The Asian Studies Program offers both interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary curricula that approach Asia-related topics and themes from a variety of academic perspectives. The program emphasizes breadth of study as well as innovative, concentrated research on topics of the student's choosing. Those minoring or majoring in Asian studies have the opportunity to work with faculty from the discipline that best represents their individual interests.
Study abroad is not required, but is strongly encouraged for students ready for the cultural challenge of living and learning in an Asian country. Study abroad arrangements are made through the Office of International Affairs, in conjunction with the director of the Asian Studies Program. Course work completed abroad counts toward the Asian studies major and minor, within the limits of ECU policy (15 hours from another institution for the major). Credits beyond those allowed for the major can count toward the concentrated study that, for majors, is allowed through the Multidisciplinary Studies Program instead of a minor.
While the Asian Studies Program is small, it provides students exceptional opportunities to learn about Asia from a variety of perspectives and in a variety of educational venues, both in eastern North Carolina and throughout Asia itself. Summer study abroad programs to India, China, and Japan further enhance the Asian studies curriculum for those eager for international travel and intense, immersive learning experiences.
Both the minor and major in Asian studies prepare students for a number of professional options. Those interested in international work of any sort, whether in business, law, medicine, government service, the military, or teaching, will find a degree in Asian studies from ECU a valuable asset. The ECU Asian Studies Program has been successful in placing its graduates in English teaching positions in Japan and Korea. Job opportunities for those ready to meet the challenge of living in a profoundly different cultural setting half way around the world from eastern North Carolina will find limitless opportunities for professional growth, development, and success.
The following courses count toward the Asian studies minor and major:
Asia is a dynamic force in the emerging world culture. Its economic and political impact is significant. Now, as it has been for centuries in the past, it is a source of innovative ideas and products. Consequently, understanding its contributions to global culture is imperative. Recognizing the appeal of Asian cultures and their global importance, East Carolina University (ECU) has established two programs in Asian studies, one interdisciplinary (the minor) and one multidisciplinary (the major). Both programs explore, from the perspectives of various disciplines, a variety of Asian cultures.
The minor in Asian studies is an interdisciplinary program, offered through the Harriot College of Arts and Sciences, requiring a minimum of 24 s.h. The minor offers courses from a range of disciplines, focusing on Asian civilizations and cultures. Students are encouraged to study available Asian languages, and to take advantage of appropriate study abroad opportunities.
The Asian studies major, offered through the Multidisciplinary Studies Program, requires a minimum of 30 s.h. Courses satisfying the Asian studies major include designated offerings from anthropology, art, foreign languages, English, geography, geology, history, philosophy, political science, religion, and sociology. Additionally, students are required to take two multidisciplinary courses giving them the opportunity to conduct sustained research on a topic of their choosing. The two courses culminate in a thesis paper of approximately 50-60 pages.