About the Program
Bachelor of Arts (BA)
The Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures offers an undergraduate major in East Asian Religion, Thought, and Culture. Knowledge of philosophical and religious traditions is important to understanding many aspects of East Asia's diverse cultures. This major seeks to train students in these traditions in a way that is grounded in a familiarity with the texts, languages, and cultures of East Asian societies, while also examining how these traditions have been (and might better be) brought into humanistic disciplines.
Students who major in the department have a variety of backgrounds and many students are double majors in a broad spectrum of other departments and programs, including anthropology, applied mathematics, architecture, art history, art practice, Asian studies, business, comparative literature, computer science, economics, English, linguistics, mass communications, molecular and cell biology, political economy, political science, psychology, rhetoric, and theater arts.
Declaring the Major
Students interested in majoring in the department should consult with the staff undergraduate advisor regarding major requirements, transfer credits, and other academic concerns. Students are admitted to the major only after successful completion (with a grade of C or higher) of the prerequisites to the major; for information regarding the prerequisites, please see the Major Requirements tab on this page. Students are advised to begin preparation for the major as soon as possible in order to satisfy University, college, and department requirements. All students should be familiar with the college requirements for graduation with a Bachelor of Arts degree, as explained in the "Earning Your Degree," a bulletin available from the College of Letters & Science, 206 Evans Hall.
A senior undergraduate student who has completed 12 units of upper division language courses in the department, and who has a GPA of 3.5 in those courses and an overall average of 3.0 may apply for admission to the honors program. If accepted, the student will enroll in an honors course (EA LANG H195A or EA LANG H195B) for two consecutive semesters leading to the completion of an honors thesis, which must be submitted at least two weeks before the end of the semester in which the student expects to graduate. While enrolled in the honors program, the student will undertake independent advanced study under the guidance of the student's honors thesis adviser. Upon completion of the program, a faculty committee will determine the degree of honors to be awarded (honors, high honors, highest honors), taking into consideration both the quality of the thesis and overall performance in the department. Honors will not be granted to a student who does not achieve a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.3 in all undergraduate work at the University by the time of graduation.
There is no minor program in East Asian Religion, Thought, and Culture. Students interested in Buddhism should consider the Buddhist Studies minor offered by the Group in Buddhist Studies.
Other Majors and Minors Offered by the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
|Select one language sequence:|
and Elementary Chinese (or equivalent) 1
and Elementary Japanese (or equivalent) 1
and Elementary Tibetan (or equivalent) 1
|Select one Core Course (see List A below)||4|
|Select one language sequenece:|
and Intermediate Chinese (or equivalent) 1
and Intermediate Japanese (or equivalent) 1
and Intermediate Tibetan (or equivalent) 1
|Select five additional Core Courses (see List A below) 2,3||20|
|Select two Supplementary Disciplinary Breadth courses (see List B below) 3||8|
|EA LANG 191||Tools and Methods in the Study of East Asian Philosophy and Religion 4||4|
Please note that students with previous language experience will be required to take a placement exam. Students who place out of language courses or into the heritage track will be required to take additional adviser-approved literature or culture courses offered by the department in order to meet the above unit requirements.
Of the six courses from List A, a maximum of two semesters of classical language study and no more than one lower division course may be counted toward fulfilling the requirements.
The two lists of courses (List A & List B) will be updated periodically, and the full listings will be available on the departmental website.
A preapproved course can be substituted in an academic year during which EA LANG 191 is not offered.
Core Courses (List A)
|BUDDSTD 190||Topics in the Study of Buddhism (When topic is relevant, see adviser for approval)||4|
|CHINESE 51||Chinese Thought in the Han Dynasty||4|
|CHINESE 110A||Introduction to Literary Chinese 2||4|
|CHINESE 110B||Introduction to Literary Chinese 2||4|
|CHINESE C116||Buddhism in China||4|
|CHINESE 130||Topics in Daoism||4|
|CHINESE C140||Readings in Chinese Buddhist Texts||4|
|CHINESE 186||Confucius and His Interpreters||4|
|EA LANG C50||Introduction to the Study of Buddhism||4|
|or BUDDSTD 50||Introduction to the Study of Buddhism|
|EA LANG 110||Bio-Ethical Issues in East Asian Thought||4|
|EA LANG C120||Buddhism on the Silk Road||4|
|EA LANG C128||Buddhism in Contemporary Society||4|
|EA LANG C130||Zen Buddhism||4|
|EA LANG C132||Pure Land Buddhism||4|
|EA LANG C135||Tantric Traditions of Asia||4|
|EA LANG C152||Buddhist Astral Science||4|
|JAPAN C115||Buddhism and its Culture in Japan||4|
|JAPAN 116||Introduction to the Religions of Japan||4|
|JAPAN 120||Introduction to Classical Japanese 2||4|
|JAPAN C141||Introductory Readings in Kanbun||4|
|JAPAN 144||Edo Literature 2||4|
|JAPAN 146||Japanese Historical Documents 2||4|
|MONGOLN C117||Mongolian Buddhism||4|
|TIBETAN 110A||Intensive Readings in Tibetan||4|
|TIBETAN 110B||Intensive Readings in Tibetan||4|
|TIBETAN C114||Tibetan Buddhism||4|
|TIBETAN 116||Traditional Tibet||4|
|TIBETAN C154||Death, Dreams, and Visions in Tibetan Buddhism||4|
Supplementary Disciplinary Breadth Courses (List B)
|HISTART 130A||Early Chinese Art, Part I||4|
|HISTART 131A||Sacred Arts in China||4|
|HISTART 134A||Topics in Buddhist Art and Architecture: Buddhist Temple Art & Architecture in Japan||4|
|HISTART 134B||Topics in Buddhist Art and Architecture: Buddhist Icons in Japan||4|
|HISTART 134C||Topics in Buddhist Art and Architecture: Buddhist Art in the Modern/Contemporary World||4|
|HISTART 190A||Special Topics in Fields of Art History: Asian (When topic is relevant, see adviser for approval)||4|
|CHINESE 120||Ancient Chinese Prose||4|
|CHINESE 122||Ancient Chinese Poetry||4|
|CHINESE 134||Readings in Classical Chinese Poetry||4|
|CHINESE 136||Readings in Medieval Prose||4|
|CHINESE 153||Reading Taiwan||4|
|CHINESE 155||Readings in Vernacular Chinese Literature||4|
|CHINESE 156||Modern Chinese Literature||4|
|CHINESE 157||Contemporary Chinese Literature||4|
|CHINESE 158||Reading Chinese Cities||4|
|CHINESE 176||Bad Emperors: Fantasies of Sovereignty and Transgression in the Chinese Tradition||4|
|CHINESE 178||Traditional Chinese Drama||4|
|CHINESE 179||Exploring Premodern Chinese Novels||4|
|CHINESE 180||The Story of the Stone||4|
|CHINESE 187||Literature and Media Culture in Taiwan||4|
|CHINESE 188||Popular Media in Modern China||4|
|EA LANG 101||Catastrophe, Memory, and Narrative: Comparative Responses to Atrocity in the Twentieth Century||4|
|EA LANG 105||Dynamics of Romantic Core Values in East Asian Premodern Literature and Contemporary Film||4|
|EA LANG 106||Expressing the Ineffable in China and Beyond: The Making of Meaning in Poetic Writing||4|
|EA LANG 107||War, Empire, and Literature in East Asia||4|
|EA LANG 108||Revising the Classics: Chinese and Greek Poetry in Translation||4|
|EA LANG 109||History of the Culture of Tea in China and Japan||4|
|EA LANG 111||Reading Global Politics in Contemporary East Asian Literature||4|
|EA LANG 112||The East Asian Sixties||4|
|EA LANG 114||Illness Narratives, Vulnerable Bodies||4|
|EA LANG 115||Knowing Others, and Being Known: The Art of Writing People||4|
|EA LANG 116||Modern East Asian Fiction||4|
|EA LANG 118||Sex and Gender in Premodern Chinese Culture||4|
|JAPAN 130||Classical Japanese Poetry||4|
|JAPAN 132||Premodern Japanese Diary (Nikki) Literature||4|
|JAPAN 140||Heian Prose||4|
|JAPAN 155||Modern Japanese Literature||4|
|JAPAN 159||Contemporary Japanese Literature||4|
|JAPAN 170||Classical Japanese Literature in Translation||4|
|JAPAN 173||Modern Japanese Literature in Translation||4|
|JAPAN 177||Urami: Rancor and Revenge in Japanese Literature||4|
|JAPAN 180||Ghosts and the Modern Literary Imagination||4|
|JAPAN 181||Reframing Disasters: Fukushima, Before and After||4|
|KOREAN 130||Genre and Occasion in Traditional Poetry||4|
|KOREAN 140||Narrating Persons and Objects in Traditional Korean Prose||4|
|KOREAN 150||Modern Korean Poetry||4|
|KOREAN 153||Readings in Modern Korean Literature||4|
|KOREAN 155||Modern Korean Fiction||4|
|KOREAN 157||Contemporary Korean Literature||4|
|KOREAN 170||Intercultural Encounters in Korean Literature||4|
|KOREAN 172||Gender and Korean Literature||4|
|KOREAN 174||Modern Korean Fiction in Translation||4|
|KOREAN 180||Critical Approaches to Modern Korean Literature||4|
|KOREAN 185||Picturing Korea||4|
|MONGOLN 110||Literary Mongolian||4|
|TIBETAN 115||Contemporary Tibet||4|
|CHINESE 172||Contemporary Chinese Language Cinema||4|
|EA LANG 180||East Asian Film: Directors and their Contexts||4|
|EA LANG 181||East Asian Film: Special Topics in Genre||4|
|JAPAN 185||Introduction to Japanese Cinema||4|
|JAPAN 188||Japanese Visual Culture: Introduction to Anime||4|
|JAPAN 189||Topics in Japanese Film||4|
|KOREAN 186||Introduction to Korean Cinema||4|
|KOREAN 187||History and Memory in Korean Cinema||4|
|KOREAN 188||Cold War Culture in Korea: Literature and Film||4|
|KOREAN 189||Korean Film Authors||4|
|HISTORY 100||Course Not Available (When topic is relevant, see adviser for approval)|
|HISTORY 103F||Proseminar: Problems in Interpretation in the Several Fields of History: Asia (When topic is relevant, see adviser for approval)||4|
|HISTORY 113A||Course Not Available|
|HISTORY 113B||Modern Korean History||4|
|HISTORY 116A||China: Early China||4|
|HISTORY 116B||China: Two Golden Ages: China During the Tang and Song Dynasties||4|
|HISTORY 116C||China: Modern China||4|
|HISTORY 116D||China: Twentieth-Century China||4|
|HISTORY 116G||Imperial China and the World||4|
|HISTORY 117A||Topics in Chinese History: Chinese Popular Culture||4|
|HISTORY 117D||Topics in Chinese History: The Chinese Body: Gender and Sex, Health, and Medicine||4|
|HISTORY 118A||Japan: Japan, Archaeological Period to 1800||4|
|HISTORY 118B||Japan: Japan 1800-1900||4|
|HISTORY 118C||Japan: Empire and Alienation: The 20th Century in Japan||4|
|HISTORY 119A||Topics in Japanese History: Postwar Japan||4|
|MONGOLN 116||The Mongol Empire||4|
|MONGOLN 118||Modern Mongolia||4|
|TIBETAN 118||The Politics of Modern Tibet||4|
|TIBETAN 119||Tibetan Medicine in History and Society||4|
|CHINESE C184||Course Not Available|
|MUSIC 134A||Course Not Available||4|
|MUSIC 134B||Course Not Available||4|
|PHILOS 151||Early Chinese Thought||4|
|ANTHRO 158||Religion and Anthropology||4|
|EA LANG C126||Buddhism and the Environment||4|
|RELIGST 190||Topics in the Study of Religion||4|
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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 in sequential order by the end of their fourth semester.
College of Letters & Science 7 Course 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.
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
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, or two years for transfer students. 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.
Major Maps help undergraduate students discover academic, co-curricular, and discovery opportunities at UC Berkeley based on intended major or field of interest. Developed by the Division of Undergraduate Education in collaboration with academic departments, these experience maps will help you:
Explore your major and gain a better understanding of your field of study
Connect with people and programs that inspire and sustain your creativity, drive, curiosity and success
Discover opportunities for independent inquiry, enterprise, and creative expression
Engage locally and globally to broaden your perspectives and change the world
- Reflect on your academic career and prepare for life after Berkeley
Use the major map below as a guide to planning your undergraduate journey and designing your own unique Berkeley experience.
Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures
3413 Dwinelle Hall