in various regions of India. In cooperation with Tribhuvan National University of Nepal, Cornell organizes the Cornell–Nepal Study Program for undergraduate and graduate students wishing to spend a semester or year studying and conducting research in Nepal.
Students may spend a semester or year in Mongolia, Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, or the Philippines or choose to study about Asia at such institutions as the School of Oriental and African Studies in London or the Faculty of Asian Studies at the Australian National University. Undergraduates should consult Cornell Abroad; graduate students should inquire at the East Asia Program, Southeast Asia Program, or South Asia Program offices.
Students may apply up to 15 credits from abroad to the major.
First-Year Writing Seminars
Consult the John S. Knight Institute website for times, instructors, and descriptions.