Asian Studies: China

University of California, Berkeley

About the Program

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Note: The Asian Studies Major and all of the associated minors have been retired and folded into Global Studies.  We are no longer accepting Asian Studies declarations.  Please visit the Global Studies website or the Global Studies page on the Berkeley Academic Guide for more information. 

The Undergraduate Group Major in Asian Studies is a rigorous but flexible interdisciplinary program designed to help students take advantage of the rich course offerings in the Asian field campuswide in a way that is not available through individual departments. Utilizing the faculty and facilities of the entire university, these degree programs cut across conventional disciplinary lines and emphasize a basic core of knowledge concerning one particular geographic area of Asia. Within this core, which requires coursework in multiple departments and reading knowledge of at least one Asian language, regionally-oriented students have the freedom to plan an individual program according to their particular interests and approaches. No two programs are alike, and students work closely with the student affairs office and with a faculty mentor in designing their customized academic plan.

A number of Asian Studies majors are double majors, finding the focus on Asia useful for complementing the political science, economics, anthropology, or history of art majors, for example.

The Asian Studies: China major program (denoted Area 2) is one of three major programs offered by the Group in Asian Studies.

Declaring the Major

All required courses must be taken for a letter grade. After fulfilling the prerequisite courses listed on the Major Requirements tab, students will need to see the Area Studies adviser at the International and Area Studies program office at 101 Stephens Hall. The staff adviser has the necessary paperwork needed to declare the major and put together an academic plan.

Honors Program

The honors thesis program provides an opportunity for eligible Asian Studies undergraduate seniors to complete original and independent research under the mentorship of a faculty thesis adviser. The honors thesis program is a year-long program which may begin in either the fall or spring semester of the senior year. It consists of the completion of ASIANST H195A and ASIANST H195B (3 units each, 6 units total), which includes the writing of the honors thesis. These can count towards two of the five concentration courses required for the major. These courses are independent study courses; there is no instruction or class time involved. All the work for the thesis and these two courses is done independently in consultation with faculty advisers. The honors thesis is expected to be a substantial research paper, both in its length and originality. Although there is no specific length requirement, a typical undergraduate honors thesis contains 40-80 pages of text, a bibliography, and often illustrations and tables. Each thesis is reviewed by two faculty members of your choice. To get a sense of what has been done in the past, visit our website for a list of theses, or visit the major adviser in 101 Stephens for bound copies of theses.

Eligibility requirements for the honors program:

  1. Overall UC grade point average (GPA) must be 3.5 or higher at the time of application and when beginning the thesis.
  2. Major GPA must be 3.6 or higher at the time of application and when beginning the thesis.
  3. Students must complete the language requirement, the theories and methods course, and both the lower division and upper division history requirements, before embarking on the honors thesis.
  4. A completed honors thesis application form and a well-designed research proposal that has the sponsorship of two faculty members must be submitted to the major adviser.
  5. No incompletes on record at the time of application and when beginning the thesis. All incomplete grades must be resolved before a student can submit the honors thesis form.

Recommended application timeline for the honors program: 

February of junior year (fall/spring thesis), or September of junior year (spring/fall thesis): prepare a brief thesis proposal and meet with prospective thesis adviser(s). Get the consent of a faculty member to serve as your sponsor. Discuss the project, appropriate methodology and research methods, and preparation of sample bibliography with the faculty sponsor.

April of junior year (fall/spring); November of junior year (spring/fall): the thesis application form, signed by both the faculty adviser and second reader, due to the undergraduate major adviser in 101 Stephens Hall.

Minor Program

The group offers a minor in Chinese Studies.

Other Majors and Minors offered by the Group in Asian Studies

Visit Group Website

Major Requirements

In addition to the University, campus, and college requirements, listed on the College Requirements tab, students must fulfill the below requirements specific to their major program.

Repeat Rule

Students who earn a grade of F, D-, D, D+, or NP may repeat the course only once. Regardless of the grade the student receives for their second attempt (including F, D-, D, or D+), the student may not repeat the course a third time.

General Guidelines

  1. All courses taken to fulfill the major requirements below must be taken for graded credit, other than courses listed which are offered on a Pass/No Pass basis only. Other exceptions to this requirement are noted as applicable.
  2. No more than one upper division course may be used to simultaneously fulfill requirements for a student's major and minor programs, with the exception of minors offered outside of the College of Letters & Science.
  3. A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 must be maintained in both upper and lower division courses used to fulfill the major requirements.

For information regarding residence requirements and unit requirements, please see the College Requirements tab.

Major Requirements

  1. Lower Division Prerequisites (two courses): ASIANST 10 (Introduction to Asia) and history course (see list below for course options)
  2. Language Requirement: two years of Mandarin Chinese or equivalent. Students can take the placement exam (for students who want to take more language courses at UCB) or the proficiency exam (for students who want to waive the language requirement) offered by the East Asian Languages and Cultures Department.
  3. Upper Division Requirements (total of eight courses as outlined below):
  • Disciplinary Focus: two courses from the same discipline/department.  The first course must be a theories and methods course whose primary focus is to introduce the theories and methods of the chosen discipline.  The second course, taken in the same department, must focus on China.  In the case that the department does not offer a China course, other courses on Asia from the same department may be substituted. Note: students who want to take an interdisciplinary theories and methods course can take IAS 102 or ISF 100A or ISF 100B. The course must be paired with an ASIANST 150 topics course.
  • History: one upper division course must be a course in Asian history appropriate to the student's concentration.
  • Concentration: three upper division courses focusing on China (50% or more of the course must be on China). Advanced language study classes, such as the Chinese 100 series or Chinese literature courses, can be counted towards the three upper division courses on China. Students completing the honors program can apply ASIANST H195A and ASIANST H195B towards the upper division requirements.
  • Outside of Area: select one upper division course focusing on an area outside of China (courses on Japan, Korea, Taiwan, countries of Southeast Asia or South Asia).
  • Regional: select one upper division course that focuses on Asia as a region (situates your country of focus in a larger regional context). Regional courses deal with more than one country.

Prerequisite courses 

ASIANST 10Course Not Available
In addition to ASIANST 10, select one of the following history courses:
HISTORY 6Course Not Available4
HISTORY 6AHistory of China: Origins to the Mongol Conquest4
HISTORY 6BIntroduction to Chinese History from the Mongols to Mao4
HISTORY 11India4
HISTORY 14Introduction to the History of Japan4
KOREAN 7AIntroduction to Premodern Korean Literature and Culture4
KOREAN 7BIntroduction to Modern Korean Literature and Culture4
SEASIAN 10AIntroduction to the Civilization of Southeast Asia4
SEASIAN 10BIntroduction to the Civilization of Southeast Asia4
SASIAN 1AIntroduction to the Civilization of Early India4
SASIAN 1BIntroduction to the Civilization of Medieval and Modern India4

Language Courses

Students must complete four semesters of Chinese (end of intermediate level) by taking courses from this list or students can take the placement or proficiency exams offered by the East Asian Languages and Cultures Department.

CHINESE 1Intensive Elementary Chinese (Language courses )10
CHINESE 1AElementary Chinese5
CHINESE 1BElementary Chinese5
CHINESE 1XElementary Chinese for Mandarin Speakers4
CHINESE 1YElementary Chinese for Dialect Speakers5
CHINESE 10Intensive Intermediate Chinese10
CHINESE 10AIntermediate Chinese5
CHINESE 10BIntermediate Chinese5
CHINESE 10XIntermediate Chinese for Mandarin Speakers4
CHINESE 10YIntermediate Chinese for Dialect Speakers5

Theories and Methods Courses

Use this list to find courses that satisfy the theories and methods requirement. Note: students who want to take an interdisciplinary theories and methods course can take IAS 102 or ISF 100A or ISF 100B.

ANTHRO 114History of Anthropological Thought4
ANTHRO 141Comparative Society4
ANTHRO 169BResearch Theory and Methods in Socio-Cultural Anthropology5
ECON 100AEconomic Analysis--Micro4
ECON 100BEconomic Analysis--Macro4
ECON 101AEconomic Theory--Micro4
ECON 101BEconomic Theory--Macro4
FILM 100History of Film Theory4
HISTART 100Theories and Methods of Art History4
IAS 102Scope and Methods of Research in International and Area Studies4
ISF 100BInterdisciplinary Theories of the Self and Identity4
ISF 100AIntroduction to Social Theory and Cultural Analysis4
LINGUIS 100Introduction to Linguistic Science4
LINGUIS 140Field Methods3
PHILOS 100Philosophical Methods4
POL SCI 112AHistory of Political Theory4
POL SCI 112BHistory of Political Theory4
POL SCI 112CHistory of Political Theory4
POLECON 101Contemporary Theories of Political Economy4
SOCIOL 101Sociological Theory I5
SOCIOL 102Sociological Theory II5
SOCIOL 105Research Design and Sociological Methods5

History Courses

Use this list to find courses that satisfy the upper division history requirement.

HISTORY 100FSpecial Topics in Asian History4
HISTORY 103FProseminar: Problems in Interpretation in the Several Fields of History: Asia4
HISTORY 116AChina: Early China4
HISTORY 116BChina: Two Golden Ages: China During the Tang and Song Dynasties4
HISTORY 116CChina: Modern China4
HISTORY 116DChina: Twentieth-Century China4
HISTORY 116GImperial China and the World4
HISTORY 117ATopics in Chinese History: Chinese Popular Culture4
HISTORY 117DTopics in Chinese History: The Chinese Body: Gender and Sex, Health, and Medicine4

Asia-focused Courses

Use this list to find courses that satisfy the concentration, outside of area, regional elective, and second disciplinary focus course requirements. This is essentially a list of all Asia-related courses currently offered on campus. Note that this is not an exhaustive list. If you think a course could count, discuss your suggestion with a major adviser.

ANTHRO C125AArchaeology of East Asia4
ANTHRO C125BArchaeology and Japanese Identities4
ANTHRO 170China4
ANTHRO 171Japan4
ANTHRO 184South Asia4
ASIANST 150Course Not Available
ASAMST 138Topics in Asian Popular Culture4
BUDDSTD 114Tibetan Buddhism4
BUDDSTD C114Tibetan Buddhism4
BUDDSTD C115Japanese Buddhism4
BUDDSTD C116Buddhism in China4
BUDDSTD C120Buddhism on the Silk Road4
BUDDSTD C126Buddhism and the Environment4
BUDDSTD 128Buddhism in Contemporary Society4
BUDDSTD C128Buddhism in Contemporary Society4
BUDDSTD C130Zen Buddhism4
BUDDSTD C132Pure Land Buddhism4
BUDDSTD C135Tantric Traditions of Asia4
BUDDSTD C140Readings in Chinese Buddhist Texts4
BUDDSTD C141Introductory Readings in Japanese Buddhist Texts4
BUDDSTD 154Death, Dreams, and Visions in Tibetan Buddhism4
BUDDSTD C154Death, Dreams, and Visions in Tibetan Buddhism4
BUDDSTD 190Topics in the Study of Buddhism4
CHINESE 100AAdvanced Chinese5
CHINESE 100XAAdvanced Chinese for Mandarin Speakers4
CHINESE 100BAdvanced Chinese5
CHINESE 100XBAdvanced Chinese for Mandarin Speakers4
CHINESE 100YAAdvanced Chinese for Dialect Speakers5
CHINESE 100YBAdvanced Chinese for Dialect Speakers5
CHINESE 101Fourth-Year Chinese Readings: Literature4
CHINESE 102Fourth-Year Chinese Readings: Social Sciences and History4
CHINESE 110Introduction to Literary Chinese8
CHINESE 110AIntroduction to Literary Chinese4
CHINESE 110BIntroduction to Literary Chinese4
CHINESE 111Fifth-Year Readings: Reading and Analysis of Advanced Chinese Texts4
CHINESE 112Fifth-Year Readings: Chinese for Research and Professional Use4
CHINESE C116Buddhism in China4
CHINESE 120Ancient Chinese Prose4
CHINESE 122Ancient Chinese Poetry4
CHINESE 130Topics in Daoism4
CHINESE 134Readings in Classical Chinese Poetry4
CHINESE 136Readings in Medieval Prose4
CHINESE C140Readings in Chinese Buddhist Texts4
CHINESE 153Reading Taiwan4
CHINESE 155Readings in Vernacular Chinese Literature4
CHINESE 156Modern Chinese Literature4
CHINESE 157Contemporary Chinese Literature4
CHINESE 158Reading Chinese Cities4
CHINESE 159Cities and the Country4
CHINESE 161Structure of the Chinese Language4
CHINESE 165History of the Chinese Language4
CHINESE 172Contemporary Chinese Language Cinema4
CHINESE 176Bad Emperors: Fantasies of Sovereignty and Transgression in the Chinese Tradition4
CHINESE 178Traditional Chinese Drama4
CHINESE 179Exploring Premodern Chinese Novels4
CHINESE 180The Story of the Stone4
CHINESE C184Course Not Available
CHINESE 186Confucius and His Interpreters4
CHINESE 187Literature and Media Culture in Taiwan4
CHINESE 188Popular Media in Modern China4
CHINESE 189Chinese Landscapes: Space, Place, and Travel4
CY PLAN 115Urbanization in Developing Countries4
EA LANG 101Catastrophe, Memory, and Narrative: Comparative Responses to Atrocity in the Twentieth Century4
EA LANG 105Dynamics of Romantic Core Values in East Asian Premodern Literature and Contemporary Film4
EA LANG 106Expressing the Ineffable in China and Beyond: The Making of Meaning in Poetic Writing4
EA LANG 107War, Empire, and Literature in East Asia4
EA LANG 108Revising the Classics: Chinese and Greek Poetry in Translation4
EA LANG 109History of the Culture of Tea in China and Japan4
EA LANG 110Bio-Ethical Issues in East Asian Thought4
EA LANG 112The East Asian Sixties4
EA LANG 118Sex and Gender in Premodern Chinese Culture4
EA LANG C120Buddhism on the Silk Road4
EA LANG C126Buddhism and the Environment4
EA LANG C128Buddhism in Contemporary Society4
EA LANG C130Zen Buddhism4
EA LANG C132Pure Land Buddhism4
EA LANG C135Tantric Traditions of Asia4
EA LANG C175Archaeology of East Asia4
EA LANG 180East Asian Film: Directors and their Contexts4
EA LANG 181East Asian Film: Special Topics in Genre4
EA LANG 191Tools and Methods in the Study of East Asian Philosophy and Religion4
ECON 162The Chinese Economy3
ECON C171Development Economics4
ECON C181International Trade4
FILM 140Course Not Available4
FILM 160National Cinema (when on China or Japan)4
GEOG 164Global China3
GEOG 175Undergraduate Seminars (when on Asia)4
HISTORY 100Course Not Available (when on China)
HISTORY 103FProseminar: Problems in Interpretation in the Several Fields of History: Asia4
HISTORY 111ATopics in the History of Southeast Asia: Southeast Asia to the 18th Century4
HISTORY 111BTopics in the History of Southeast Asia: Modern Southeast Asia4
HISTORY 111CTopics in the History of Southeast Asia: Political and Cultural History of Vietnam4
HISTORY 111DVietnam at War4
HISTORY 113ACourse Not Available4
HISTORY 113BModern Korean History4
HISTORY 114APolitics, Culture, and Philosophy in South Asia before Modernity4
HISTORY 114BIndia: Modern South Asia4
HISTORY 116AChina: Early China4
HISTORY 116BChina: Two Golden Ages: China During the Tang and Song Dynasties4
HISTORY 116CChina: Modern China4
HISTORY 116DChina: Twentieth-Century China4
HISTORY 116GImperial China and the World4
HISTORY 117ATopics in Chinese History: Chinese Popular Culture4
HISTORY 117DTopics in Chinese History: The Chinese Body: Gender and Sex, Health, and Medicine4
HISTORY 118AJapan: Japan, Archaeological Period to 18004
HISTORY 118BJapan: Japan 1800-19004
HISTORY 118CJapan: Empire and Alienation: The 20th Century in Japan4
HISTORY 119ATopics in Japanese History: Postwar Japan4
HISTORY N119ACourse Not Available4
HISTART 130AEarly Chinese Art, Part I4
HISTART 131ASacred Arts in China4
HISTART 131BThe Classical Painting Tradition in China4
HISTART 131CArt and Propaganda in Modern China4
HISTART 134ATopics in Buddhist Art and Architecture: Buddhist Temple Art & Architecture in Japan4
HISTART 134BTopics in Buddhist Art and Architecture: Buddhist Icons in Japan4
HISTART 134CTopics in Buddhist Art and Architecture: Buddhist Art in the Modern/Contemporary World4
HISTART 136ASouth Asian Art: Ancient4
HISTART 136BSouth Asian Art: Early Modern4
HISTART 136CThe Art of India: 1350 A.D. to the Present4
HISTART 137The Art of Southeast Asia4
HISTART 190ASpecial Topics in Fields of Art History: Asian4
HISTART 192AUndergraduate Seminar: Problems in Research and Interpretation: Asian4
IAS 150Advanced Studies in International and Area Studies4
JAPAN 100Intensive Advanced Japanese10
JAPAN 100AAdvanced Japanese5
JAPAN 100BAdvanced Japanese5
JAPAN 100SJapanese for Sinologists4
JAPAN 100XAdvanced Japanese for Heritage Learners5
JAPAN 101Fourth-Year Readings: Social Sciences4
JAPAN 102Fourth-Year Readings: Japanese Culture4
JAPAN 103Fourth-Year Readings: Japanese Literature4
JAPAN 104Fourth-Year Readings: Japanese History4
JAPAN 111Fifth-Year Readings: Reading and Analysis of Advanced Japanese Texts4
JAPAN 112Fifth-Year Readings: Japanese for Research and Professional Use4
JAPAN C115Japanese Buddhism4
JAPAN 116Introduction to the Religions of Japan4
JAPAN 120Introduction to Classical Japanese4
JAPAN 130Classical Japanese Poetry4
JAPAN 132Premodern Japanese Diary (Nikki) Literature4
JAPAN 140Heian Prose4
JAPAN C141Introductory Readings in Japanese Buddhist Texts4
JAPAN 144Edo Literature4
JAPAN 146Japanese Historical Documents4
JAPAN 155Modern Japanese Literature4
JAPAN 159Contemporary Japanese Literature4
JAPAN 160Introduction to Japanese Linguistics: Grammar4
JAPAN 161Introduction to Japanese Linguistics: Usage4
JAPAN 163Translation: Theory and Practice4
JAPAN 170Classical Japanese Literature in Translation4
JAPAN 173Modern Japanese Literature in Translation4
JAPAN C176Archaeology and Japanese Identities4
JAPAN 177Urami: Rancor and Revenge in Japanese Literature4
JAPAN 180Ghosts and the Modern Literary Imagination4
JAPAN 181Reframing Disasters: Fukushima, Before and After4
JAPAN 185Introduction to Japanese Cinema4
JAPAN 188Japanese Visual Culture: Introduction to Anime4
JAPAN 189Topics in Japanese Film4
KOREAN 100AAdvanced Korean5
KOREAN 100AXAdvanced Korean for Heritage Speakers4
KOREAN 100BAdvanced Korean5
KOREAN 100BXAdvanced Korean for Heritage Speakers4
KOREAN 101Fourth-Year Readings: Korean Literature4
KOREAN 102Fourth-Year Readings: Korean Social Sciences and History4
KOREAN 111Fifth-Year Readings: Reading and Analysis of Advanced Korean Texts4
KOREAN 112Fifth-Year Readings: Korean for Research and Professional Use4
KOREAN 130Genre and Occasion in Traditional Poetry4
KOREAN 140Narrating Persons and Objects in Traditional Korean Prose4
KOREAN 150Modern Korean Poetry4
KOREAN 153Readings in Modern Korean Literature4
KOREAN 155Modern Korean Fiction4
KOREAN 157Contemporary Korean Literature4
KOREAN 170Intercultural Encounters in Korean Literature4
KOREAN 172Gender and Korean Literature4
KOREAN 174Modern Korean Fiction in Translation4
KOREAN 180Critical Approaches to Modern Korean Literature4
KOREAN 185Picturing Korea4
KOREAN 186Introduction to Korean Cinema4
KOREAN 187History and Memory in Korean Cinema4
KOREAN 188Cold War Culture in Korea: Literature and Film4
KOREAN 189Korean Film Authors4
LEGALST 161Law in Chinese Society4
LEGALST 190Seminar on Topics in Law and Society1-4
MUSIC 133CMusic and Theater in Southeast Asia4
MUSIC 133DMusic of Central Java4
MUSIC 134ACourse Not Available
MUSIC 134BCourse Not Available
MUSIC C134CCourse Not Available4
MUSIC 140Javanese Gamelan2
MUSIC N140Course Not Available2
MUSIC 146BBalinese Gamelan2
NE STUD 126Silk Road Art and Archaeology3
PACS 135Special Topics in Regional Conflict3
POLECON 150Advanced Study in Political Economy of Industrial Societies4
POL SCI 128Chinese Foreign Policy4
POL SCI 128AChinese Foreign Policy4
POL SCI 138EThe Varieties of Capitalism: Political Economic Systems of the World4
POL SCI 143ANortheast Asian Politics4
POL SCI 143BJapanese Politics4
POL SCI 143CChinese Politics4
POL SCI 143TChinese Politics and Society4
POL SCI 144American Foreign Policy Toward Asia4
POL SCI 144BPolitics of Divided Korea4
POL SCI 145ASouth Asian Politics4
POL SCI 145BSouth Asian Politics4
POL SCI W145AUnderstanding Political Developments in India4
POL SCI 191Junior Seminar4
PSYCH 107Buddhist Psychology3
SEASIAN 128Introduction to Modern Indonesian and Malaysian Literature in Translation4
SEASIAN 129Mainland Southeast Asian Literature4
SEASIAN 130Articulations of the Female in Indonesia4
SEASIAN 137Islam and Society in Southeast Asia4
SEASIAN 138Southeast Asian Cultures, Texts, and Politics4
SEASIAN C164The Indonesian Connection: Dutch Literature About the Indies in English Translation4
S ASIAN C114Course Not Available4
S ASIAN 127Religion in Early India4
S ASIAN 147Course Not Available4
S ASIAN 148Religious Nationalism in South Asia4
S ASIAN C154Course Not Available4
SOCIOL 190Seminar and Research in Sociology4
TIBETAN 110AIntensive Readings in Tibetan4
TIBETAN 110BIntensive Readings in Tibetan4
TIBETAN C114Tibetan Buddhism4
TIBETAN 115Contemporary Tibet4
TIBETAN 116Traditional Tibet4
TIBETAN C154Death, Dreams, and Visions in Tibetan Buddhism4

College Requirements

Undergraduate students must fulfill the following requirements in addition to those required by their major program.

For detailed lists of courses that fulfill college requirements, please review the College of Letters & Sciences page in this Guide. For College advising appointments, please visit the L&S Advising Pages. 

University of California Requirements

Entry Level Writing

All students who will enter the University of California as freshmen must demonstrate their command of the English language by fulfilling the Entry Level Writing requirement. Fulfillment of this requirement is also a prerequisite to enrollment in all reading and composition courses at UC Berkeley. 

American History and American Institutions

The American History and Institutions requirements are based on the principle that a US resident graduated from an American university, should have an understanding of the history and governmental institutions of the United States.

Berkeley Campus Requirement

American Cultures

All undergraduate students at Cal need to take and pass this course in order to graduate. The requirement offers an exciting intellectual environment centered on the study of race, ethnicity and culture of the United States. AC courses offer students opportunities to be part of research-led, highly accomplished teaching environments, grappling with the complexity of American Culture.

College of Letters & Science Essential Skills Requirements

Quantitative Reasoning

The Quantitative Reasoning requirement is designed to ensure that students graduate with basic understanding and competency in math, statistics, or computer science. The requirement may be satisfied by exam or by taking an approved course.

Foreign Language

The Foreign Language requirement may be satisfied by demonstrating proficiency in reading comprehension, writing, and conversation in a foreign language equivalent to the second semester college level, either by passing an exam or by completing approved course work.

Reading and Composition

In order to provide a solid foundation in reading, writing, and critical thinking the College requires two semesters of lower division work in composition in sequence. Students must complete parts A & B reading and composition courses by the end of their second semester and a second-level course by the end of their fourth semester.

College of Letters & Science 7 Course Breadth Requirements

Breadth Requirements

The undergraduate breadth requirements provide Berkeley students with a rich and varied educational experience outside of their major program. As the foundation of a liberal arts education, breadth courses give students a view into the intellectual life of the University while introducing them to a multitude of perspectives and approaches to research and scholarship. Engaging students in new disciplines and with peers from other majors, the breadth experience strengthens interdisciplinary connections and context that prepares Berkeley graduates to understand and solve the complex issues of their day.

Unit Requirements

  • 120 total units

  • Of the 120 units, 36 must be upper division units

  • Of the 36 upper division units, 6 must be taken in courses offered outside your major department
Residence Requirements

For units to be considered in "residence," you must be registered in courses on the Berkeley campus as a student in the College of Letters & Science. Most students automatically fulfill the residence requirement by attending classes here for four years. In general, there is no need to be concerned about this requirement, unless you go abroad for a semester or year or want to take courses at another institution or through UC Extension during your senior year. In these cases, you should make an appointment to meet an adviser to determine how you can meet the Senior Residence Requirement.

Note: Courses taken through UC Extension do not count toward residence.

Senior Residence Requirement

After you become a senior (with 90 semester units earned toward your BA degree), you must complete at least 24 of the remaining 30 units in residence in at least two semesters. To count as residence, a semester must consist of at least 6 passed units. Intercampus Visitor, EAP, and UC Berkeley-Washington Program (UCDC) units are excluded.

You may use a Berkeley Summer Session to satisfy one semester of the Senior Residence requirement, provided that you successfully complete 6 units of course work in the Summer Session and that you have been enrolled previously in the college.

Modified Senior Residence Requirement

Participants in the UC Education Abroad Program (EAP), Berkeley Summer Abroad, or the UC Berkeley Washington Program (UCDC) may meet a Modified Senior Residence requirement by completing 24 (excluding EAP) of their final 60 semester units in residence. At least 12 of these 24 units must be completed after you have completed 90 units.

Upper Division Residence Requirement

You must complete in residence a minimum of 18 units of upper division courses (excluding UCEAP units), 12 of which must satisfy the requirements for your major.

Student Learning Goals

Learning Goals for the Major

  1. Demonstrate specialized knowledge of China, Japan, or of multiple areas with a thematic concentration.
  2. Acquire language skills in one foreign language depending on the student's area of focus (Mandarin Chinese for a China emphasis; Japanese for a Japan focus; Chinese, Japanese or Korean, as appropriate for the multi-area thematic concentration).
  3. From perspectives of more than one discipline, understand the study of China or Japan, or in the case of the multi-area thematic concentration, of countries and regions of East Asia, Southeast Asia, and South Asia.
  4. Apply approaches of one selected discipline to the study of China or Japan, or in the case of the multi-area thematic concentration, of countries and regions of East Asia, Southeast Asia, and South Asia.
  5. Demonstrate understanding of research methods in that discipline.
  6. Acquire relatively deeper knowledge of one Asian culture other than China or Japan.
  7. Demonstrate basic knowledge of the multiplicity of countries and cultures that make up the region.
  8. Acquire knowledge of historical flows in the region.
  9. Develop understanding of contemporary trends.
  10. Formulate well-organized and well-supported arguments.
  11. Show evidence of critical thinking skills.

Download the explanation/representation of how undergraduate student learning goals intersect with curriculum requirements.

Academic Opportunities

Berkeley Student Journal of Asian Studies

The Berkeley Student Journal of Asian Studies is an interdisciplinary student journal that bridges research at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The Journal strives to broaden the study of Asian across disciplinary lines and to expand the Asian studies community by promoting leadership and scholarship of Asia. For information on submissions and to view copies of previous journals, please visit their website.

Study Abroad

Opportunities to study in Asia are abundant and students are encouraged to take advantage of them. Those who qualify for the UC Education Abroad Programs (EAP) are often eligible for substantial scholarships. Many courses taken abroad transfer easily to the major. We accept up to 12 semester units for the major and two courses for the minor. Students should consult with the undergraduate major adviser for approval of courses taken through an education abroad program. For further information, contact the Berkeley Programs for Study Abroad at 160 Stephens Hall, 510-642-1356, and/or check out the EAP website for the UC system. 


Asian Studies: China

This is a list of courses offered by the Asian Studies major only.  For a comprehensive list of all Asia-related courses currently offered on the Berkeley campus, look at the Asia-focused list under "Major Requirements."

Faculty and Instructors

+Indicates this faculty member is the recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award.


Robert Ashmore, Professor.
Research Profile

Weihong Bao, Associate Professor. Film theory and history, media archaeology, critical theory, visual and performance culture, Chinese language cinema, transnational genre cinema, comparative media history and theory.

Patricia Berger, Professor. China, buddhist art, East Asian studies, history of art, Asian architecture and art.
Research Profile

+ Robert Berring, Professor. China, law, contracts, Chinese law.
Research Profile

Pheng Cheah, Professor. Nationalism, rhetoric, legal philosophy, feminism, 18th-20th century continental philosophy and contemporary critical theory, postcolonial theory and anglophone postcolonial literatures, cosmopolitanism and globalization, social and political thought.
Research Profile

Renee Y. Chow, Professor. Urban design, architectural design.
Research Profile

Margaret Crawford, Professor.

Mark Csikszentmihalyi, Professor. Early China, Confucianism, Taoism, Daoism, Comparative Religion.
Research Profile

Jacob Dalton, Associate Professor. Religion, ritual, Tibet, Buddhism, Tantra, Dunhuang.
Research Profile

Lowell Dittmer, Professor. Comparative politics, Chinese politics, informal politics, East Asian international relations.
Research Profile

Barry Eichengreen, Professor. Europe, China, economic growth, international economics, international finance, international monetary economics, economic history.
Research Profile

Thomas Gold, Professor. Post-socialism, China, sociology, East Asian studies, comparative institutions, Pacific Rim societies, Taiwan, globalization and development.
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S. Katherine Hammond, Professor. Public health, environmental health sciences.
Research Profile

Heather Haveman, Professor. Organizational theory, economic sociology, historical sociology, entrepreneurship, organizational development.
Research Profile

You-tien Hsing, Professor. China, geography, political economy of development in East Asia, the process of international economic restructuring, cultural and institutional configuration in the processes of Taiwanese direct investment, growth in Chinese cities, business networks.
Research Profile

Andrew F. Jones, Professor. East asian languages and cultures, Chinese popular music, sonic culture, media technology, modern Chinese fiction, children's literature, literary translation.
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Ling Hon Lam, Assistant Professor.

Xin Liu, Professor. History and/of anthropology, contemporary trends in social theory, social/cultural anthropology, comparative societies, capitalism and culture, America and China/East Asia.
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James Midgley, Professor. Development, social development, social policy, community development, International social welfare, global poverty and inequality.
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Michael Nylan, Professor. Gender, history, East Asian studies, early China, the fifth century BC to the fifth century AD, with an emphasis on the sociopolitical context, aesthetic theories and material culture, belief.
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Kevin O'Brien, Professor. Social movements, Chinese politics, peasant politics.
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David Roland-Holst, Adjunct Professor.

Robert Sharf, Professor. East asian languages and cultures, medieval Chinese buddhism, Chan buddhism, Japanese buddhism, Zen buddhism, Tantric buddhism, buddhist art, ritual studies, methodological issues in the study of religion.
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Rachel Stern, Assistant Professor.

Nicolas Tackett, Associate Professor. Ethnicity, elites, China, cities, national identity, social networks, medieval history, death ritual, Tang Dynasty, Song Dynasty, Liao Dynasty.
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Paula Varsano, Associate Professor. Phenomenology, translation, comparative literature, aesthetics, epistemology, classical Chinese poetry and poetics (3rd-11th centuries), traditional Chinese literary theory.
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Sophie Volpp, Associate Professor. East asian languages and cultures, history of performance, gender theory, the history of sexuality, material culture, material objects in late-imperial literature.
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Qiang Xiao, Adjunct Professor.

Wen-Hsin Yeh, Professor. History, East Asian studies, Qing and Modern China.
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Qing Zhou, Associate Professor. Culture, family, child development, developmental psychopathology, immigrants.
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Keiko Yamanaka, Lecturer.

Emeritus Faculty

Hong Yung Lee, Professor Emeritus. Political science, East Asian studies.
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Kaiping Peng, Professor Emeritus. Psychology, East Asian studies, social cultural sychology, reasoning and judgment across cultures and domains, inter-ethnic, racial relations, cross-cultural communication and understanding.
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Carolyn Wakeman, Professor Emeritus.

Contact Information

Group in Asian Studies

1995 University Avenue, Suite 510E

Phone: 510-642-0333

Fax: 510-643-7062

Visit Group Website

Associate Dean, Interdisciplinary Social Sciences & Chair, Asian Studies

Max Auffhammer

101 Stephens Hall

Undergraduate Academic Adviser

Dreux Montgomery

101 Stephens Hall

Phone: 510-643- 4157

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