Frequently Asked Questions

Private: Frequently Asked Questions


Other FAQs: ChineseJapanese

  • What do I have to do to major/minor in Asian Studies?

You are not required to meet with an advisor for permission to major in Asian Studies. Declare your major using SIS when you register for your second year classes. Then look up the requirements for majors in the Department of Asian Studies. You can find those requirements on the Vancouver Academic Calendar 2017/18.

  • What majors/minors are available in the Department of Asian Studies?

We have majors and minors in Asian Area Studies and Asian Language and Culture.

  • How many credits do I need to major in Asian Studies?

To major and Asian Studies you need a total of at least 48 credits of course work on Asia of which at least 30 credits must be from courses numbered 300.

Please note, most of our language courses are not eligible for Credit/D/Fail grading although you must verify this information by going through the SIS.

For more information, please refer to the Vancouver Academic Calendar 2017/18.

  • Do courses taken outside of the Department of Asian Studies count toward a major in the Department of Asian Studies?

The answer is yes for Asian Studies majors provided that the courses are cross-listed with Asian Studies. However, the answer is no for language majors. All upper division credits for language majors must be taken in the Department of Asian Studies in order to count toward a language major.

  • How do I declare my major/ minor?

You may declare online through SISC: go to specialization and enter the appropriate 4 digit code.

  • Can I take more than half of my total course work at UBC in courses taught by the Department of Asian Studies?

No. The Arts Faculty requires that at least 60 of the 120 credits required for graduation be taken outside of the department you are majoring in. (That means, for example, that a Chinese language major can’t take an additional 40 credits of Asian Studies courses.)

  • If I don’t like some of the required courses, can I skip those courses and still graduate with a major from the Department of Asian Studies?

No. The courses that are listed for the majors are mandatory.

  • Can I take a language course if I am a native speaker of that language?

Usually, the answer is no. We are not here to give you academic credit for something you already know. However, there may be some advanced courses in the grammar of the language or in reading and translating sophisticated texts which may be open to native speakers.

  • I am a native speaker of one of the languages taught in the Department of Asian Studies. Can I be exempted from the language requirement for a major in Asian Studies?

No. If you want to major in Asian Studies, you will have to learn a second Asian language.

  • Why are some courses in the calendar not available?

In any given year, some of our faculty will be away on sabbatical leave. Others will be on campus but will be too busy with administrative duties to teach all of the courses they normally teach. However, courses in the calendar which are not offered every year are usually offered every other year.

  • What kind of job can I find with a major in Asian Studies?

We do not train you for specific occupations. We train you to think and learn, a skill you will need in whatever job you find yourself in after graduation. Our graduates work in business, education, journalism, government, and a wide variety of other professions. Many of our graduates also go on for further professional training in law, education, or journalism.

  • I don’t know what Chinese (or Japanese) course I should take. What do I do?

Please refer to the Course Description in the Chinese and/or Japanese section(s) and the Registration Guide for both languages.

  • I have Mandarin 12 (or Japanese 12). Does this exempt me from the language requirement for the major in Asian Studies, Chinese and Japanese?

No. It exempts you from the Arts Language requirement, which is different. For our department, you must have 12 credits of one and the same Asian language for the Asian Area Studies. If you have prior background in the language you wish to take, then you simply take those credits at a higher level -they cannot simultaneously satisfy the language pre-requisite and upper level credits.

  • If I am overqualified for 1st, 2nd year language courses, what should I do to make up the credit I wish to major? 

You should take 12 credits of 300 and /or 400 level language courses in one language. Our language majors are not designed for students to major in their native language, however a major in Asian Area Studies is an option.