East Asian Studies

What is East Asian Studies?

The East Asian Studies program offers an interdisciplinary study of the area, with a primary focus on the countries of China and Japan. Under special advisement, Korea and Mongolia are also subjects for study.

East Asian Studies provides an institutional focus on the histories, cultures, languages, and politics of China, Japan, Korea and Mongolia, serving students in their diverse educational goals as well as the broader campus and regional communities in their interactions with the growing economies of East Asia.

Edward Vajda

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East Asian Studies at Western

Western’s East Asian Studies program has faculty from a broad spectrum of academic departments who work together to provide a nexus for teaching and research.

Three major objectives

The program is designed to attain three major objectives. First, it offers students an opportunity to acquire accurate, detailed, and comprehensive knowledge of a region that is becoming increasingly important in world affairs. Second, it prepares students who are attracted by job opportunities related to East Asia in business, government, or teaching. Third, it provides solid undergraduate training for students who plan to enter East Asian programs in their graduate studies.

Western’s East Asian Studies Department is part of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Explore courses

EAST 202 - East Asian History in the Early-Modern and Modern Eras

EAST 271 - Visual Culture in East Asia

EAST 310 - The International Security of East Asia

EAST 314 - The Mongols

EAST 431 - Pacific Rim: Environment, Economy, and Sustainability

EAST 440 - Modern Chinese Politics

Internships and Scholarships

Students in the East Asian Studies program are eligible for a number of scholarships that promote the study of Inner Asia and East Asia, including the Henry G. Schwarz Scholarship in Mongolian Studies ($1,000), the Sarah Anne Wirth Scholarship in East Asian Studies and History ($1,000)), and the Diana Wright Research Paper in East Asian Studies Award.

Organizations and Clubs

The East Asia Studies Department hosts the Annual Student Colloquium Program, along with national and international conferences on Japanese literature and East Asian studies. The Center for East Asian Studies sponsors lectures, presentations, and other activities related to East Asia for both students and the community.

Western Libraries features the Mongolia Collection, an extensive collection of holdings on Mongolia and Inner Asia. 

What can you do with East Asian Studies?

This major offers students an opportunity to prepare for positions in cultural organizations, diplomatic offices, companies engaged in international business, and in educational institutions.

Employers of Recent Western Graduates:

  • Borderlink, Inc.: Japan
  • Business Council for International Understanding: Washington D.C.

East Asian Studies careers

  • International Consultant
  • International Business Manager
  • International Sales
  • Foreign News Correspondent
  • Tour Guide/Agent
  • Museum Administrator

Related Majors

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