General Info Description Major/Minor Requirements

General Info & Contacts

The major and minor in Asian studies are administered by the Asian Studies Committee: Professors Lipman (history), Peterson (chair), Yamashita (religion); Associate Professors Bandarage (women's studies), Gabriel (economics), Khory (politics), Sinha (art); Assistant Professors Hashmi (international relations), Katz (religion), Nemoto, Roth (anthropology),
Wang; Senior Lecturer Jiyad; Visiting Assistant Professor Thompson (anthropology).

Contact Persons
Tracie Alfano-Aube, senior administrative assistant
Tadanori Yamashita, chair

Asian Studies Web Site


Asian studies is an interdisciplinarymajor. The field of Asian studies covers the huge and diverse area stretching from Japan to the Mediterranean, from the Siberian tundra to the southeast and south Asian tropics. It thus must encompass the wide variety of methods we may use to study any particular part of the world. The Asian studies major allows students to focus on a specific country or region, to travel abroad for intensive language and cultural study, and to delve deeply into Asian cultures using the tools of several disciplines. Asian studies courses may be found in the departments of anthropology, art, economics, geography, history, international relations, politics, religion, and women's studies. This "area studies" approach demands that students take an active and conscious part in designing their majors by choosing courses appropriate to their own skills and interests. At the core of an Asian studies major lies the study of the culture and language of one (or more) Asian region. Mount Holyoke currently offers instruction in Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, and Sanskrit, so Asian studies majors may concentrate on the culture areas defined by those languages.
Students who have had previous training in Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, and Sanskrit and wish to continue their studies should arrange for placement in appropriate courses by contacting Mr. Jiyad for Arabic, Ms. Nemoto for Japanese, Ms. Wang for Chinese, and Ms. Peterson for Sanskrit.

Requirements for the Major

Credits and Courses
A minimum of 40 credits of course work on Asia. Any course that devotes 50 percent or more of its substance to the Asian continent may be counted toward the major. Owing to differences in the availability of levels and in the number of credits assigned for the Asian languages taught at Mount Holyoke, other colleges in the Five College system, and under the self-instructional program in the Five Colleges, the language requirement for the major is stated in terms of the minimum number of semesters rather than the number of credits.
No fewer than 4 semesters of Chinese, Japanese, or Arabic language study, or 3 semesters of Sanskrit, or 6 semesters of Five College self-instructional study in an Asian language (e.g., Hindi-Urdu) at a level appropriate to the student's experience. No more than 16 credits of 100-200 level language may be counted toward the major. Please consult the Asian Studies Committee for guidelines regarding Asian languages not listed above or not taught at the Five Colleges. 16 credits (4 courses) at the 300 level, no more than 8 of which can be language credits. To be counted toward the major, 300-level courses not taught at Mount Holyoke, including language courses beyond the first- and second-year level, require prior approval from the Asian Studies Committee.
Nonlanguage courses must be taken in at least three departments or programs (including Asian studies). The committee strongly recommends that students take one (or more) of the "Introduction to Civilization" series, Asian Studies 100, 101, 103, or Religion 202. No more than one Asian American studies course may be counted toward the Asian studies major.

Students should consult the catalogue entries or Web sites of other departments. Asian studies majors should also plan to use the rich resources of the Five College Consortium in selecting their courses (listings are available through the Five College or individual college Web sites). Some Asian studies major and minor programs designed by recent graduates may be found on the Asian studies Web site.

Asian studies is an interdisciplinary major. Students who pursue an interdisciplinary major automatically fulfill the College's "outside the major" requirement.

Requirements for the Minor

At least 16 credits in Asian studies at the 200 level or higher, only 8 of which can be in language
At least 4 credits at the 300 level

Courses should be selected from at least two disciplines. No more than one Asian American studies course may be counted toward the Asian studies minor. The committee recommends that students take one or more courses in the 100-level "Introduction to Civilization" series.

College Language Requirement
Completing one year (8 or more credits) of Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, or Sanskrit language study fulfills the Mount Holyoke College language requirement for students without previous experience in the language.




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