This multidisciplinary concentration is designed to serve undergraduate students wishing to attain reasonable fluency in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, and specialized familiarity with selected East Asian subjects. The concentration serves students with two different types of professional and academic interests: those who wish to pursue active professional careers related to the East Asian region; and those who will continue their education at the graduate level in the humanities or social sciences with special emphasis on China, Japan or Korea.
Concentrators’ academic experiences should culminate in their senior advanced research seminar. The Director of Undergraduate Studies will guide and supervise in the planning of individual concentrations to ensure the development of coherent programs of study.
The concentration requires students to demonstrate basic proficiency in Chinese, Japanese, or Korean. For the purposes of the concentration, proficiency is determined to be consistent with successful completion of the Department’s third-year course sequence in either Chinese, Japanese or Korean (0500-0600), or its equivalent. Native speakers of these languages may demonstrate competency such that language courses may be unnecessary. Department language instructors may also determine that course work completed at one of the language-intensive study abroad programs attended by our undergraduates is comparable to courses offered at Brown. Up to three upper level (700-999) language courses may count as electives for concentration credit.
Note that we do not equate completion of third-year Chinese, Japanese, or Korean with fluency in these languages. Rather, we believe that students who have demonstrated the skills associated with third-year Chinese, Japanese, or Korean have acquired a foundational understanding of the languages’ grammar, vocabularies, and conversational patterns, such that they are able to make themselves understood in everyday situations, and to understand both spoken and written communication. For the purposes of the concentration, language courses through the third-year are treated as an accompanying requirement.
The concentration requires that students complete a total of eight electives tied to their course of study, which may be defined in linguistic, chronological, thematic or cultural terms. Students should choose their courses with the following three requirements in mind:
- EAST Requirement: At least three of the eight electives must be East Asian Studies (EAST) courses; Chinese (CHIN), Japanese (JAPN), or Korean (KREA) courses at the 1000-level and above may also count toward this requirement.
- Breadth Requirement: At least one of the eight electives must focus on an East Asian country or culture other than those associated with the language the student is using to satisfy the concentration’s language requirement. A concentrator studying Chinese, for example, must choose at least one course that focuses on Korea and/or Japan.
- Senior Seminar Requirement: At least one of the eight elective courses must be an advanced research seminar, taken in the senior year.
As is common for interdisciplinary concentrations, a wide range of courses, including many taught by faculty in other departments, may be counted toward the concentration. These include courses offered by East Asian Studies faculty, faculty with courtesy appointments in the Department, and courses with a significant focus on East Asia offered in such disciplines as American Studies, Art History, Economics, International Relations, and many others.
Click here for a list of current and past University courses of interest to East Asian Studies concentrators in PDF format (seminars are marked with a check). Please visit Brown's online course catalog for a complete archive of all classes offered. Concentrators should confirm with the Director of Undergraduate Studies whether a particular East Asia-related course is eligible for concentration credit.
The research seminar provides students with the opportunity to develop a project or paper focusing on one or more of their areas of inquiry within the concentration. Students are strongly encouraged to find ways to incorporate the use of Chinese, Japanese or Korean language materials in their research and learning in these courses. Courses falling into this advanced research category include the East Asian Studies 1950 series as well as designated seminars offered by faculty in such departments as History, Religious Studies, and Comparative Literature, among others. The Department will provide a list of pre-approved advanced seminars (approved seminars marked by a check) every semester. Please contact EAS for questions about specific courses and concentration credit. Students wishing to add courses to that list must submit their requests in writing to the Director of Undergraduate Studies at the start of the semester.
Read more about the Honors Program
Students who are interested in developing a double concentration, including East Asian Studies as one of the two concentrations, should bear in mind that normally no more than two courses may be double-counted toward satisfying either of the two concentration programs involved.
Concentrators are strongly encouraged, but not required, to study in East Asia for one or two semesters during their undergraduate years. Course credits earned abroad are generally transferable to Brown. However, a maximum of three courses taken abroad, of genuine intellectual substance and significantly related to East Asian Studies, may be considered for concentration credit.
- Language study through the level of 0600 or the equivalent of Chinese, Japanese, or Korean
- Eight elective courses
- At least three of the eight electives must be East Asian Studies (EAST) courses; Chinese (CHIN), Japanese (JAPN), or Korean (KREA) courses at the 1000-level and above may also count toward this requirement.
- At least one of the eight electives must focus on an East Asian country or culture other than those associated with the language the student is using to satisfy the concentration’s language requirement. A concentrator studying China, for example, would choose at least one course that focuses on Korea and/or Japan.
- At least one of the eight elective courses must be an advanced research seminar, taken in the senior year.
- East 1930 (Senior Thesis, Semester 1) and 1940 (Senior Thesis, Semester 2) for Honors candidates only