Wuyishan, Fujian. Photo by Brian Lander.

Wuyishan, Fujian. Photo by Brian Lander.

Why Major or Concentrate in East Asian Studies?

Students come to the study of East Asia from many different angles and for many different reasons: travel, popular culture, language, literature, history, religion, economics, politics. Some were exposed to manga or anime in middle school. Others might have enjoyed K-pop. Some had friends from China or Tibet. Whatever the initial motivation and whatever your particular disciplinary interests, the rewards of studying East Asia are endless. Columbia University has one of the strongest East Asian programs in the Western world, and EALAC department covers China, Tibet, Korea, and Japan in depth, with faculty in a wide range of disciplines, from history and literature to film and economics.

Learning an East Asian language (which fulfills the College foreign language requirement) is undoubtedly one of the most rewarding activities, and our small classes and outstanding teachers make this an indelible experience that you will be able to utilize for the rest of your life.

East Asian Studies will deepen and widen your understanding of cultural experience, past and present, while preparing you well for leadership roles in a variety of fields requiring both regional and global expertise. East Asian studies will prepare you for the global marketplace, giving you important grounding in Asian civilization as well as writing and researching skills that will be useful wherever you go.

Careers that East Asian studies students have pursued include academia, law, medicine, business, the arts, journalism, and government, and stretch from fashion to food. For more detailed information on career opportunities pursued by EALAC majors, please visit the Center for Career Education.

East Asian Studies Major

The Department offers a major for both Columbia College and General Studies students, as well as a minor for SEAS students.

For more information about program requirements, please visit the East Asian Studies major page.

East Asian Studies Concentration

The Department offers a concentration for both Columbia College and General Studies students.

For more information about program requirements, please visit the East Asian Studies concentration page.

Five-year Combined BA-MA Program

Students enrolled at Columbia College, SEAS, Barnard, and the School of General Studies may apply for early admission to the M.A. program in East Asian Languages and Cultures and begin their M.A. coursework in their senior year while completing their undergraduate degree.

For more information about this program, please visit the BA-MA Program page.