Bronze relief of a dragon and fowl.

Certificate in East Asian Studies

The undergraduate certificate in East Asian studies is offered by the Center for East Asian Studies (CEAS) and is available to students working toward a baccalaureate degree in any of the University of Wisconsin–Madison schools and colleges, and to University Special students. This certificate meets the needs of students choosing to focus on the East Asian region (China, Korea, Japan, and Tibet) within their primary major, but not wishing to commit to the rigorous language study required by the relevant majors in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures.

Students select coursework reflecting their interests from myriad classes offered through many university departments, and can work toward a variety of undergraduate majors. Upon earning the certificate, this emphasis is noted on the student's transcript. The certificate is of value to students wishing to demonstrate their knowledge of the East Asian region either to potential employers or to graduate schools.

About CEAS

CEAS began in 1962 as the East Asian Studies program, building on more than sixty years of research and teaching on China, Japan, and Korea at the UW-Madison. Over the years it has grown from fewer than a dozen faculty members teaching thirty graduate-level courses to more than seventy faculty members teaching nearly three hundred courses at both undergraduate and graduate levels.

CEAS is the focal point connecting East Asia to the University of Wisconsin-Madison. One of the UW-Madison’s eight federally funded National Resource Centers, CEAS is dedicated to all aspects of research, education and outreach related to China, Japan, and Korea.

Students interested in more specialized study of the languages and literatures of East Asia, South Asia, or Southeast Asia should see the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures, the Center for South Asia, or the Center for Southeast Asian Studies; those interested in study of languages and cultures of Central Asia should see the Center for Russian, East European, and Central Asian Studies. All questions pertaining to East Asian studies at UW–Madison should be addressed to the Center for East Asian Studies (see box at right).

Students interested in declaring the East Asian Studies certificate should contact the advisor for the program.

Students declared in the Asian Languages and Cultures: East Asian Studies BA/BS/MAJ are not eligible to declare the East Asian Studies certificate.


Requirements for the Certificate

Complete 21 credits representing at least three SUBJECTs, from: 1

Core Course
HISTORY/​ASIAN/​POLI SCI  255 Introduction to East Asian Civilizations3-4
At least three courses numbered 300 or above:9
The International Agricultural Economy
Economic Problems of Developing Areas
Introduction to the Anthropology of Japan
Survey of Asian Art
From Tomb to Temple: Ancient Chinese Art and Religion in Transition
The Tastes of Scholars and Emperors: Chinese Art in the Later Periods
Arts of Japan
Later Japanese Painting and Woodblock Prints
Japanese Ceramics and Allied Arts
Art and Religious Practice in Medieval Japan
Proseminar in Japanese Art
Proseminar in Chinese Art
First Semester Chinese
Second Semester Chinese
First Semester Japanese
Second Semester Japanese
First Semester Korean
Second Semester Korean
Elementary Chinese I
Elementary Chinese II
First Semester Elementary Japanese
Second Semester Elementary Japanese
First Semester Modern Tibetan
Second Semester Modern Tibetan
Third Semester Chinese
Fourth Semester Chinese
Third Semester Japanese
Fourth Semester Japanese
Third Semester Korean
Fourth Semester Korean
Heritage Chinese I
Heritage Chinese II
Third Semester Modern Tibetan
Fourth Semester Modern Tibetan
Fifth Semester Chinese
Sixth Semester Chinese
Fifth Semester Japanese
Sixth Semester Japanese
Fifth Semester Korean
Sixth Semester Korean
First Semester Classical Chinese
Second Semester Classical Chinese
Classical Japanese
First Semester Classical Chinese for Chinese Speakers
Second Semester Classical Chinese for Chinese Speakers
Fifth Semester Tibetan
Sixth Semester Tibetan
Japanese Conversation
Business Japanese Communication
Chinese Conversation
Business Chinese
Business Korean
Seventh Semester Chinese
Eighth Semester Chinese
Seventh Semester Japanese
Seventh Semester Korean
Eighth Semester Korean
Advanced Readings in Japanese
Advanced Japanese through Audio-Visual Media
Advanced Chinese through Media
Advanced Chinese: Reading and Writing
Advanced Readings in Tibetan
Introduction to East Asian History: China
Introduction to East Asian History: Japan
Introduction to East Asian History - Korea
Asia Enchanted: Ghosts, Gods, and Monsters
Japanese Popular Culture
Asian Religions in Global Perspective
Tibetan Cultures and Traditions
Kendo: Integration of Martial Arts and Liberal Arts
Social Studies Topics in East Asian Studies
A Survey of Tibetan Buddhism
Introduction to Buddhism
Introduction to Comics and Graphic Novels: Theory, History, Method
The Koreas: Korean War to the 21st Century
Social and Intellectual History of China, 589 AD-1919
History of Modern China, 1800-1949
History of the Peoples Republic of China, 1949 to the Present
Introduction to Taoism
Survey of Classical Chinese Literature
Survey of Modern Chinese Literature
Lovers, Warriors and Monks: Survey of Japanese Literature
Early Modern Japanese Literature
Modern Japanese Literature
Japanese Ghost Stories
Language in Japanese Society
Love and Politics: The Tale of Genji
China and World War II in Asia
Topics in Chinese Literature
Topics in Chinese: Study Abroad
Topics in Japanese: Study Abroad
Survey of Chinese Film
Cities of Asia
Introduction to Chinese Linguistics
Topics in East Asian Visual Cultures
Introduction to Japanese Linguistics
Samurai: History and Image
Pearl Harbor & Hiroshima: Japan, the US & The Crisis in Asia
Readings in Early Modern Japanese Literature
Readings in Modern Japanese Literature
Readings in Classical Chinese Literature
Readings in Classical Japanese Literature
History of the Chinese Language
Studies in Chinese Linguistics
Chinese Applied Linguistics
History of Chinese Literature I
History of Chinese Literature II
Studies in Chinese Fiction
Contemporary Economic Issues
Economic Problems of Developing Areas
Introduction to East Asian History: China
Introduction to East Asian History: Japan
Introduction to East Asian History - Korea
East Asia & The U.S. Since 1899
The Koreas: Korean War to the 21st Century
Chinese Economic and Business History: From Silk to iPhones
Social and Intellectual History of China, 589 AD-1919
Cultural History of Korea
History of Modern China, 1800-1949
History of the Peoples Republic of China, 1949 to the Present
China and World War II in Asia
Samurai: History and Image
Pearl Harbor & Hiroshima: Japan, the US & The Crisis in Asia
Survey of Chinese Literature in Translation
Survey of Chinese Literature in Translation
Survey of Japanese Literature in Translation
Survey of Japanese Literature in Translation
Modern Japanese Fiction
Topics in Japanese Literature
Topics in Korean Literature
Introduction to Music Cultures of the World
Musical Cultures of the World
Chinese Politics
Politics of East and Southeast Asia
China in World Politics
Contemporary Chinese Society
Fundamentals of Asian Stage Discipline
The Theatres of China and Japan
Electives - take any course above to attain 21 credits in the certificate9
Total Credits21

Residence and Quality of Work

  • Minimum 2.000 GPA on all certificate courses
  • At least 11 certificate credits must be completed in residence



A maximum 12 credits of East Asian language may apply.

Undergraduate/Special Student Certificates

This certificate is intended to be completed in the context of an undergraduate degree and for those seeking this certificate that is preferred. For students who have substantially completed this certificate at UW–Madison and may need one or two courses to complete the certificate, they may do so immediately after completion of the bachelor’s degree by enrolling in the course as a University Special (nondegree) student. The certificate must be completed within a year of completion of the bachelor’s degree. Students should keep in mind that University Special students have the last registration priority and that may limit availability of desired courses. Financial aid is not available when enrolled as a University Special student to complete an undergraduate certificate. 

  1. (Historical Grounding) understanding the historical, political, and cultural forces and conditions that have given rise to the unity and diversity in the region today.
  2. (Multi-disciplinarity) analyzing contemporary political, economic, and cultural realities in the region from at least two disciplinary perspectives, ideally including humanities, social sciences and sometimes natural science approaches.
  3. (Depth of Knowledge) mastering at the undergraduate generalist level a particular facet of life in the region by taking courses on a particular sub-region or country, or by studying a regional language, or by taking at least two courses on the region in one discipline.

Students should contact the CEAS advisor (see contact information in box on right), with questions regarding courses and requirements for the certificate.

Students are encouraged to seek the assistance of SuccessWorks at the College of Letters & Science early in their academic career. Take advantage of all the services offered such as mock interviews, resume and cover letter review sessions, career preparation workshops, and so on.

Students interested in international internships should contact the International Internships Program office. 


SuccessWorks at the College of Letters & Science helps students leverage the academic skills learned in their major, certificates, and liberal arts degree; explore and try out different career paths; participate in internships; prepare for the job search and/or graduate school applications; and network with professionals in the field (alumni and employers). In short, SuccessWorks helps students in the College of Letters & Science discover themselves, find opportunities, and develop the skills they need for success after graduation.

SuccessWorks can also assist students in career advising, résumé and cover letter writing, networking opportunities, and interview skills, as well as course offerings for undergraduates to begin their career exploration early in their undergraduate career. 

Students should set up their profiles in Handshake to take care of everything they need to explore career events, manage their campus interviews, and apply to jobs and internships from 200,000+ employers around the country.

Learn how we’re transforming career preparation: L&S Career Initiative

Please visit our website to learn more about our CEAS faculty and staff: 
Steering Committee

As a regional center within the Institute for Regional and International Studies, we support and enhance international and global awareness in our student communities and inspire informed thinking about the complexities of our world. We encourage our students to connect to international networks and our regional communities through our program’s lecture series, film screenings, and varied outreach events and activities. We encourage our students to study abroad, do international internships, learn foreign languages, and expect them to gain an interdisciplinary grounding in global and regional affairs. We provide resources and expertise on our world area to students, and prospective students, and more broadly to K–12 teachers and students, postsecondary educators and graduate students, businesses, the media, the military, the community at large, and anyone else who is interested.

Please visit our Funding Opportunities page for information on funding available to CEAS students.

Please join the CEAS mailing list to receive “This Week at CEAS,” a weekly newsletter that contains information on events and opportunities related to East Asia.