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Schedule your appointment with a staff advisor today! Be sure to select "Economics, History & East Asian Studies"


What is East Asian Studies?

Undergraduate study of East Asia at UC Davis is not concentrated in a single department. The major draws faculty from many disciplines, including anthropology, history, sociology, economics, political science, religion, languages, and literature.

The UC Davis program recognizes that East Asian studies majors often come to the University with little or no background in Asian cultures, and that the career possibilities are exceptionally varied. To meet these two problems, the program offers a background core of basic courses in East Asian history, humanities, social sciences, and languages, plus a wide range of more advanced and specialized courses from which student and advisor tailor an individualized program of study.

Students majoring in other fields, such as literature, economics, history, international relations, even agricultural sciences may find courses in East Asian studies relevant to their particular career goals or academic interests. Also a number of students have undertaken double majors, combining East Asian studies with another area of study. The faculty are as eager to introduce some appreciation of East Asia to future textile engineers, doctors, and agronomists, as they are to train Asian specialists.

Student Learning Objectives for the East Asian Studies Major

Students who earn a B.A. in East Asian Studies (EAS) at UC Davis are expected to be able to:
1.  Communicate in and understand basic Chinese or Japanese, engage in intelligent conversation with vigor and clarity, and comprehend simple texts in such media as newspaper, books, and magazines;
2.  Effectively comprehend and analyze aspects of the civilizations of East Asia as manifested in such areas as its sociopolitical systems, literary/artistic expressions, and sociological and economic trends;
3.  Effectively acquire standard scholarly acumen appropriate to critical analyses in the humanities, social sciences, and languages as they relate to East Asia.  

Assessment of student competence in the East Asian Studies major will be based on the students’ successful completion of all requirements for the EAS major.  Since all courses taken by students are offered by separate academic departments covering a wide range of disciplines, assessment of learning objectives follows established standards practiced at the various department levels.  Linguistic competence in either Chinese or Japanese, depending on the concentration of the student, is guaranteed through vigorous standards established by the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures.  Competence in core courses as well as other electives required for the major is likewise measured against academic standards established by individual host departments.  In addition, any transfer of units from courses taken abroad through such programs as the university’s Education Abroad Program will be carefully scrutinized by the EAS academic advisor before final approval will be given.     

What Can I Do with My Degree?

Career opportunities for graduates of this bachelor's program exist in government departments, the diplomatic service or private corporations with business concerns in Asia. Other opportunities may include: writer, market research specialist, archivist, museum curator, Foreign Service officer, non-profit administrator, foreign student advisor, government agency, politician, historic preservation specialist, professor/educator, community affairs specialist, historic site administrator, import/export specialist, international banker, public policy advisor, international consultant, public relations specialist, international relations advisor, international trade specialist, translator, cultural affairs officer, interpreter, travel consultant, and international conference planner.


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Committee Members


  • Katharine Burnett (Art History) -- Director
  • David Gundry (East Asian Languages & Cultures, Japan)
  • Beverly Bossler (History)
  • Ethan Scheiner (Political Science)
  • Xiao-Ling Shu (Sociology)
  • Li Zhang (Anthropology)
  • Sheldon Lu (Comparative Literature)
  • Kim Kyu-hyun (History)
  • Eddy U (Sociology)



For more information,

Please look over the links below for more information about EAS.

The Major Information

The Minor Information

What is Non-Impacted Major?

Courses Offered

Frequently Asked Questions

East Asian Studies vs. Other Majors Comparison Chart

Related Links

General Catalog

Japanese Major

Chinese Major

International Relations Major

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East Asian Studies' students are given much flexibility in their educational path. Because the major is inter-disciplinary, students are able to tailor their educational needs to their interests. After taking the core courses, in conjunction with two years or more of either Chinese or Japanese language study, the student chooses nine or more additional courses focusing on their special field of interest.

A student considering a business career, for instance, might select a course in the Political Science Department on American-Japanese relations and study international trade and finance in the Economics Department, together with a seminar or individually guided work on the Japanese economy. On the other hand, a major interested in journalism or government service may concentrate on the modern history and politics of both China and Japan, taking courses dealing with modernization, revolution and Marxist theory, and international relations.

East Asian Studies' majors from UC Davis are well prepared for either careers that involve working with East Asian affairs and people or for graduate studies in aspects of East Asian language, economy and culture. Some career choices of recent graduates include journalism, international business, government service, teaching and social services.

Fluency in Chinese or Japanese is an integral part of the major requirement and at least one quarter of study abroad is strongly encouraged for majors to help ensure that they understand a language and culture other than their own.


  • Preparatory Subject Matter 12-42 units
  • Depth Subject Matter 24 units
  • At least 12 additional upper division Elective units
  • Accepted Major languages: Chinese and Japanese only
  • TOTAL UNITS for Major = 48-78

Click here to access the UC Davis course catalog

Note to double majors: At least one, possibly two upper division courses can overlap between majors.

New courses are added periodically. Please check with the Adviser for updates.

PLEASE NOTE:  We are working on significant updates to the East Asian Studies Major.  Please consult with our advising center regarding future potential changes.

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The goal of the minor in East Asian Studies is to provide the student with a broad background in East Asian culture as a whole while allowing the student to focus on a geographical or temporal aspect of East Asia. A language component has been omitted on purpose. While the acquisition of an Asian language is, of course, important to the understanding of a culture, other avenues are available for a student to combine language study with area study.

Courses taken for the minor are expected to reflect a predominant interest in either China or Japan, but also to provide some exposure to the other of the two countries. All courses counting towards the East Asian Studies major, including individual and group study courses (198, 199), may be used to fulfill the requirements for the minor program, as long as they deal predominantly with China, Japan, or both.


  • Two Tracks - China or Japan
  • China track -History 9B and 18 upper division units, of which at least 12 must be in courses focusing on China
  • Japan track - History 9A and 18 upper division units, of which at least 12 must be in courses focusing on Japan.
  • TOTAL UNITS needed for MINOR = 22
  • Only one course can overlap between major and minor.

Click here to access the UC Davis course catalog

New courses are added periodically. Please check with the Advisor for updates.

PLEASE NOTE:  We are working on updates to the East Asian Studies Minor.  Please consult with our advising center regarding future potential changes.

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Courses Offered


EAS Tentative Spring 2015 Course Offerings

Upper Division Depth Subject Courses




52927 HIS 191B: High Imperial China                                                                                        B. Bossler

12:10PM - 1:30PM           T, R        


53050 HIS 191F: History the People’s Republic of China                                                   Q. Javers

10:10AM – 10:50AM       M, W, F


Social Science


21979 ANT 127: Urban Anthropology                                                                                       S. Srinivas

2:10PM – 3:30PM             T, R

3:40PM – 4:00PM             T, R


21980 ANT 134: Buddhism in Global Culture                                                                         A. Klima

5:10PM – 6:30PM             T, R

6:40PM – 7:00PM             T, R


53065 ANT 148A: Cultural and Political Economy in Contemporary China                 L. Zhang

12:10PM – 2:00PM          M, W


53091 ANT 149B A01: Contemporary Japanese Society                                                    J. Shibamoto-Smith

10:30AM - 11:50AM        T, R

3:10PM – 4:00PM             W


53092 ANT 149B A02: Contemporary Japanese Society                                                    J. Shibamoto-Smith

10:30AM – 11:50AM       T, R

4:10PM – 5:00PM             W




52507 CHN 109H: Popular Literature                                                                                        M. Ammirati

12:10PM – 1:30PM          M, W

1:40PM – 2:00PM             M, W


52516 CHN 131: Readings in Traditional Chinese Poetry                                                  M. Yeh

2:10PM – 3:30PM             M, W

3:40PM – 4:00PM             M, W


38698 JPN 103: Japanese Lit in Trans: The Modern Period                                              K. Singleton

10:00AM – 11:20AM       M, W

11:30AM – 11:50AM       M, W


38699 JPN106: Japanese Culture Through Film                                                                    D. Gundry

10:30AM – 11:50AM       T, R

5:10PM – 8:00PM             T


*Courses are tentative and are subject to change. Please refer to the UC Davis Class Schedules when available.

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Minor Checklist

PDF document icon EAS Minor Check Sheet.pdf — PDF document, 82 kB (84522 bytes)

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Major Checklist

Checklist of requirements for East Asian Studies major

PDF document icon EAS MAJOR Check Sheet - FOR STUDENTS.pdf — PDF document, 87 kB (89502 bytes)

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East Asian Studies

1277 Social Sciences and Humanities Bldg. 
University of California, Davis 
One Shields Avenue 
Davis, CA 95616 

(530) 752-3046 phone
(530) 752-5655 fax

February 2014 »