A Guide to Majoring and Minoring in Asian Studies



By Sophie Rock, Undergraduate Advisor of the Department of Asian Studies

Interested in declaring a major or minor in Asian Studies and curious where to start? Look no further! Here’s our start-up guide to declaring a program in Asian Studies and figuring out which track is right for you.


In this guide, we answer your questions about:

Are there admission requirements before declaring a major or minor in Asian Studies?

How do I declare my major or minor in Asian Studies?

Which undergraduate programs are available?

What if I have more questions about your programs?


Are there admission requirements before declaring a major or minor in Asian Studies?

There are no specific admissions requirements to join our major and minor programs. Once you’ve completed a minimum of 27 credits (generally after your first year of studies), you’ll be able to declare your major or minor through your Student Service Centre (SSC). From there, simply complete the course requirements before your intended graduation date and

If you’re from a Faculty outside of Arts, you’ll need to discuss with your Faculty advising office to be approved to —there’s oftentimes an application form and degree planning process you’ll need to go through with your Faculty advisor before you can declare a minor in Asian Studies.


How do I declare my major or minor in Asian Studies?

For students in the Faculty of Arts, you’ll need to make sure you’ve completed a minimum of 27 credits in order to be eligible to declare. At that time, you can declare your program through your SSC during the registration period (mid-June to mid-September). If you’re looking to declare your major or minor outside of this timeframe, you’ll need to submit a Program Change Form through Arts Advising.

We recommend declaring your major or minor as soon as you are eligible, as it qualifies you to be considered as part of our Departmental Waitlist Policy. This policy prioritizes the registration of Asian Studies majors and minors to make sure you get into the courses you need for graduation.


Which undergraduate programs are available?

 Asian Studies has two main tracks to follow:

  • Asian Area Studies
  • Asian Language and Culture

Our Asian Area Studies program focuses on taking a comparative approach to Asian cultures with less emphasis on advanced language study. While there is no specialization in one Asian area, students must pursue up to 12 credits in one Asian language offered by our Department.

Our Asian Language and Culture program introduces students to literary, philosophical, and historical works in one Asian area. This program is designed to provide essential introductions for students looking to pursue Asian Studies at the Graduate level. Students will be able to specialize in one specific Asian area. The options include: China, Japan, Korea, and South Asia. Students will need to pursue advanced study in the language of their specialized area, as well as Asian Studies courses related specifically to their Asian area of focus.

Overall, each of our programs include a mix of both language and cultural learning. So, you won’t be missing out by declaring one over the other. However, if you’re looking for a heavier focus on language for your program, you’ll want to go with Asian Language and Culture. If you’re looking for more culture-based and topical learning for your program, Asian Area Studies is your best choice.


What if I have more questions about your programs?

Picking a program in university is a big decision. We’re so happy you’ve decided to consider Asian Studies! As you continue to think about your path forward, our Undergraduate Advisor is ready to chat with you about any questions or concerns you may have. She can be reached at asia.undergrad@ubc.ca or during her office hours on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 1:00pm-3:00pm (Pacific Time) on Zoom. Thank you for taking the time to consider our programs—we’re excited to see you in class!



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