Requirements

The Department’s requirements have been revised as of the beginning of the 2013-14 academic year. The courses History 0410 or History 0420 are no longer required for the concentration, and the number of electives has been changed from seven to eight (please review the Electives section, further below, for details).  Students who have already completed both History courses may fulfill either the previous concentration requirements or the revised requirements. Students who have taken either History 0410 or History 0420 may follow the previous concentration requirements provided they complete a second History course, chosen in discussion with the Director of Undergraduate Studies (Professor Lingzhen Wang). Alternatively, they may choose to fulfill the revised requirements, in which case they may count HIST 0410 or 0420 as one of their eight electives. Any current concentrators who have taken neither History 0410 nor History 0420, and all subsequent concentrators, should fulfill the revised requirements.

Concentration Requirements

Jump to summary of requirements

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.

Language 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. 

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.

Electives

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 requirements in mind:

  • 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 Korean, for example, would choose at least one course that focuses on China, Taiwan or Japan.
  • 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 Archeology, Anthropology, Economics, International Relations, and others.

Click here for a list of current and past University courses of interest to East Asian Studies concentrators in PDF  format. 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. 

  2010 Senior Forum2010 Senior ForumAdvanced Research Seminars

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 every semester. 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

 

Double Concentrations

 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.

Study Abroad

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.

Summary of requirements
  • 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 Korean, for example, would choose at least one course that focuses on China, Taiwan or Japan.
    • At least one of the eight elective courses must be an advanced research seminar, taken in the senior year. 
  • East 1930-1940 (Senior Thesis seminar) for Honors candidates only