Hone your communication skills, cultural knowledge, and historical perspective with the unique degree in East Asian studies.

One of the only online programs of its kind, University of Maryland University College's Bachelor of Arts in East Asian studies provides an overview of the history, economics, politics, culture, and languages of the East Asian region, including China, Korea, and Japan. In this program, you'll examine East Asia's rich past and continuing contributions to the global community.

These program requirements are for students who enroll in the 2018–2019 academic year. For prior year academic requirements, visit the catalog archive in the Current Students section.

This program is also available as a minor.

About the East Asian Studies Bachelor's Degree

Through your courses, you'll gain an understanding of East Asia based on both expanded cultural awareness and scholarly analysis. You'll build a foundation of knowledge that enriches your appreciation of the area while helping you prepare for a range of careers—such as translator, teacher, reporter, analyst, or nonprofit field employee—that require a broad understanding of the culture and region.

What You'll Learn

Through your coursework, you will learn how to

  • Interpret, communicate, educate, and advise others based on your understanding, research, and analysis of the social, historical, and cultural contexts of East Asia
  • Use your knowledge of East Asia to identify, create, facilitate, and promote opportunities for interaction and cooperation between Asia and the global community
  • Apply your knowledge of East Asian diversity, values, and expectations to perform in a culturally appropriate way in personal and professional settings
  • Write and speak an East Asian language, integrating interpersonal skills and cultural knowledge

Coursework Examples

In past projects, students have had the opportunity to

  • Create a presentation to raise awareness and educate others about various aspects of East Asian culture, history, and politics
  • Create a presentation in Chinese, Japanese, or Korean that demonstrates an ability to speak, read, and write the language
  • Write a research paper about a specific subject using primary source material

East Asian Studies Bachelor's Degree Requirements

Our curriculum is designed with input from employers, industry experts, and scholars. You'll learn theories combined with real-world applications and practical skills you can apply on the job right away.

Courses in the Major

  • ASTD 284
  • ASTD 285
  • PHIL 348
  • ASTD 485
  • East Asian language courses (9 credits): Courses designated CHIN or JAPN and numbered 111, 112, 114, or higher
  • Upper-level East Asian content courses (9 credits): ASTD, CHIN, JAPN, KORN, Asian HIST, and Asian GVPT courses and ANTH 417 apply (focused study in China or Japan recommended; see Degree Focus tab)

Degree Focus

Choose from one of these recommended groups of classes or mix and match to align with your career goals and interests.

China Focus

  • HIST 480
  • ASTD 370
  • ANTH 417

Japan Focus

  • HIST 482
  • JAPN 333
  • ANTH 417


The bachelor's degree in East Asian studies requires 49 credits of minor and/or elective coursework.

General Education Requirements

Research Course 

  • LIBS 150
    (to be taken in first 6 credits)

Writing and Communication Courses 

  • WRTG 111 or other writing course
  • WRTG 112
  • SPCH 100 or other communication, writing, or speech course
  • WRTG 391 or other advanced upper-level writing course

Math Course 

  • MATH 106 or other 3-credit approved math or statistics course

Arts and Humanities Courses 

  • HIST 125 or other arts and humanities course 
  • HUMN 100 or other arts and humanities course

Behavioral and Social Sciences Courses 

  • ECON 103 or other behavioral and social sciences course 
  • BEHS 103 or other behavioral and social sciences course

Biological and Physical Sciences Courses 

  • One of the following pairs of lecture and laboratory courses in the same session:
    • BIOL 101 and BIOL 102
    • NSCI 100 and NCSI 101
    • Other paired science lecture and laboratory courses taken in the same session
  • GEOL 100 or other science lecture course

Computing Courses 

  • IFSM 201 or CMST 301 
  • CMIS 111 or another computing course appropriate to the academic major

Since some recommended courses fulfill more than one requirement, substituting courses for those listed may require you to take additional courses to meet degree requirements. Consult an advisor whenever taking advantage of other options. Please also see more information on alternate courses (where allowable) to fulfill general education requirements.

Overall Bachelor's Degree Requirements

In addition to the general education requirements and the major, minor, and elective requirements, the overall requirements listed below apply to all bachelor's degrees.

  • You must complete a minimum of 120 credits
  • You must maintain a minimum grade point average of 2.0 overall and a minimum grade of C for any class applied to the academic major or minor
  • Within the 120 credits required, the following coursework must be taken through UMUC:
    • 30 credits (normally the final 30)
    • Half of the required number of credits within both the major and the minor
    • 15 credits at the upper level (earned in classes numbered 300 to 499), preferably within the major or minor
  • At least 45 credits must be upper level and include
    • At least half of the credits required for the major
    • 3 credits in advanced writing
  • The remaining upper-level credits can be earned in any part of the curriculum
  • At least half the required number of credits for any academic major or minor must be earned through graded coursework. Credit earned by examination, portfolio assessment, or noncollegiate training does not count as graded coursework

Double majors: You can earn a dual major upon completion of all requirements for both majors, including the required minimum number of credits for each major and all related requirements for both majors. The same class cannot be used to fulfill requirements for more than one major. Certain restrictions (including use of credit and acceptable combinations of majors) apply for double majors. You cannot major in two programs with excessive overlap of required coursework. Contact an admissions advisor before selecting a double major.

Second bachelor's degree: To earn a second bachelor's degree, you must complete at least 30 credits through UMUC after completing the first degree. The combined credit in both degrees must add up to at least 150 credits. You must complete all requirements for the major. All prerequisites apply. If any of these requirements were satisfied in the previous degree, the remainder necessary to complete the minimum 30 credits of new classes should be satisfied with classes related to your major. You may not earn a second bachelor's degree in general studies and may not obtain a second associate's degree within the second bachelor's degree. Contact an admissions advisor before pursuing a second bachelor's degree.

Electives: Electives can be taken in any academic discipline. No more than 21 credits can consist of vocational or technical credit. Pass/fail credit, up to a maximum of 18 credits, can be applied toward electives only.

Recommended Minors

Law for Business Minor

Through your coursework, you'll build substantive knowledge and practical skills in select areas of law relevant to business.

Courses in the Minor

A minor in law for business requires the completion of 15 credits of coursework chosen from the following: 

  • BMGT 380
  • BMGT 381
  • COMM 400
  • HRMN 408
  • LGST 200
  • LGST 201
  • LGST 312
  • LGST 325
  • LGST 340

Finance Minor

Through your coursework, you'll learn about the institutions, theory, and practice associated with private-sector financial resource allocation.

Courses in the Minor

A minor in finance requires the completion of 15 credits of coursework. All FINC courses apply. 

It is recommended that you take FINC 330 and FINC 340 as the first courses in the minor (if you have not already applied the courses toward other degree requirements).

Marketing Minor

Through your coursework, you'll learn about marketing fundamentals and the emerging global marketplace.

Courses in the Minor

A minor in marketing requires the completion of 15 credits of coursework. All MRKT courses apply. 

It is recommended that you take MRKT 310 as the first course in the minor (if you have not already applied the course toward other degree requirements).

Political Science Minor

Through your coursework, you'll learn about systems of politics and government, including concepts; theories; policies; and the role of government at local, state, and national levels in domestic and foreign settings.

Courses in the Minor

A minor in political science requires the completion of 15 credits of coursework. All GVPT courses apply. 

It is recommended that you take GVPT 100, GVPT 101, or GVPT 170 as the first course in the minor (if you have not already applied the course toward other degree requirements).

Career Preparation

This program is designed to help prepare you for a range of careers that require a broad understanding of the culture and region in areas such as translation, teaching, journalism, analysis, and nonprofit field work.

Experience Recommended for Success in the Program

This program is ideal for those who live or work in East Asia, know East Asian languages, or regularly interact with people from East Asian countries.