East Asian Studies

The East Asian studies major provides a broad and diverse field of study for students to gain a deep understanding of East Asian languages, history, culture, and contemporary political, economic, and social issues. Under the supervision of an adviser, students design their own programs of study, which typically focus on one country or a group of countries. The major leads to various specialized professional paths, including advanced academic research.

Academic Details

Overview of the Undergraduate Curriculum

Students complete a balance of course work in language and area studies, including at least six semesters of Chinese, Japanese, or Korean. At least one language must be completed at the third-year level or higher. Students majoring in East Asian studies are also required to take courses in history, literature, politics, sociology, anthropology, and history of science.

Honors Opportunities

Honors may be earned by maintaining a G.P.A. of 3.7 in the major and writing a senior honors thesis, which is developed in accordance with a year-long research seminar.

Student Stories


East Asian studies major Wenchi Wei ’12 used her Dean’s Undergraduate Research Award to examine relations between the People’s Republic of China (China) and the Republic of China (Taiwan), which have shifted significantly from marked animosity to considerable cooperation in the last fifteen years. To read more about her project, visit the award’s website.


Aaron Nicholson ’13 interned at the National Committee on United States-China Relations in New York. As part of his internship he worked with materials in both Chinese and English. In addition, he had the opportunity to engage with a number of high level Chinese and American leaders including former Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and Madeline Albright.

Study Abroad

Students majoring in East Asian studies have studied abroad in China, Japan, and South Korea.  The department sponsors two of its own programs, Hopkins-in-Nanjing and Hopkins-in-Tokyo.


Related Student Groups

East Asian Forum and Review

Global China Connection

Inter-Asian Council

South Asian Students at Hopkins (SASH)

Campus & Baltimore Resources

East Asian Studies Speaker Series

Center for Language Education – courses in Chinese

Center for Language Education – courses in Japanese

Center for Language Education – courses in Korean


Majors & Minors Programs