2016-17 Pomona College Catalog 
    Dec 08, 2021  
2016-17 Pomona College Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG] Use the dropdown above to select the current 2020-21 catalog.

Asian Studies Major

Requirements for the Major in Asian Studies

The Asian Studies Major requires the student to select both an area emphasis (e.g., a country— China, Japan, Korea, India, etc.—or region—East, Southeast or South Asia) and a disciplinary emphasis (e.g., art history, economics, history, literature, politics, religious studies, theatre). All courses must be taken for a letter grade to count toward the Asian Studies Major.

Ten courses are required, including Asian Studies ASIA190 PO - Senior Thesis Seminar  and either ASIA191 PO - Senior Thesis , or ASIA192 PO - Senior Essay in Asian Studies , distributed as follows.

  1. Six courses must be on Asia or have substantive content on Asia. At least one course must be from each of the following groups: (a) art/music/theatre/dance; (b) advanced language/literature; (c) philosophy/religion; and (d) social sciences (anthropology, economics, history, politics, sociology). Three of these courses must be in the selected country or region.
  2. Two additional courses must be in both the selected geographical area (country or region) and the chosen discipline. At least one of these courses must be a seminar or a discussion-based class other than the Senior Thesis.
  3. The Senior Seminar (ASIA 190 PO ) must be taken in the fall of the senior year, and either the senior thesis (ASIA 191 PO ) or senior essay (ASIA 192 PO ) in the following semester. Majors will do their senior exercise work in their respective disciplines or multidisciplinary fields and on their chosen country or region. They will complete a literature review in the fall and either a senior thesis or senior essay in the spring.

In the second semester, students will decide, in consultation with their readers, on one of two paths for the second semester:

  1. a senior thesis (ASIA 191 PO )
  2. a senior essay (ASIA 192 PO  )

Students who write a senior thesis will be eligible for departmental honors at graduation—typically an “A” thesis earns the writer “distinction”.


In addition, at least two years (or equivalent) study of Chinese, Japanese or Korean is required of students emphasizing East Asia, China, Japan or Korea; others are encouraged to study the relevant Asian language when such courses are appropriate and available to their overall plan.

A period of residence in China, Japan or another Asian country is normally required. A semester of study abroad should normally follow the fourth semester (or equivalent) of language instruction in an Asian language.

Asian studies majors are asked to submit a proposed program of study to the Asian studies coordinator no later than the fall semester of their junior year.

In conjunction with the Gender & Women’s Studies Program, a joint major in gender & women’s studies (GWS)/Asian studies is offered that allows students to develop a gender studies perspective in the Asian context. See the Gender and Women’s Studies Program  for details.