East Asian Studies


East Asian Studies is a multidisciplinary concentration designed for students wishing to attain reasonable fluency in Chinese,  Japanese, or Korean with specialized exposure to selected East Asian subjects. It serves students with two types of interests: those who aim to pursue active professional careers related to the East Asian region; and those who want to pursue graduate study in the humanities or social sciences with particular emphasis on China, Japan or Korea. Students in East Asian Studies will gain language proficiency and familiarity with East Asia through advanced courses in a variety of disciplines. Concentrators are strongly encouraged, but not required, to study in East Asia for one or two semesters. The concentration requires students to demonstrate a basic proficiency in Chinese, Japanese, or Korean.

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Student Goals

Students in this concentration will:

  • Gain multidisciplinary and transnational perspectives on East Asia
  • Attain fluency in Chinese, Japanese, or Korean
  • Understand the ancient and modern traditions of at least one East Asian culture
  • Grasp the historical conditions leading to the modern nation-states of China, Japan, and/or Korea
  • Produce original research on an aspect of East Asian history or culture


Click here for a list of the East Asian Studies concentration requirements. 

Honors and Capstones

View Honors website

All concentrators must complete at least one advanced research seminar. The research seminar will provide 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. Candidates for Honors may also apply for permission to complete an Honors thesis in their senior year. The student must register for and complete, with distinction, EAST1930-1940. Please see the department's website for a complete description of admission procedures and requirements.

Liberal Learning

This concentration allows you to address the following Liberal Learning goals:

  • Enhance your aesthetic sensibility
  • Expand your reading skills
  • Understand differences among cultures
  • Embrace diversity
  • Engage with your community
  • Learn what it means to study the past
  • Evaluate human behavior
  • Work on your speaking and writing

Download the full statement on Liberal Learning at Brown

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Affiliated Departments


Director of Undergraduate Studies

Graduating Class

Year Total Capstone Honors
201616 16 

Alumni Pathways

Alumni who have completed the concentration in East Asian Studies have pursued careers in diverse fields, including medicine, law, web applications development, the foreign service, hedge funds management, and university administration. 

See more details on the CareerLAB website.

Dept. Undergraduate Group

Student Leaders:

  • Bonny Cai
  • Danning Niu

If you are an advisor and would like to make changes to the information on this page, contact focal_point@brown.edu, or email Dean Besenia Rodriguez.