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Undergraduate Programs

The East Asian Languages and Cultures Department offers a full program of instruction in the languages, literatures, and cultures of China, Japan, and Korea.

These areas of East Asia represent three of the oldest continuous civilizations in the world. Japan and mainland China are the world’s largest economies, after the United States. South Korea and Taiwan are key U.S. trading partners. The economic and political relationship between the U.S. and East Asia will be among the most important for the U.S. in the 21st century.

With an EALC B.A. or minor, students can pursue a range of careers in business, government, education, or nonprofit organizations or continue on to graduate study in East Asian languages and literatures. Some students choose an EALC major or minor to connect with their heritages or to fulfill personal interests.

Courses for Non-majors

Courses available to non-language specialists are listed under East Asian Languages and Cultures (EALC) courses».

EALC also offers elementary and intermediate language courses in Tibetan (TIB 101TIB 102TIB 201,TIB 202) and Uyghur (UYGR 101UYGR 102UYGR 201UYGR 202). Tibetan and Uyghur language studies can be used to fulfill the CLAS second language requirement necessary to complete the B.A. degree.

Placement Tests

If you have learned East Asian languages elsewhere, you should take a placement test.  There is no fee for this test, and it may be taken at any time of the year. If you enter with less that the two-year minimum requirement, you may take courses to remedy the deficiency, but they will not count toward the degree. The appropriate Undergraduate Advisor will help decide what courses to take. By graduation, all students must have at least third-year level language proficiency (Chinese 504-508, Japanese 504-508, or Korean 504-508). Students in the Language and Literature concentrations must also take the equivalent of fourth-year language and for student in Chinese, classical Chinese.

More information on placement and proficiency in East Asian languages


Retroactive Credit

Students with no prior college or university Chinese, Japanese, or Korean course credit are eligible for retroactive credit according to this formula:

  • Students with 2 or 3 years of high school study who enroll in second-semester Chinese, Japanese, or Korean (CHIN 108JPN 108, KOR 108) and earn grades of C or higher may receive 2 hours of retroactive credit.
  • Students with 3 or 4 years of high school study who enroll in third-semester Chinese, Japanese, or Korean (CHIN 204JPN 204KOR 204) and earn grades of C or higher may receive 5 hours of retroactive credit.
  • Students with 4 years of high school study who enroll in fourth-semester Chinese, Japanese, or Korean (CHIN 208JPN 208, KOR 208) and earn grades of C or higher may receive 7 hours of retroactive credit.


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