University of Washington

Office of Academic Services

Thomson Hall Room 111

Bachelor of Arts Degree-Asian Studies
China Option


Program Description

The China option of the International Studies: Asian Studies major provides a broad understanding of the Chinese people and their culture, historical development, and contemporary problems. The curriculum emphasizes the attainment of facility in Chinese language, a grounding in history, and a familiarity with the approaches of the social sciences to Chinese studies. The breadth of offerings allows students to select courses to meet career goals in business, government, teaching, or other professions.

Three historians focus on the pre-modern, late imperial, and modern eras of Chinese history, providing background and perspective for all students of China. Political Science courses are provided by two specialists examining contemporary Chinese domestic and foreign policy, and U.S. China relations. Two sociologists provide courses on China's population and social organization. The University of Washington is the leading center for the study of China's minority peoples, with two anthropologists providing a wide range of course work on contemporary Chinese society. Two geographers examine allocational, migration, and environmental issues. A wide range of courses on Chinese literature, poetry, and language are offered by leading specialists in the departments of Asian Languages and Literature and Comparative Literature. An economist with extensive experience working in China explains the strengths and weaknesses of China's economic reforms. It is also possible for advanced undergraduates to take courses on Chinese law in the law school, or graduate seminars in other fields (depending on the permission of the instructor).

Students move through carefully structured programs which provide essential Chinese language training. The first two years stress the aural/oral approach (in conjunction with work in the language laboratory). Third- and fourth year students devote more attention to reading Chinese language materials. Native speakers of the language conduct drill sessions.
-Madeleine Dong
Chair, China Studies


Admission to Major - open major

Any undergraduate in good standing may declare Asian Studies (China option) as a major.

Major Requirements


30 credits or equivalent Chinese language training is a minimum requirement; additional Chinese language instruction is encouraged.


  • Introductory courses:

  1. JSIS 203, The Rise of Asia (5) or JSIS A 207, Asian Civilizations: Traditions (5);

  2. JSIS 201, The Making of the 21st Century (5);

  3. HSTAS 211, History of Chinese Civilization (5)

  4. A second Asian civilization course chosen from:JSIS A/HSTAS 212 (Korea), JSIS A/HSTAS 241 (Japan), JSIS A 242 (Japan), HSTAS 201 (India), 202 (India), JSIS A 206 (South Asia), or JSIS A/HSTAS 221 (Southeast Asia) (5)

  1. JSIS A/HSTAS 454, History of Modern China (5),

  2. one course on pre-modern China (5), and

  3. one course on Chinese arts and literature (5).

  4. Specialization (10 credits) in one of the three fields of modern China, pre-modern China, and Chinese arts and literature.

  • Asian Research Paper: In addition, an approved research paper is required in one of the upper-division courses on China.

  • A minimum grade of 2.0 in all courses counted toward the major is required, except for first- and second-year Chinese language courses, where grades must average at least 2.00. The "paper course" and 30 of the 35 credits required for the China concentration courses, including JSIS A/HSTAS 454, must be taken in residence at the University of Washington.
  • Overlapping credits: A maximum of 15 credits that are used to fulfill minimum requirements of any other UW major can be counted in this major.

Lists of courses approved for the concentration are available in the Jackson School Office of Student Services in Thomson 111 and by following this link.

Minor Requirements


30 credits, to include the following:

  1. HSTAS 211 and

  2. JSIS C 202 or one additional introductory Asian civilization course chosen from JSIS A 207 (Asian Traditions), JSIS 203 (Rise of Asia),
    JSIS A/HSTAS 212 (Korea), JSIS A/HSTAS 241, JSIS A 242 (Japan),
    JSIS A/HSTAS 221 (Southeast Asia), HSTAS 201, JSIS A/HSTAS 202, JSIS A 206 (South Asia), 10 credits

  3. 10 credits of electives taken at the UW, chosen from the China history/social science electives list

  4. 5 credits of electives taken at the UW, chosen from the China history/social science list or the China arts/literature electives list

  5. 5 additional credits in Chinese language beyond second-year level, or in upper-division transfer courses on China, or in additional electives chosen from the China history/social science electives list

  6. Minimum grade of 2.0 required in each course applied toward the minor.


Visit the East Asia Library Home Page
Visit the China Studies Home Page of the East Asia Library


Revised 9/3/2014

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African Studies Program
University of Washington
326 Thomson Hall
Box 353650
Seattle, WA 98195

Joel Ngugi / Chair
Associate Professor, School of Law

Mary Kay Gugerty/Adjunct Director
Associate Professor, Evans School of Public Affairs

Erin Murphy/Program Assistant
Autumn Quarter Office Hours: Tues/Thurs 9-12, or by appt.
206.616.0998 office
206.685.0668 fax

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