Asian Studies

From literature to management, Asian Studies is an integrative program designed to prepare our students for work beyond the classroom.

Students laughing in class

Are you ready for the global marketplace?

Our students are bright, compassionate and curious about the politics, society and language of this constantly developing region.

At Simmons, we encourage you to study abroad and apply your substantial knowledge to your career. Our faculty are experts in the field, motivating you to customize this program to fit your passions.

With a keen understanding of the past and present of Asia, our students find meaningful work through internships, graduate programs, employment abroad and service within and to the Asian American community.

Students must take five courses from the EAS curriculum, including at least one of either HIST 201, HIST 202, or HIST 206. No more than three courses can be taken in any one department.

The number of credits transferred from study abroad or other institutions and applied to the major shall not exceed 16 (four courses).

EAS Curriculum

(20 semester hours)

  • ART 252 Arts of China and Japan
  • CHIN 214 Topics in Contemporary Chinese Cinema
  • CHIN 202 Intermediate Chinese II
  • CHIN 245 Advanced Intermediate Chinese I
  • CHIN 246 Advanced Intermediate Chinese II
  • CHIN 250 Masterpieces of Traditional Chinese Literature
  • CHIN 260 Chinese Calligraphy: Alternate Body Building
  • CHIN 310 Chinese Civilization: Past and Present
  • EAS 216: Asian American Cinema
  • ECON 222 Comparative Economies of East Asia
  • HIST 201 The Dynamics of Japanese History
  • HIST 202 Asia to the 18th Century
  • HIST 203 History of East Asian and U.S. Foreign Relations
  • HIST 204 Japanese Culture: Gender, Family, and Society
  • HIST 206 The Rise of Modern China
  • HIST 207 Gender, Family, and Society in Modern China
  • HIST 362 Seminar: Reforms and Revolutions in Asia
  • HIST 364 Seminar: The Rape of Nanjing
  • HONS 208 Art of Dissent
  • HONS 211 Balance, Harmony, and Happiness: A New Look at Classical China
  • JAPN 202 Intermediate Japanese II
  • JAPN 245 Composition and Conversation
  • JAPN 310 Japanese Civilization
  • JAPN 320 Newspaper Kanji and Translation
  • JAPN 325 Japanese Fables and Onomatopoeia
  • PHIL 133 Asian Philosophy
  • PHIL 390 Seminar on Buddhism
  • POLS 225 International Politics of East Asia
  • POLS 245M Global and Civil Society in South East Asia
  • SOCI 267 Globalization

Language Courses
(16 semester hours)

Students are required to study a single East Asian language offered at Simmons for four consecutive semesters. Courses taken to fulfill this part of the requirement, therefore, cannot also count among the four electives from the EAS curriculum. Students who enter the Program with at least an intermediate knowledge of an Asian language may satisfy the requirement by completing four semesters of continued study of either the same or another Asian language once correct placement has been determined. Alternatively, in special cases pending the Director's approval, the student may complete four additional courses from the EAS curriculum. Students who enter Simmons with an understanding of an Asian language below the intermediate level can satisfy the language requirement by study that would raise their competence to that of advanced intermediate in addition to either further language courses or those from the EAS curriculum.

Capstone Cross-Cultural Experience
(8 semester hours)

This requirement consists of two phases:

1. Study abroad, community-based or independent learning.

To encourage cross-cultural experience, students complete 4 semester hours through either study abroad or community-based learning within an Asian American community. Students should have adequate language preparation and a significant portion of coursework completed before undertaking this experience. Thus, most students will satisfy this requirement during the junior or senior year. The precise timing will be decided in consultation with the student's adviser. Alternatively, the student may undertake an independent study with an EAS faculty member that would culminate in a research paper on a topic of the student's own design.

2. Integrative Seminar.

Integrative Seminar. Successful completion of either HIST 364 or HIST 362 is mandatory for all students in the major. In this seminar, the student will produce either a research paper or some form of creative work associated with a special interest. The nature and scope of the project will be collaboratively determined with the seminar instructor and/or their adviser.


Honors in Asian Studies requires a minimum GPA of 3.67 for EAS courses in addition to a grade of A or A- for the senior term-paper; i.e., the paper produced as part of the course work for either EAS 390 or 350.

A minor in Asian Studies consists of five courses from the EAS curriculum. No more than three courses may be taken in any one department.

Many of our students tailor their studies to their interests and career goals by adding minors or double majoring. Students interested in dual-degree programs, double majors or self designed majors can consult with department faculty to design an individualized program.

A minor in Asian Studies is also available. A minor consists of five courses from the EAS curriculum. No more than three courses may be taken in any one department.

We encourage students to study abroad and learn modern language skills to broaden their understanding of world cultures. Interested students are able to undertake independent research projects of their own design in their junior or senior year.

So you know that Simmons is a great place to be, you've learned about our programs, maybe even come for a you're ready to apply! Let's get started.

Our Faculty

Denise Horn

Denise M. Horn

  • Interim Associate Dean and Associate Professor, Department of Political Science and International Relations and Department of Women's and Gender Studies