East Asian Track

Major Requirements

The major requires a minimum of 11 courses, including the two senior thesis seminars (if student has already satisfied the language requirement in advance) or more (if she starts the language requirement from the beginning).

The requirements include:


3 years of Chinese, Japanese, or Korean, or the proficiency equivalent (to be demonstrated by a placement examination).

Third-year Chinese, Japanese, Korean, or Tibetan (completion of the UN3005-UN3006 level in Chinese, Japanese, or Korean; TIBT UN3611-UN3612 level in Tibetan), or the proficiency equivalent (to be demonstrated by placement examination).  Students of Chinese may also complete UN3003-UN3004 to meet the third year requirement.

Students who test out of three years or more of a language must take an additional year of that language or another East Asian language in order to satisfy the Barnard language requirement.

*Note that in all East Asian language courses, the minimum grade required to advance from one level to the next is a B-.

Core Courses

Asian Humanities UN1400 Colloquium on Major Texts

Two of the following survey courses:
Asian Civ. UN1359 Introduction to the Civilizations of China
Asian Civ. UN1361 Introduction to the Civilizations of Japan
Asian Civ. UN1363 Introduction to the Civilizations of Korea
Asian Civ. UN1365 Introduction to Tibetan Civilization
Asian Civ. UN1367 Introduction to the Civilization of Vietnam

All majors are required to take EAAS UN3990, “Approaches to East Asian Studies,” which is offered every spring.

Disciplinary Courses

Three courses in either history, literature, philosophy, religion, art history, anthropology, political science, economics, or some other thematic cluster approved by the adviser.  For further information, consult the online catalog or a departmental adviser.

Elective Courses

Two courses related to East Asia, to be chosen in consultation with the adviser.

Senior Thesis

Each student is expected to prepare, for her senior thesis, a research paper or an annotated English translation of an East Asian text.  There will be two tracks for the senior thesis process. 

(1) Those who wish to write their senior theses under the aegis of EALAC at Columbia must apply to the Senior Thesis Program at the end of their junior year.   The deadline will be May 1st at 5:00 p.m. [see EALAC’s website for application form], and the application must be delivered in hard copy to the EALAC Academic Coordinator in 407 Kent.  Students must have at least a 3.6 GPA in courses taken in the major at the time of the application.  Decisions will be made by June 1, when grades for the second semester have been received.  All students accepted into the Program are required to enroll in the Senior Thesis Research Workshop (EAAS UN3999) for the fall of their senior year. Students who perform satisfactorily in this workshop, successfully complete a thesis proposal, and find a faculty advisor, will then write the Senior Thesis itself in the spring semester under the direction of the adviser and a graduate student tutor (EAAS UN3901).  Successful completion of the thesis by the April 1 deadline in the spring semester will be necessary but not sufficient for a student to receive Departmental Honors.  (Because honors can be awarded to a maximum of 10% of the majors, not all thesis writers will receive honors.) 

(2) Students who do not have a 3.6 average in the major OR who wish to write their senior theses at Barnard will do so under the direction of an East Asia faculty member at Barnard.  Such students should enroll in two semesters of independent study (Asian Studies BC 3999) with their faculty adviser.

Minor Requirements


Students must meet the following prerequisite prior to declaring an AMEC minor in the East Asia Track: Two years of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, or Tibetan.  These must be either taken at Columbia or proficiency proven through a placement examination.


Two semesters of third-year work in the chosen language, or the proficiency equivalent (to be demonstrated by a placement examination).
Students who test out of the third-year level must take either an additional year of the same language or one year of an additional language in the same East Asia Track.

Introductory Courses (two):

AHUM UN1400, Colloquium on Major Texts of East Asia
One civilizations class relating to the language and region of study (China Civ, Japan Civ, Korean Civ, or Tibetan Civ)

Electives (two):

Two electives in the world region under study, to be taken in any department in the university at the 3000- or 4000-level, subject to approval by the advisor.