Students in Japan 188/288 The Japanese Tea Ceremony viewing Korean, Chinese, Japanese ceramics, lacquer, wood, and metalwork objects at the Cantor Arts Center.

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Major Requirements

The Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures offers Bachelor of Arts degrees in the following:

Majors in East Asian Studies begin or continue the mastery of Chinese, Japanese, or Korean. Within the humanities or social sciences, they may focus on a particular sub-region. For example: Japan; South China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan; or western China and Central Asia; or a substantive issue involving the region as a whole, such as environmental protection, public health, rural development, historiography, cultural expression, or religious beliefs. The major seeks to reduce the complexity of a region to intellectually manageable proportions and illuminate the interrelationships among the various facets of a society.

Declaring the Major

Potential majors should declare by the end of the sophomore year on Axess, and must meet with the Student Services Officer (SSO) or Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS) to discuss and submit a proposal to complete the East Asian Studies major. The major declaration request will not be approved on Axess until a proposal has been submitted and approved. Majors must complete at least 75 units of coursework on China, Japan, and/or Korea in addition to a 3 unit Senior Colloquium course (EALC 198). Courses to be credited toward major degree requirements must be completed with a 3-unit minimum and a letter grade of 'C' (GPA of 2.0) or better.

Language Proficiency Notation

Students who demonstrate levels of achievement equivalent to those expected at the end of the third quarter of the third year of study in a language may apply for the Proficiency Notation, which is a notation of “Proficiency in [that language]" on the official transcript. Successful candidates tend to have completed the third year or beyond of language study at Stanford and spent considerable time studying abroad in the foreign language.

In order to receive the proficiency notation, the student must complete the following oral and written requirements. The notation is available only for languages where external assessment is offered through Language Testing International. Successful completion of the oral component is required before proceeding with the writing component. This certification process is conducted through the Stanford Language Center, and more information can be found on the Language Center website, including a helpful timetable.

Degree Requirements

The following requirements are in addition to the University's basic requirements for the bachelor's degree. Letter grades are mandatory for required courses.

East Asian Studies

Bachelor of Arts in East Asian Studies

  1. LANGUAGE REQUIREMENT: Proficiency in Chinese, Japanese, or Korean language at the second-year level or above, to be met either by coursework or examination. Students who meet the language proficiency requirement through examination are still expected to: 1) take an additional 15 units of language at a higher level, 2) enroll in literature courses taught in the language, 3) complete another first-year language class in another Asian language. No more than 30  of language courses are counted toward the of the 78 units required for the major.
  2. AREA COURSES: Complete three area courses, one in each of the following category: Humanities, History, Social Sciences. List of Approved Area Courses. Courses listed are examples and not exhaustive; if uncertain whether a particular course fits into one of these categories, contact the SSO or DUS to check.
    • Humanities
    • History
    • Social Sciences
  3. SUBSTANTIVE CONCENTRATION: Complete four courses with a thematic coherence on East Asia, one of which must be seminar above the 100-level. Examples include China, Japan, or Korea; or, in recognition of the new subregions which are emerging: South China and Taiwan, or Central Asia. Examples include: East Asian religions and philosophies, Culture and society of modern Japan, Ethnic identities in East Asia, Arts and literature in late imperial China, Foreign policy in East Asia, Social transformation of modern Korea, China's political economy. See ExploreCourses under subject codes CHINAEASTASNJAPANKOREA, and EALC for topic ideas. 
  4. CAPSTONE ESSAY: Submit a final paper - Capstone Essay (approximately 7,500 words) or Honors Thesis (approximately 15,000 words) - and present the research to EALC peers and faculty. The topic should be built upon th student's thematic interest and/or from the substantive concentration. Majors are required to take the Senior Colloquium course in Winter Quarter of the senior year, an enroll in at least one Senior Research course (CHINA/JAPAN/KOREA 198C or CHINA/JAPAN/KOREA 198H) with their research topic adviser in the senior year. A faculty adviser for the capstone essay must be finalized no later than the second week of the Autumn Quarter of senior year. Senior Capstone Essay and Honors Thesis Presentations will be held in the Spring Quarter; students must present as part of their final project.
  5. OVERSEAS STUDIES: Majors must study abroad for at least one quarter overseas in the study of focus. If the abroad program is not through the Bing Overseas Studies Program (BOSP), students should consult with the department SSO or DUS prior to studying abroad.
  6. WRITING IN THE MAJOR: An East Asian Studies course that satisfies the University Writing in the Major requirement (WIM) should be completed before beginning the senior capstone essay or honors thesis. Depending on the country of focus students should choose formt eh following 3 WIM courses: CHINA 111, JAPAN 138, and KOREA 120. Students may enroll in multiple WIM courses, but indicate the primary course counted as WIM; other WIM courses taken will be considered as culture/elective courses satisfying the Unit Minimum, Area Studies, and/or Substantive Concentration requirements.
  7. UNIT MINIMUM: The courses taken for the major must add up to at least 78 units, comprised of the 3-unit Senior Colloquium and at least 75 additional units, all taken for a letter grade. Courses must be at least 3 units each and taken with a letter grade to be counted towards the degree. Majors are encouraged to distribute their coursework among at least three disciplines and two subregions in Asia. The subregions need not be traditionally defined.
East Asian Studies, China Subplan

Bachelor of Arts in East Asian Studies, China Subplan

The Bachelor of Arts in East Asian Studies, China Subplan, offers students the ability to study East Asia with a special focus on Chinese culture and language. The Bachelor of Arts The Bachelor of Arts in East Asian Studies, China Subplan, replaced the department's Bachelor of Arts in Chinese. Students currently pursuing the Bachelor of Arts in Chinese may choose to continue his or her plan of study, or opt to complete the Bachelor of Arts in East Asian Studies, China Subplan requirement instead. Note: Once students drop the Bachelor of Arts in Chinese on Axess, they cannot re-enroll/declare under the Bachelor of Arts in Chinese again. Consult Prof. Dafna Zur, Director of Undergraduate Studies, or Cyril Millendez, Student Services Officer, for more clarification.

The following requirements are are in addition to the University’s basic requirements for the bachelor’s degree. Letter grades are mandatory for required courses.

Courses taken to complete the major requirements as well as their prerequisites must be completed with a grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 or better.

  1. GATEWAY COURSES: Students must take two gateway courses appropriate to the East Asian Studies, China Subplan. Courses can be from the “East Asian Gateway Course Cluster” and/or the “Gateway Course Cluster for the China Subplan." At least one of the two gateway courses chosen must be taught by a member in the EALC department. List of Approved Gateway Courses. Please note that courses listed are not exhaustive. All students should check with the department's student services officer regarding fulfilling course requirements.
  2. PROFICIENCY OF THE MODERN CHINESE LANGUAGE, AT THE THIRD YEAR LEVEL: Students take a minimum of 3 years of modern Chinese language courses. Students should take a language assessment test offered at the Language Center to determine language proficiency before signing up for classes. 
  3. BEGINNING CLASSICAL CHINESE: Students must take at least one classical Chinese course.
    1. CHINA 105: Beginning Classical Chinese, First Quarter
    2. CHINA 106: Beginning Classical Chinese, Second Quarter
    3. CHINA 107: Beginning Classical Chinese, Third Quarter
  4. ADDITIONAL COURSES: Students must take additional content courses to fulfill the requirement. The following courses selected should be discussed with the Director of Undergraduate Studies for approval.
    1. Three CHINA courses at the 100 level with one in each of the following areas: pre-modern China, modern China, and Chinese linguistics.
    2. Four other content courses, as approved by the undergraduate faculty adviser. One of these should be a History course offered by the Department of History.
    3. All students take CHINA 111: Literature in 20-th Century China as part of the Writing in the Major (WIM) requirement.
  5. CAPSTONE REQUIREMENT: Students enroll in EALC 198: Senior Colloquium winter quarter of the senior year with other seniors to complete the Senior Capstone Essay or Honors Thesis. A capstone essay is approximately 7,500 words, and the honors thesis approximately 15,000.
East Asian Studies, Japan Subplan

Bachelor of Arts in East Asian Studies, Japan Subplan

The Bachelor of Arts in East Asian Studies, Japan Subplan, offers students the ability to study East Asia with a special focus on Japanese culture and language. The Bachelor of Arts in East Asian Studies, Japan Subplan, replaced the department's Bachelor of Arts in Japanese. Students currently pursuing the Bachelor of Arts in Japanese may choose to continue his or her plan of study, or opt to complete the Bachelor of Arts in East Asian Studies, Japan Subplan requirement instead. Note: Once students drop the Bachelor of Arts in Japanese on Axess, he or she cannot re-enroll/declare under the Bachelor of Arts in Japanese again. Consult Prof. Dafna Zur, Director of Undergraduate Studies, or Cyril Millendez, Student Services Officer, for more clarification.

The following requirements are are in addition to the University’s basic requirements for the bachelor’s degree. Letter grades are mandatory for required courses.

Courses taken to complete the major requirements as well as their prerequisites must be completed with a grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 or better.

  1. GATEWAY COURSES: Students must take two gateway courses appropriate to the East Asian Studies, Japan Subplan. Courses can be from the “East Asian Gateway Course Cluster” and/or the “Gateway Course Cluster for the Japan Subplan." At least one of the two gateway courses chosen must be taught by a member in the EALC department. List of Approved Gateway Courses. Please note that courses listed are not exhaustive. All students should check with the department's student services officer regarding fulfilling course requirements.
  2. PROFICIENCY OF THE MODERN JAPANESE LANGUAGE, AT THE THIRD YEAR LEVEL: Students take a minimum of 3 years of modern Japanese language courses. Students should take a language assessment test offered at the Language Center to determine language proficiency before signing up for classes.
  3. ADDITIONAL COURSES: Students must take additional content courses to fulfill the requirement. The following courses selected should be discussed with the Director of Undergraduate Studies for approval.
    1. Three JAPAN courses at the 100-level with one in each of the following areas: pre-modern Japan, modern Japan, and Japanese linguistics.
    2. Four other content courses dealing with Japan primarily at the 100-level.
    3. Amongst the list of "Additional courses," all students must take JAPAN 138: Introduction to Modern Japanese Literature and Culture, our Writing in the Major (WIM) course
  4. CAPSTONE REQUIREMENT: Students enroll in EALC 198: Senior Colloquium winter quarter of the senior year with other seniors to complete the Senior Capstone Essay or Honors Thesis. A capstone essay is approximately 7,500 words, and the honors thesis approximately 15,000.
East Asian Studies, Korea Subplan

Bachelor of Arts in East Asian Studies, Korea Subplan

The Bachelor of Arts in East Asian Studies, Korea Subplan, offers students the ability to study East Asia with a special focus on Korean culture and language. The following requirements are in addition to the University's basic requirements for the bachelor's degree. Students must take all courses for a letter grade, and the courses as well as their prerequisites must be completed with a grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 or better.

  1. GATEWAY COURSES: Students must take two gateway courses appropriate to the East Asian Studies, Korea Subplan. Courses can be from the “East Asian Gateway Course Cluster” and/or the “Gateway Course Cluster for the Korea Subplan." At least one of the two gateway courses chosen must be taught by a member in the EALC department. List of Approved Gateway Courses. If a course you want to take is not on the list, please check with the student services officer or Director of Undergraduate Studies.  Please note that courses listed are not exhaustive. All students should check with the department's student services officer regarding fulfilling course requirements.
  2. PROFICIENCY OF THE MODERN KOREAN LANGUAGE, AT THE THIRD YEAR LEVEL: Students take a minimum of 3 years of modern Korean language courses. Students should take a language assessment test offered at the Language Center to determine language proficiency before signing up for classes.
  3. ADDITIONAL COURSES: Students must take additional content courses to fulfill the requirement. The following courses selected should be discussed with the Director of Undergraduate Studies for approval.
    1. Take 6 KOREA courses at the 100-level, a minimum of two 100-level courses must be offered by the department.
    2. Amongst the list of "Additional courses," all students must take KOREA 120: Narratives of Modern and Contemporary Korea, our Writing in the Major (WIM) course
  4. CAPSTONE REQUIREMENT: Students enroll in EALC 198: Senior Colloquium winter quarter of the senior year with other seniors to complete the Senior Capstone Essay or Honors Thesis. A capstone essay is approximately 7,500 words, and the honors thesis approximately 15,000.

For questions or inquiries regarding the major, please contact Cyril Millendez, Student Services Officer, or asianlanguages@stanford.edu.