The Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures offers undergraduate majors in Chinese, Japanese, and East Asian Religion Thought and Culture as well as a sequence of courses in Korean language and literature. The Department also offers undergraduate minors in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Tibetan. The mission of the undergraduate major is to train students in the humanistic study of the languages, literatures, and cultures of East Asia. The curriculum centers around the informed and engaged reading of a wide variety of East Asian texts in their historical and cultural context, as well as the development of effective writing skills and critical thinking. Students are introduced to the vast and variegated literary, artistic, philosophical, and cultural traditions of East Asia and their transformations in modernity. Course offerings situate the study of East Asia in a global context, and expose students to a variety of disciplinary and comparative approaches.
The major provides training in speaking, reading, and writing the relevant modern languages, as well as a basic familiarity with one or more of the language's earlier forms. Students complete the major by selecting from a broad range of courses in literature, popular cultures, philosophy, and linguistics, both in translation and in the original languages.
The department offers a two-semester honors program for its majors who have a 3.5 GPA in the major and a 3.3 GPA overall. This program allows qualified students to work closely with a faculty member in independent study ending in a senior honor's thesis. Students interested in the honors program should consult with the undergraduate advisor.
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, Geophysics, Linguistics, Mass Communications, Molecular and Cell Biology, Political Economy, Psychology, Rhetoric, Theater Arts, and Urban Studies.
Step by Step. Undergraduates interested in going on to graduate school are encouraged to begin preparations early in their undergraduate career. Step by Step is a resource for UC Berkeley students to enrich their undergraduate academic experience and to prepare for graduate school. It is a useful tool providing advice, highlighting campus services and assisting you to set goals, enhancing your path to graduate study.