Undergraduate FAQ

The Major / Minor

Major and Minor Requirements

The major in East Asian Studies requires 24 upper-level credits (300-level or above), no more than 9 of which may be in language.

The minor in East Asian Studies requires a minimum of 12 upper-level (300 or above) units, no more than 3 of which may be in language.

Full list of requirements

What majors and minors are offered in the East Asian Studies program?

EAS offers a major and minor in East Asian Studies. Majors and minors in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean are offered through the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures.

What is the main difference between a major in East Asian Studies and a major in Chinese, Japanese or Korean?

The East Asian Studies major requires third year competence in Chinese, Japanese or Korean. It also requires two lower-level civilization courses in two different East Asian cultures, and selection of upper-level courses from more than one cultural area and academic discipline. Which one you choose depends largely on your interests and what you plan to do with your degree after you graduate.

Can I major in East Asian Studies and double major or minor in Chinese or Japanese or Korean or vice versa?

Yes, however, please keep in mind that each major requires 24 units of advanced coursework (300 level or above) that are unique to the major and cannot be "double-counted." The EAS minor requires 12 units upper-level units that may not be double-counted.

How do I declare a major or minor in East Asian Studies?

You may request to declare a major/minor through WebStac. Majors will then be asked to arrange a meeting with Professor Kristina Kleutghen, the EAS undergraduate major/minor advisor. Please bring a hardcopy of your unofficial transcript from WebStac to the meeting. When your request is approved, you will be assigned an appropriate major or minor advisor.

Courses and Advising

Am I required to meet with my assigned advisor?

Majors will need to check in with their advisors at least once a semester, since you must have your advisor’s authorization before preregistering for the following semester’s courses. You should also meet with your advisor whenever you have any questions about fulfilling the requirements for the major or other academic-related issues. Minors do not need their advisor’s authorization for preregistration, but should plan on meeting with their advisors at least once or twice in the course of the academic year. 

May courses taken at Washington University through Summer School or University College count toward the major or minor in EAS?

With the approval of your advisor, Summer School courses may be counted toward the major and minor. However, no more than one University College course may be counted towards the EAS major or minor.

Must I register through the EAS number (L03) to get credit toward my EAS major or minor even if a cross-listed course is home-based in another department?

If a course home-based in another department is cross-listed with EAS, it normally means that it can be used towards your major and minor. We ask you to enroll under the EAS L03 course number to better ensure that all of the courses you intend to count toward your major or minor will be properly credited. If a course you wish to take is not cross-listed with EAS, you will need the approval of your advisor and/or the Director in order to count it towards your major or minor.

Can Independent Studies courses be used to fulfill the EAS major or minor requirements?

No more than 3 units of Independent Study may be applied towards the EAS major. Independent Study courses cannot be applied to the EAS minor.

Language Requirement

May I use two different languages to satisfy my language requirement?

You are encouraged to study more than one language at WashU, but in order to satisfy the requirements for the major/minor, you will need to demonstrate competence in one language through the second-year level. For details on the language requirement, please consult the descriptions of the major and minor.

Can I take language courses Pass/Fail or Credit/No Credit?

Some language courses may permit the P/F grade option.  Please check grade options on WebStac.  However, please note, all courses for the major or minor, including language classes, must be taken for a letter grade. Moreover, a B- minimum is required in order to advance from one level to the next.

Can I audit language courses?

Given the highly interactive and participatory nature of our language instruction, the auditing of our language courses is not allowed.

As a transfer student, do language courses taken at my previous school count toward the language requirement for the EAS major?

Credit for previous language study is awarded only after you have taken our language placement exam and earned at least a B- in the course into which you have placed.

Study Abroad

Is there a study abroad requirement?

There is no study abroad requirement. However, you are strongly encouraged to participate in one of the several Washington University-approved study abroad programs in East Asia, such as the Washington University Program at Fudan University in Shanghai, the Kyoto Consortium for Japanese Studies in Japan and the Seoul National University program in Korea.

Can non-language courses taken abroad count toward the EAS major or minor?

Up to 6 units of non-language courses taken at a Washington University-approved study abroad program may be counted toward the major; 3 units can be counted towards the minor.

Capstone and Senior Symposium

Do I need to satisfy a Capstone requirement for the EAS major?

Yes, prime majors are required to do a Capstone experience. You may fulfill the Capstone requirement by taking an approved 400-level seminar course during your senior year.  EAS majors may use an East Asian 400-level course home-based in another department to satisfy the Capstone requirement.  Writing Intensive courses cannot fulfill the Capstone requirement.

Alternatively, if you have earned an overall GPA of 3.65 or higher you may choose to write a senior’s thesis, which will not only fulfill your Capstone requirement but also qualify you for Latin honors. Note that the 3 units of the 400-level seminar may be included in the 3 required upper-level non-language courses apart from the literature survey. However, the 6 units of Senior Honor’s Thesis research are in addition to the required 24 upper-level units.

All seniors who are prime majors, regardless of whether they are writing a thesis or taking a 400-level seminar, are required to make a brief presentation of their thesis research or their seminar paper/ project at the Senior Symposium held at the end of the spring semester.

Am I required to participate in the Senior Symposium?

All EAS prime majors are required to participate in the Senior Symposium. Second majors are encouraged to attend the Senior Symposium. For Spring 2019 prime majors will prepare a 3-minute presentation and a poster of either the research paper they wrote for their 400-level Capstone course, OR their senior honors thesis. 

What is the Senior Exit Dossier?

All EAS majors, both prime and second, are required to submit a Senior Exit Dossier before graduation. Refer to this page for details.


Have more questions? Please contact Krystel Mowery in the EAS office.

Contact Krystel Mowery