East Asian Studies Major Requirements

The EAST major consists of 13 term courses, including at least 6 term credits in an East Asian language course, and 7 area courses, including the senior essay. Prerequisite to the major is the completion of elementary level II of an East Asian language taught at Yale or the equivalent.


Completion of elementary level II (L2) of an East Asian language taught at Yale or the equivalent


Intermediate level II (L4) of an East Asian language and one year of advanced study (L5) with readings in the language (6 credits) 

All majors, regardless of previous coursework completed, must take 6 credits of language classes.  In some cases, advanced students may choose to start work on a second (or third) East Asian language.


At least one course (but not more than two) with focus on East Asia outside of the country or area of concentration (1 credit)


At least one course which focuses primarily on the pre-modern era of the country or area of concentration (1 credit)

  • China: before 1600
  • Japan: before the mid-19th century
  • Korea: before the mid-19th century

Disciplinary Focus

At least two seminars (but not freshman seminars) on related subjects, ideally about the same region and in the same discipline, which will help students to formulate the senior essay topic (2 or more credits)
DUS approval required.

Additional Courses

Courses focusing on the country or area of concentration in the disciplinary area of concentration (2 or more credits)

Senior Essay

All students must satisfy a senior requirement undertaken during the senior year (1 credit).  Details are available here.

Prior to enrolling in the course in which the senior requirement will be met, students must have completed the two seminars related to their concentration requirement.

A list of courses pre-approved to apply to the East Asian Studies major can be found here

Courses with no explicit focus on East Asia may also apply to the major if the final paper in the course is on East Asia.  Permission of the DUS is required before the course can be applied. Please contact the DUS or Registrar if you have any questions.


Only one course taken Credit/D/Fail may be counted toward the requirements of the major, with the permission of the DUS.

Simultaneous B.A./M.A. Degree in East Asian Studies

While it is possible to pursue a simultaneous B.A./M.A. degree in East Asian Studies, it is a very rigorous process. By pursuing a simultaneous bachelor’s and master’s degrees in East Asian Studies, a student is extending his or her undergraduate program into the graduate level of study.  Study at this level is demanding.  It requires significant preparation before entering the program and a high degree of dedication on the part of students, who must be able to complete advanced courses while meeting the general requirements for graduation from Yale College.