Apr 12, 2024  
Course Catalog 2023-2024 
Course Catalog 2023-2024 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

East Asian Studies Major

The major consists of a minimum of 9 full courses. Many students are required to complete 10–12 full courses in order to satisfy the language proficiency requirement.

Students must earn minimum grades of C- or P for all courses that apply toward the major.

arrow View the catalog page for the East Asian studies program.  

This interdisciplinary major program combines language study with coursework in various disciplines.

Students choose courses to count toward the major according to one of the following programs of study:

  • East Asian regional studies
  • China or Japan (Chinese or Japanese studies)
  • a discipline (e.g., history, religion)
  • Chinese or Japanese language, literature, and film
    • Students who choose this option must complete two semesters of 400-level language courses and must take a minimum of four non-language courses, including at least two literature-in-translation and/or film courses.
  • Korean studies
    • This concentration may be completed through coursework at Oberlin and study abroad at an approved institution.

Note(s) on Requirements

  • As part of the elective course requirement, students must complete two non-language courses that do not focus exclusively on their country of interest (regional courses count toward this requirement).
  • Students may apply a maximum of two 400-level language courses toward the elective course requirement.

Transfer of Credit Toward the Major

The transfer of credit is not automatic. Students wishing to apply transfer credit to the major should be advised that a minimum of 6 full courses must be completed at Oberlin, including at least one year of language study and the capstone project.

Course of Study

Since language study is an integral part of the East Asian studies major, interested students are strongly advised to begin language study in their first or second year at Oberlin. This is especially true of students who hope to spend time studying abroad.

Honors in East Asian Studies

Admission to the Honors Program in East Asian Studies will be by invitation of the program faculty at the end of the second semester of the junior year. Students interested in being considered for honors are encouraged to indicate their interest and discuss the details of the program with any member of the program faculty early in their junior year. By May 1 of the junior year, the candidate will submit a tentative written proposal and bibliography. Students admitted to honors will present a progress report at mid-year to the faculty. The final written project will be submitted in May of the senior year, when the oral examination will be scheduled. Both the thesis and the oral examination will figure in the awarding of honors.

Detailed Major Requirements

Language Requirement

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  • Students who wish to study the Chinese or the Japanese language must complete
    • a minimum of two semesters at Oberlin College and
    • CHIN 302  / JAPN 302  or the proficiency equivalent.
  • Students who wish to study the Korean language must complete
    • the equivalent of three or four semesters at an approved institution.

Students who enter the program with previous language training or exposure are still required to take a minimum of two full language courses to complete the major. Students with native or near-native proficiency in Chinese, Japanese, or Korean language must study another East Asian language to fulfill the requirements of the major.

East Asian Studies Major Course Lists

East Asian Studies Major Elective Courses

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  • Students must complete two non-language courses that do not focus exclusively on their country of interest (regional courses count toward this requirement).
  • Students may apply a maximum of two 400-level language courses toward this requirement.
East Asian Studies Courses

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Capstone Requirement

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The capstone project is an opportunity to bring to bear on a focused intellectual project the various elements of one’s East Asian studies training.

Normally completed in the senior year, the capstone project may be done in one of three ways:

  • as a research project in addition to or more substantial than the regular assignments in a scheduled upper-level colloquium or seminar taught by an EAS faculty member;
  • as a project in a 400-level Chinese or Japanese language course; or
  • as a Winter Term project overseen by an EAS faculty member.

In all cases, students need to consult individually and early in the term with the EAS faculty member. There is a separate form of registration for the capstone project. Students who study away should complete the capstone in residence at Oberlin. Successful completion of honors fulfills the capstone project requirement.