About the Undergraduate Program

The undergraduate curriculum in East Asian Studies enables students to understand the extensive and rich literary, historical, social, and aesthetic traditions of East Asia through the intensive study of an East Asian language and of literary texts in translation and in the original language. Students take a total of four years of courses in the modern language, in which comprehension, speaking, reading, and writing are stressed. Studies of texts take place throughout the curriculum: the first three years students read texts in translation and the fourth year they read in the original language.

The literature-in-translation courses consist of general introductory overviews as well as more specific topics at the intermediate level for those students whose language proficiency is insufficient to cope with difficult literary texts. At the advanced level, course content focuses on reading texts in the original language and rotates among significant literary and cultural topics. In these courses, the curriculum integrates the study of East Asian literatures with theoretical issues that shape the study of world literature in general. In this way, the student gains the dual perspectives of studying East Asian cultures on their own terms as well as recognizing the affinities these civilizations share with the emerging world culture.

The Department offers four undergraduate majors: the B.A. degree program in Chinese Studies (with two emphases: Chinese Language and Literature, and Chinese Culture and Society), the B.A. degree program in Japanese Language and Literature, the B.A. degree program in East Asian Cultures, and the B.A. degree program in Korean Literature and Culture. In addition, minors are offered in Chinese Language and Literature, Japanese Language and Literature, and Korean Literature and Culture.

Planning a Program of Study

The student and the faculty adviser (assigned upon entering the major) should plan a coherent program that both fulfills the requirements of the major and covers the student's areas of interest in allied fields outside East Asian Studies.

Students are placed in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean courses according to their years of previous study. In general, one year of high school language taken in the United States is equated with one quarter of UCI work. Thus students with one, two, three, and four years of high school work will most often enroll in levels 1B, 1C, 2A, and 2B, respectively. Students with background in an Asian language gained through primary or secondary school work taken in Asia must consult with the faculty to determine their proper placement level. Those who have gained substantial knowledge of Chinese, Japanese, or Korean either through secondary school work or through college-level language courses may not repeat those courses for credit. Prospective majors who place out of the upper-division language requirement are expected to substitute an equivalent number of other courses to be selected in consultation with their advisor.

The faculty encourages students to study abroad, either through the University's Education Abroad Program or independently, after completing at least two years of study (or its equivalent) of the relevant language at UCI.

Education Abroad Program

The Education Abroad Program (EAP) of the University of California offers students the opportunity to experience a different culture while making progress toward degree objectives. EAP is an overseas study program which operates in cooperation with about 150 host universities and colleges in 35 countries throughout the world. There are two new shorter programs (a fall program at ICU in contemporary Japanese culture and a summer program at Yonsei in Korean studies) that students may find appealing.

Students interested in EAP are advised to plan early in their academic career in order to best match studying abroad with their major to graduate on time. Interested students should visit the EAP website to review the program options and visit the CIE website or go to the CIE office for advising and to obtain an application. Click here for UCI EAP deadlines.

Enrolling in Courses

The UCI Registrar has everything you need to register for classes. The link will take you directly to their WebReg section which is where you may enroll in courses.

Undergraduate Counseling

From time to time, you will need to keep track of how many of your requirements you have done and other administrative chores. The people at Humanities Undergraduate Counseling are there for all of your school counseling needs.