Students interested in more specialized study of the languages and literature 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).

Certificate in East Asian Studies

The undergraduate certificate in East Asian studies is available to students working toward a baccalaureate degree in any of the University of Wisconsin–Madison schools and colleges, and to 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.

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

Requirements for the Certificate

21 credits representing at least three SUBJECTs, from: 1,2

E A STDS/​ASIAN/​HISTORY/​POLI SCI  255 Introduction to East Asian Civilizations (unless specific exception (per approval of the center director) is given)3-4
At least three courses at 300 level or above:9
The International Agricultural Economy
Economic Problems of Developing Areas
Topics in Ethnology
Introduction to the Anthropology of Japan
Survey of Asian Art
Chinese Painting
Arts of Japan
Topics in Asian Art
Japanese Ceramics and Allied Arts
Proseminar in Japanese Art
Proseminar in Chinese Art
Japanese Popular Culture
Modern Japanese Literature
Humanities Topics in East Asian Studies
Social Studies Topics in East Asian Studies
Senior Thesis
Senior Thesis
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
Third Semester Chinese
Fourth Semester Chinese
Third Semester Japanese
Fourth Semester Japanese
Third Semester Korean
Fourth Semester Korean
Kendo: Integration of Martial Arts and Liberal Arts
Fifth Semester Chinese
Sixth Semester Chinese
Fifth Semester Japanese
Sixth Semester Japanese
A Survey of Tibetan Buddhism
Introduction to Buddhism
First Semester Classical Chinese
Second Semester Classical Chinese
Classical Japanese
Basic Technical Japanese II
Japanese Conversation
Chinese Conversation
Introduction to Taoism
Survey of Classical Chinese Literature
Survey of Modern Chinese Literature
Lovers, Warriors and Monks: Survey of Japanese Literature
Introduction to Confucianism
Topics in Chinese Literature
Intermediate Technical Japanese I
Intermediate Technical Japanese II
Seventh Semester Chinese
Eighth Semester Chinese
Seventh Semester Japanese
Eighth Semester Japanese
Seventh Semester Korean
Eighth Semester Korean
Chinese Linguistics I
Chinese Linguistics II
Topics in East Asian Visual Cultures
Introduction to Japanese Linguistics
Fifth-year Chinese
Readings in Modern Japanese Literature
Readings in Classical Japanese Literature
History of the Chinese Language
History of Chinese Literature
Studies in Chinese Fiction
Advanced Readings in Tibetan
Contemporary Economic Issues
Economic Problems of Developing Areas
Human Geography of Southeast Asia
Introduction to East Asian History: China
Introduction to East Asian History: Japan
Introduction to East Asian History - Korea
Historical Studies
Chinese Economic and Business History: From Silk to iPhones
History of Modern China, 1800-1949
History of the Peoples Republic of China, 1949 to the Present
Samurai: History and Image
Pearl Harbor & Hiroshima: Japan, the US & The Crisis in Asia
Mass Communication in Developing Nations
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
Classical Japanese Prose in Translation
Topics in Japanese Literature
Topics in Korean Literature
Introduction to Music Cultures of the World
Musical Cultures of the World
China in World Politics
Politics of Revolution
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 Credits21-22

Residence and Quality of Work

  • 2.000 GPA on all certificate-approved courses
  • 11 credits in the certificate must be taken in residence

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 (at least 12 credits) 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.

Study of an East Asian language is strongly encouraged, but not required. Courses in elementary Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Tibetan are available, providing an introduction to the fundamentals of the languages, without necessarily requiring additional advanced language coursework.

Students should meet with the advisor for the certificate (Mike Cullinane, in 207 Ingraham Hall for more assistance.

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.

Information about funding through the Center for East Asian Studies is available from our website. We also encourage our students to explore funding options available through the Institute for Regional and International Studies (IRIS) Awards Office.