Department of Asian Studies
Department of Asian Studies

Mission of the Department of Asian Studies

The Department's mission is to provide a focus within The University of Texas at Austin for the creation and dissemination of knowledge about Asia, principally East Asia (China, Japan, Korea) and South Asia (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Afghanistan). The Department aims at excellence in research and scholarship in a variety of fields (including Anthropology, Art History, History, Language, Literature, Philosophy, Political Science, Popular Culture, Religion, and Theater and Media) and in graduate and undergraduate teaching, targeted both at our own majors and at UT students concentrating in other areas.

Our teaching mission includes the following components:

  • An Undergraduate Major in Asian Cultures and Languages (ACL): A student majoring in ACL will achieve an advanced competence in one Asian language, a deep and broad knowledge of the cultural and geographic area represented by that language, and familiarity with other regions of Asia. In East Asia the Department offers concentrations in Chinese and Japanese and in South Asia in Hindi, Malayalam, Sanskrit, Tamil and Urdu.
  • An Undergraduate Major in Asian Studies(ANS): A student majoring in ANS will have competence equivalent to at least two years in one Asian language and a broad knowledge of the cultures and history of Asia. Currently the Department offers concentrations in Chinese, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Malayalam, Sanskrit, Tamil, and Urdu.
  • A Graduate Program leading to an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Asian Cultures and Languages: The M.A. and Ph.D. in ACL has the goal of preparing students for careers in scholarship and teaching at college level in the fields of China, Japan, and South Asia.
  • A graduate program leading to an M.A in Asian Studies: The M.A. program in ANS is primarily designed to prepare students for careers in government, journalism, business, and NGO work. Students in this M.A. program have the option of pursuing joint degrees available with the LBJ School of Public Affairs and the McCombs School of Business.
  • Introductory and upper-level undergraduate courses structured to give a general education about various cultural and historical aspects of Asia to the general student body of the University of Texas.
  • Instruction in Asian languages targeted both at students intending to major in our Department and at students in other programs seeking competence in an Asian language, either to fulfill the general degree requirements or to enhance their career opportunities.