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Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to questions most commonly asked questions.


Q: What is East Asian Studies?

A: The East Asian Studies Program consists of many disciplines including anthropology, history, sociology, dramatic arts, art history, economics, political science, religious studies, languages, literature, and history with a significant focus on East Asian aspects. The program offers a core background in East Asian history, humanities, social sciences, and languages plus a range of more advanced and specialized courses. Students must take two years of either Chinese or Japanese language study.


Q: What is considered East Asia and which areas can I study?

A: East Asian Studies focuses on two specific tracks: China or Japan. Though the majority of courses specialize on these two countries, there are courses that feature, or even focus, on Korea, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.

Q: Why study East Asia?

A: East Asian Studies majors from UC Davis are well prepared either for careers that involve working with East Asian affairs and people, or for graduate studies in aspects of East Asian language, economy and culture.

With the growing globalization of post-colonial East Asia, the importance of this area has increased to both the world and the United States. Today, East Asia is synonymous with economic growth. For example, China is now achieving double digit industrial growth rates. Japan is the second largest trading partner of the United States, and Korea is the eighth.

In the United States, education about East Asia lags far behind our need for understanding. Not only is there need for greater knowledge of East Asia in our contemporary world, but also for a better acquaintance with her centuries-old traditions. These traditions offer us a fresh perspective on the diversity and genius of human achievements, as well as indispensable keys to an understanding of modern China and Japan.


Q: What career paths are available to me with an EAS degree?

A: East Asian Studies graduates are prepared for employment in government agencies (such as Foreign Service), state agencies, international or non-governmental (such as United Nations), foundations, journalism, teaching, history, cultural exchanges, political science, international law, foreign service, counseling, and companies having an interest in international business, trade, finance. The stringent language requirement of the major program enhances career prospects in jobs that demand knowledge of language and culture of the focus country.


Q: I'm a transfer student. Does my previous coursework count towards my EAS degree?

A: For language courses, you may take the language placement test to either place into a higher level language course or out of the lower division language courses all together. For other upper division courses, please check with the program advisor. You may also check to see if any courses are transferable.

For more information about the language placement test, please click on your respective language that you are studying:




Q: How do I declare multiple majors? Can I double major in East Asian Studies with a Japanese/ Chinese/ International Relations major?

A: Yes. In fact, you can overlap the lower division courses (including the first two years of language study) and up to 7 units of upper division units.

A double major in EAS with either Chinese or Japanese will allow the student to have a more well rounded and diverse approach to his or her area of study outside of language and literature studies.

A double major in EAS with International Relations will allow the student to pursue IR's Track 4: Peoples and Nationalities with an Area Studies Requirement in East/ South Asia. Also, a quarter of education or internship abroad experience can be achieved simultaneously with education abroad programs that fulfill some EAS major requirements. Please refer to the "Study Abroad" tab for more information.

Q: Can I overlap courses for EAS and another major and how many?

A: You can overlap all lower division courses (including the first 2 years of language, i.e. JPN/CHN 1-6) for both majors and up to 7 units of upper division courses. For the minor, only 1 upper division course may overlap.


Q: What is the difference between East Asian Studies and Japanese/ Chinese/ International Relations?


  • EAS vs. International Relations

Since International Relations is one of UC Davis' most competitive majors, you must fulfill basic requirements in economics, geography, history and introductory international relations to be eligible for the program. The undergraduate major in International Relations is an interdisciplinary program focusing on economic, security, environmental and socio-cultural issues affecting the global community. Four tracks of study build a level of expertise in each of these areas.

East Asian Studies is a newer major in which you will gain an understanding of this fascinating region through interdisciplinary studies that combine intensive work in an East Asian language with courses on the history, politics and culture of East Asian countries. The East Asian studies program provides an excellent way to integrate language study of an East Asian country with other aspects of the country--history, literature, anthropology, and so on--allowing the student to focus on his or her particular interests.

THE DIFFERENCE: International Relations has been around longer and is more well known. It will provide the student with a general international studies background, however, if you want to focus exclusively on East Asia, EAS provides a complete educational background for many international careers.

  •  EAS vs. Japanese or Chinese

The majors in Japanese and Chinese concentrate on the study of language and literature. As a Japanese/ Chinese major, you will first build a strong foundation in either language, then cultivate an understanding of the literature and civilization. You will gain perspective and context about Japanese/ Chinese culture from classes in history and anthropology.

With East Asian Studies, you may choose to focus on Chinese or Japanese language and culture, although you will be encouraged to study aspects of the each country's culture. You will begin with core courses in East Asian history, humanities, social sciences and languages. After completing these courses and two years or more of your chosen language, you will choose additional courses focusing on a special field of interest, such as anthropology or history.

THE DIFFERENCE: Japanese and Chinese focus more on the language and literature, whereas EAS has a broader focus which will provide a background suitable for many fields, incorporating courses from political science, economics, history, sociology and anthropology.

 Please refer to the EAS vs. majors comparison chart for more information.

Q: I've taken Japanese/ Chinese previously. Can I be placed in a higher level language course?

A: Yes, you can by taking the language placement test with your respective language. For more information on the language placement test, please click on your respective language that you are studying:




Q: Can I take courses outside of UC Davis?

A: Yes, particularly language courses to help strengthen your language comprehension. To check to see if credits are transferable, please consult with the advisor.


Q: Can I take a different language besides Japanese and Chinese outside of UC Davis?

A: You are free to take another East Asian language, but you must ask the advisor for approval of language to transfer for credit towards the EAS degree.


Q: Can I take some of my courses abroad?

A: Yes, in fact the Education Abroad Center has specific programs that fulfill requirements towards the EAS degree. Please refer to the "Study Abroad" tab.

Q: Are there any research opportunities and how do I got about finding one?

A: Research opportunities exist based on the discretion of professors. To pursue research in East Asian Studies, first investigate faculty members' areas of focus for research that interests you. Read some of their publications, and consult with the professor about his or her research. Ask questions about your own area of interest that coincide with the faculty member's, and discuss your participation in their future research project.

Another opportunity offered is the East Asian Studies Fellowship Award: Faculty members may choose a student to assist them with their research. Each year, the department has several fellowships to give out, and there is no deadline. The research should enhance the student’s undergraduate education. Proposals must be typed and authored by the faculty sponsor, and a grade point average of 3.5 or above is required to apply for the fellowship. Please download application (either as a Word Form, or PDF).

Also for graduate students: EAS Call for Proposals for Small Research Grants

  For more information about research in EAS, please refer to the "Research" tab or talk to the EAS director, Katharine Burnett.

Q: Does East Asian Studies have any events?

A: There are a variety of events and programs that may be of interest to students and faculty alike. Here are the different types of events:

  1. EAS Student Events-- Events coordinated by staff specifically for East Asian Study students for social and academic reasons, including finals week study sessions, film nights, and potlucks.
  2. EAS Program Sponsored Events--Events sponsored by the East Asian Studies Program for participants interested in aspects of East Asia, such as guest speakers, seminars, and information meetings.
  3. Student Organization and Interest Group Events--Events organized and coordinated by student groups on campus, for example, Asian Culture Week, performances, and club meetings.
  4. Campus and University Affiliated Events-- Events provided by UC Davis and campus organizations/programs.
  5. Community and International Events--Events outside of the East Asian Studies program and UC Davis affiliation that are comprised of information pertaining to East Asia, including seminars by scholars, conferences, film festivals, and conventions.

 Please check under the "Events" tab for updated events.


Q: Where are the East Asian Studies Program Coordinators, Peer Advisor, and Program Director located and when are their office hours? How can I contact them outside of their office hours?



Patrick Kinkade
 Program Coordinator
1277 SSH
Summer Office Hours:
Tues-Friday, 7:30 am to Noon and 1:00 to 5:00 pm
(530) 752-3046

Anya Gibson
 Undergraduate Coordinator
2216 SSH
Office Hours:
8:30-11:45 am and 1:00 to 4:30 pm
(530) 752-9241/ (530) 752-0777


Peer Advisor/Student Assistant

This position is currently unfilled.  We will be hiring a student for the upcoming 2013-2014 academic year.  

Please email Patrick - - for more information.

Katharine P. Burnett
Program Director
160 Everson Hall
Office Hours: By appointment.  Please email Prof. Burnett.


Q: Something is wrong or broken on the website! Who do I contact to change it?

A: E-mail  Patrick at





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