College of Arts & Sciences

Asian Studies Program


The Major

The core of the Asian Studies program is the major which requires intermediate language competency in an Asian language, two “Foundational Heritage” courses, seven electives courses and a Senior Seminar in Asian Studies. The Foundation Heritage courses are HIS 1561, Introduction to South Asia, and HIS 1571, Introduction to East Asia. Language compentency can be met through courses at Saint Joseph’s (in Chinese and Japanese), as well as through intensive language programs elsewhere (for those interested in languages not taught at Saint Joseph’s, such as Hindi). Electives are selected in order to insure both a geographic concentration and interdisciplinary depth. The Senior Seminar is designed to enable students to synthesize what they have learned during their time at SJU, and will typically take the form of a research seminar or thesis. The expectation is that these papers would be nominated to be presented at the Greater Philadelphia Asian Studies consortium conference each spring.

The Asian Studies program considers experience in Asia to be an essential means of understanding. All Asian Studies majors are expected to spend at least one term (fall, spring, or summer) in a study-abroad program in Asia. This requirement can frequently be met through programs with existing ties to SJU, including The Beijing Center (operated by a consortium of Jesuit universities) and Sophia University in Tokyo, as well as through Saint Joseph’s own China Summer Program, based in Nanjing.

A more detailed description of the requirements for an Asian Studies major can be found here.

The Minor

Students completing the Minor in Asian Studies fulfill a six-course requirement. To ensure the interdisciplinary nature of the program, courses must be taken from at least three departments, and no more than three courses from any one department may count for credit toward the minor. Although language competency is not required for the minor, language study is encouraged.

Asian Studies Course Offerings for Fall 2012

CHN 101 Beginning Chinese I

CHN 201 Intermediate Chinese I

CHN 301 Chinese Conversation and Composition

HIS 207: Historical Introduction to South Asia

HIS 476: Seminar in Asian History

JPN 101 Beginning Japanese I

JPN 201 Intermediate Japanese I

JPN 330 Japanese Film and Culture

POL333 Asian Political Systems

REL 241 Islam

REL  261 Hinduism