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 60 years of research and teaching on China, Japan, and Korea at UW-Madison. Over the years it has grown from fewer than a dozen faculty members teaching 30 graduate-level courses to more than 70 faculty members teaching nearly 300 courses at both undergraduate and graduate levels.

CEAS is the focal point connecting East Asia to the University of Wisconsin-Madison. One of 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).

How to Get in

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.



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

Core Course
HISTORY/​ASIAN/​POLI SCI  255 Introduction to East Asian Civilizations3-4
Additional Certificate Requirements
Complete at least three courses numbered 300 or above from the Certificate Courses list9
Complete 9 credits of additional electives from the Certificate Courses list9
Total Credits21



A maximum 12 credits of East Asian language may apply.

Certificate Courses

A A E 319 The International Agricultural Economy3
A A E/​ECON  474 Economic Problems of Developing Areas3
ANTHRO 357 Introduction to the Anthropology of Japan3-4
ART HIST 203 Survey of Asian Art3-4
ART HIST 307 From Tomb to Temple: Ancient Chinese Art and Religion in Transition3
ART HIST 308 The Tastes of Scholars and Emperors: Chinese Art in the Later Periods3
ART HIST 475 Japanese Ceramics and Allied Arts3
ART HIST/​RELIG ST  478 Art and Religious Practice in Medieval Japan3
ART HIST 575 Proseminar in Japanese Art3
ART HIST 576 Proseminar in Chinese Art3
ASIALANG 101 First Semester Chinese4
ASIALANG 102 Second Semester Chinese4
ASIALANG 103 First Semester Japanese4
ASIALANG 104 Second Semester Japanese4
ASIALANG 105 First Semester Korean4
ASIALANG 106 Second Semester Korean4
ASIALANG 110 Elementary Chinese I2
ASIALANG 111 Elementary Chinese II2
ASIALANG 113 First Semester Elementary Japanese2
ASIALANG 114 Second Semester Elementary Japanese2
ASIALANG 135 First Semester Modern Tibetan4
ASIALANG 136 Second Semester Modern Tibetan4
ASIALANG 201 Third Semester Chinese4
ASIALANG 202 Fourth Semester Chinese4
ASIALANG 203 Third Semester Japanese4
ASIALANG 204 Fourth Semester Japanese4
ASIALANG 205 Third Semester Korean4
ASIALANG 206 Fourth Semester Korean4
ASIALANG 211 Heritage Chinese I3
ASIALANG 212 Heritage Chinese II3
ASIALANG 235 Third Semester Modern Tibetan4
ASIALANG 236 Fourth Semester Modern Tibetan4
ASIALANG 301 Fifth Semester Chinese4
ASIALANG 302 Sixth Semester Chinese4
ASIALANG 303 Fifth Semester Japanese4
ASIALANG 304 Sixth Semester Japanese4
ASIALANG 305 Fifth Semester Korean3
ASIALANG 306 Sixth Semester Korean3
ASIALANG 311 First Semester Classical Chinese3
ASIALANG 312 Second Semester Classical Chinese3
ASIALANG 313 Classical Japanese3
ASIALANG 315 First Semester Classical Chinese for Chinese Speakers3
ASIALANG 316 Second Semester Classical Chinese for Chinese Speakers3
ASIALANG 335 Fifth Semester Tibetan4
ASIALANG 336 Sixth Semester Tibetan4
ASIALANG 376 Japanese Conversation3
ASIALANG 377 Business Japanese Communication3
ASIALANG 378 Chinese Conversation3
ASIALANG 379 Business Chinese3
ASIALANG 381 Business Korean3
ASIALANG 401 Seventh Semester Chinese3
ASIALANG 402 Eighth Semester Chinese3
ASIALANG 403 Seventh Semester Japanese3
ASIALANG 405 Seventh Semester Korean3
ASIALANG 406 Eighth Semester Korean3
ASIALANG 451 Advanced Readings in Japanese3
ASIALANG 452 Advanced Japanese through Audio-Visual Media3
ASIALANG 454 Advanced Chinese through Media3
ASIALANG 457 Advanced Chinese: Reading and Writing3
ASIALANG 677 Advanced Readings in Tibetan3
ASIAN/​HISTORY  103 Introduction to East Asian History: China3-4
ASIAN/​HISTORY  104 Introduction to East Asian History: Japan3-4
ASIAN/​HISTORY  108 Introduction to East Asian History - Korea3-4
ASIAN/​RELIG ST  236 Asia Enchanted: Ghosts, Gods, and Monsters3
ASIAN 253 Japanese Popular Culture3
ASIAN/​HISTORY/​RELIG ST  267 Asian Religions in Global Perspective3-4
ASIAN 268 Tibetan Cultures and Traditions3
ASIAN 277 Kendo: Integration of Martial Arts and Liberal Arts2
ASIAN 301 Social Studies Topics in East Asian Studies1-3
ASIAN/​RELIG ST  307 A Survey of Tibetan Buddhism3
ASIAN/​HISTORY/​RELIG ST  308 Introduction to Buddhism3-4
ASIAN 310 Introduction to Comics and Graphic Novels: Theory, History, Method3
ASIAN/​HISTORY  335 The Koreas: Korean War to the 21st Century3-4
ASIAN/​HISTORY  337 Social and Intellectual History of China, 589 AD-19193-4
ASIAN/​HISTORY  341 History of Modern China, 1800-19493-4
ASIAN/​HISTORY  342 History of the Peoples Republic of China, 1949 to the Present3-4
ASIAN/​RELIG ST  350 Introduction to Taoism3-4
ASIAN 351 Survey of Classical Chinese Literature3
ASIAN 352 Survey of Modern Chinese Literature3
ASIAN 353 Lovers, Warriors and Monks: Survey of Japanese Literature3
ASIAN 354 Early Modern Japanese Literature3
ASIAN 355 Modern Japanese Literature3
ASIAN 357 Japanese Ghost Stories3
ASIAN 358 Language in Japanese Society3
ASIAN 361 Love and Politics: The Tale of Genji3
ASIAN/​HISTORY  363 China and World War II in Asia3-4
ASIAN 367 Haiku3
ASIAN 371 Topics in Chinese Literature2-3
ASIAN 372 Topics in Chinese: Study Abroad1-6
ASIAN 373 Topics in Japanese: Study Abroad1-6
ASIAN 375 Survey of Chinese Film3
ASIAN 376 Manga3
ASIAN/​ART HIST  379 Cities of Asia3
ASIAN 378 Anime3
ASIAN 432 Introduction to Chinese Linguistics3
ASIAN 433 Topics in East Asian Visual Cultures3
ASIAN 434 Introduction to Japanese Linguistics3
ASIAN/​HISTORY  454 Samurai: History and Image3-4
ASIAN/​HISTORY  456 Pearl Harbor & Hiroshima: Japan, the US & The Crisis in Asia3-4
ASIAN 533 Readings in Early Modern Japanese Literature3
ASIAN 563 Readings in Modern Japanese Literature3
ASIAN 571 Readings in Classical Chinese Literature1-3
ASIAN 573 Readings in Classical Japanese Literature3
ASIAN 631 History of the Chinese Language3
ASIAN 632 Studies in Chinese Linguistics3
ASIAN 633 Chinese Applied Linguistics3
ASIAN 641 History of Chinese Literature I3
ASIAN 642 History of Chinese Literature II3
ASIAN 672 Studies in Chinese Fiction3
ECON 390 Contemporary Economic Issues3
HISTORY/​INTL ST  332 East Asia & The U.S. Since 18993-4
HISTORY 336 Chinese Economic and Business History: From Silk to iPhones3-4
HISTORY 340 Cultural History of Korea3-4
LITTRANS 261 Survey of Chinese Literature in Translation3
LITTRANS 262 Survey of Chinese Literature in Translation3
LITTRANS 263 Survey of Japanese Literature in Translation3
LITTRANS 264 Survey of Japanese Literature in Translation3
LITTRANS 368 Modern Japanese Fiction3
LITTRANS 373 Topics in Japanese Literature3
LITTRANS 374 Topics in Korean Literature3
MUSIC/​FOLKLORE  103 Introduction to Music Cultures of the World3
MUSIC/​FOLKLORE  402 Musical Cultures of the World3
POLI SCI 324 Chinese Politics3-4
POLI SCI 328 Politics of East and Southeast Asia3-4
POLI SCI 346 China in World Politics3-4
SOC 225 Contemporary Chinese Society3
THEATRE 351 Fundamentals of Asian Stage Discipline3
THEATRE 526 The Theatres of China and Japan3

Residence and Quality of Work

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

Learning Outcomes

  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.

Advising and Careers

Students should contact the CEAS advisor (see contact information in the box on the 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 careers. 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. 

L&S Career Resources

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

Wisconsin Experience

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.

Resources and Scholarships

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.