Asian Studies Certificate

The Asian Studies Certificate enables students to organize their general education courses around an interdisciplinary program providing a focus on Asia. While pursuing the certificate, students have the opportunity to acquire specialized knowledge of the art, literature, history, politics, and/or religions of Asia, thereby developing an understanding and appreciation of this culturally diverse, economically vibrant, and technologically innovative region. As we move further into the Asian Century, expertise in this vital area of the world represents a skill set that employers and graduate admissions committees should find increasingly desirable. The Asian Studies Certificate will give students a competitive advantage as they engage in advanced graduate work in a wide variety of disciplines or pursue careers in such diverse fields as business, the arts, government service, and education.

The Asian Studies Certificate requires 12 credits for completion and is available to all majors. Students may choose from among a broad range of courses, and the certificate may serve as a "bridge" to Penn State's Asian Studies minor. A number of certificate courses count toward GA (General Arts), GH (General Humanities), International (IL), and US Cultures (US) requirements. To apply, please complete the form linked at bottom, making certain to submit your application at least six weeks prior to completion of the certificate program.

Students must have a C or better in each certificate course, and at least one course must have been completed in or after Spring 2011.
See the University Bulletin for course descriptions.
One core 3-credit survey course from among the following choices:
HIST 174 The History of Traditional East Asia 3 credits Satisfies GH;IL
HIST 175 The History of Modern East Asia 3 credits Satisfies GH;IL
9 elective credits from an approved list, which includes the following courses:
ART H 120 Asian Art and Architecture 3 credits Satisfies GA;IL
ART H 320 Chinese Art 3 credits Satisfies GA;IL
CHNS 001 Level One Chinese A 4 credits  
CHNS 120 Introduction to Chinese Literature and Culture 3 credits Satisfies GH;IL
CMLIT 004 Introduction to Asian Literatures 3 credits Satisfies GH;IL
HIST 172 Survey of Japanese Civilization 3 credits Satisfies IL
HIST 173 Vietnam in War and Peace 3 credits Satisfies GH;IL
RL ST 103 Introduction to Hinduism 3 credits Satisfies GH;US;IL
RL ST 104 Introduction to Buddhism 3 credits Satisfies GH;US;IL
RL ST 107 Introduction to Islam 3 credits Satisfies GH;US;IL
Students can also use 400-level courses from an approved list to complete their electives.
These include the following courses:
ECON 473 China in the Modern Economy 3 credits Satisfies IL
HIST 481 Modern Japan Since 1800 3 credits Satisfies IL
HIST 486 Twentieth-Century China 3 credits Satisfies IL
PL SC 484W The Foreign Policy of Soviet Successor States 3 credits  


The Asian Studies coordinator may approve other Penn State courses that deal substantially with some aspect of Asia in any discipline, courses dealing with Asia taken while participating in a study abroad program, and up to 2 courses (6 credits) from another institution that appear on a student's Penn State transcript as transfer credits. Students may also include up to 6 credits of study in an approved Asian language.

Visit the Registrar's website to download the certificate application.



Ms. Qi Chen, Lecturer in Chinese
Dr. Zachary Irwin, Associate Professor of Political Science
Dr. Kenneth Louie, Associate Professor of Economics
Dr. John Rossi, Associate Professor of History