Frequently Asked Questions

Declaring as an East Asian Studies Major

Do I need to apply to be an East Asian Studies Major?

There is no written application for the Major. However, you may not declare yourself to be an East Asian Studies Major without consulting the Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS). All East Asian Studies Majors must have their schedules signed by the DUS, and double majors need to have the DUS in both programs sign their petition to have two majors.

Please note that you must declare your major no later than the start of your junior year by signing in to Student Information Systems (SIS) and following the steps in “Declare a Major/Degree” under the Academic Information Menu.  At that time, the DUS of the East Asian Studies Major, or his or her designee, becomes your faculty adviser and the person who signs your course schedules in your junior and senior years.  Please note that double majors are required to show their course schedules to the DUS of East Asian Studies each term.

How do I declare East Asian Studies as my major?

You must declare your major no later than the start of your junior year by signing in to Student Information Systems (SIS) and following the steps in “Declare a Major/Degree” under the Academic Information Menu.  At that time, the DUS of the East Asian Studies Major, or his or her designee, becomes your faculty adviser and the person who signs your course schedules in your junior and senior years.  Please note that double majors are required to show their course schedules to the DUS of East Asian Studies each term.

How can I double major in East Asian Studies?

If you plan to complete the requirements of two majors, you must speak to your Residential College Dean and you must petition to be allowed to complete two majors. This petition requires the approval and the signature of the DUS in each major. It is not possible to declare a second major online. Please note that double majors are required to show their course schedules to the DUS of East Asian Studies each term.

Are all East Asian Studies majors double majors?

No, but many are. Because of the major’s interdisciplinary nature, many students find it helpful to have a second major that provides a disciplinary focus for their work on East Asia. Common combinations are East Asian Studies and Economics, History of Art, Political Science, Sociology, and International Studies. Other combinations are also possible.  If you elect two majors, you should keep in mind that you will have to write a separate senior essay or complete a separate senior project for each major.

As a double major, can I submit one senior essay/project or combine two senior essays/projects into a larger senior essay/project to meet the requirements for both of my majors?

No, if you elect two majors then please keep in mind that you will have to write a separate senior essay or complete a separate senior project for each major.

Study Abroad

Can I take a year or term abroad?

Absolutely. The Council on East Asian Studies encourages students to spend some length of time (from a summer to a full year) studying in the country or area of concentration. This kind of exposure to language and culture will undoubtedly enrich your college experience and your understanding of East Asia. There are a number of study abroad programs and funding sources that the Council can recommend for study abroad.

Can I get credit toward the major for my summer language course in East Asia?

Undergraduate students can only apply ONE study abroad program towards the Yale College requirement for graduation (36 credits).  This can be 2 credits (from approved summer programs); 4 credits (from approved term programs); or 9 credits (from approved academic year programs).

TWO credits from summer language study in an approved Light Fellowship program may be transferred and count toward the Yale College requirement and the East Asian Studies Major requirement. The paperwork for this transfer must be signed by the DUS of East Asian Languages & Literatures. The form to request this transfer is available at your Residential College Dean’s Office.

TWO additional credits from another summer language study in a Light Fellowship approved program can be transferred only for the purpose of the major. These credits are not included in the Yale College requirement for graduation (36 credits). The form to transfer language credits toward the major is available at your Residential College Dean’s office. It must be signed by the DUS of the East Asian Studies Major and returned to your Residential College Dean.

Can I get credit toward the major for my term or year abroad?

Undergraduate students can only apply ONE study abroad program towards the Yale College requirement for graduation (36 credits).  This can be 2 credits (from approved summer programs); 4 credits (from approved term programs); or 9 credits (from approved academic year programs).  Course credits (four for a term abroad and up to nine credits for year abroad) may be transferred and counted toward the Yale College requirement for graduation (36 credits).

Language credits count toward the major. Once these credits are transferred, however, summer language credits earned earlier can no longer be counted toward Yale College requirement, though they can still be counted toward the major.

Credits for non-language courses may be counted toward the East Asian Studies Major with the approval of the DUS. Once you return to the Yale campus, the syllabi and the final paper for these courses must first be reviewed and approved by an East Asian Studies faculty member at Yale to be counted toward the East Asian Studies Major. In some cases a faculty member may approve the transfer under the condition that additional work is completed.

Miscellaneous

Can I get credit toward the major for credits earned during my leave of absence?

Only two credits may be transferred from a study abroad program while the student is on leave of absence (even in cases where the student is on a Light Fellowship).

How “pre-modern” does a course need to be to satisfy the pre-modern requirement?

This requirement reads “at least one term course that deals primarily with the pre-modern era of the country or area of concentration.” Many courses will specify in their titles if they are modern or pre-modern; if they do not, ask the instructor. In general, however, pre-modern is defined as before 1600 for China and before the mid-19th century for Japan and Korea.

Can a language course fulfill the country or area of concentration requirement?

This requirement aims to give students a chance to study another East Asian country within the same disciplinary framework in which they study their country of concentration. If you have taken a lot of Chinese history, the Council encourages you to take a course in Japanese, Korean, or East Asian history; if you have studied Japanese politics, the Council encourages you to study a bit of Korean or Chinese, or East Asian politics. While it is conceivable that a language course at the advanced level might fulfill this requirement, please consult with the DUS before you try to use it for credit.