About the Department
The Department of Asian Studies was created in 1994 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, and Korea) and South Asia (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Afghanistan). With over forty instructors, the department is one of the largest and most distinguished in the country. We offer courses in eleven Asian languages: Bengali, Chinese, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Malayalam, Sanskrit, Tamil, Telugu, and Urdu. The Department teaches the histories, cultures, religions, and literatures of Asia, as well as the contemporary issues facing Asian countries from economic and ecological issues to security and ethnic conflicts.
The department houses the Center for East Asian Studies, dedicated to promoting the study of East Asia within The University of Texas.
The department is also home to the Hindi-Urdu Flagship. The Hindi-Urdu Flagship is designed for students who wish to achieve advanced proficiency in Hindi and Urdu while majoring in a variety of programs, including Liberal Arts, Business, Communications, and Engineering.
The department offers two parallel tracks for undergraduate and graduate majors:
Degrees in Asian Cultures and Languages:
Intended for students who wish to focus on one country or language, the B.A. degree in ACL is designed to provide 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. The Department offers concentrations in Chinese, Hindi, Japanese, Malayalam, Sanskrit, Tamil, and Urdu.
Degrees in Asian Studies:
A B.A. degree in Asian Studies provides a solid broad background in classical and contemporary Asia for students with a variety of career goals. Students choose between a concentration in East Asia or South Asia. For the East Asia concentration, two years of Chinese, Japanese or Korean are required. The South Asia concentration requires two years of Hindi, Malayalam, Sanskrit, Tamil, or Urdu.
A M.A. degree in Asian Studies is designed for students who will pursue non-academic careers in business, communications, government, law, high-school teaching, and the like. In addition, there are two dual degree M.A. programs: one with the LBJ School of Public Affairs and the other with the McCombs School of Business.
We offer a range of carefully developed undergraduate and graduate courses, from general courses in the history and culture of Asia at the introductory level to upper-division and graduate seminars. We structure our introductory and upper-level undergraduate courses to provide an excellent foundation in various cultural and historical aspects of Asia for the student body of The University of Texas. Apart from general survey courses, we also offer specialty courses in such varied topics as Chinese Film and Literature, History of Hindu Religious Traditions, Politics in Japan. We also offer beginning through graduate-level Chinese, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Malayalam, Sanskrit, Tamil, and Urdu language courses. Instruction in Asian languages is targeted at students intending to major in our Department and at students in other programs seeking competence in an Asian language to fulfill general degree requirements.
There are over thirty tenured and tenure-track faculty members in the Department specializing in a variety of fields such as anthropology, art history, history, language, literature, political science, popular culture, religion, theater and media studies. In addition, twenty full-time language lecturers provide all lower-level language instruction. Students may choose to participate in research projects with faculty members.
The Department provides a welcoming home base for the individual student. Undergraduate and Graduate advising and assistance with degree planning are readily available for all students. Undergraduate and graduate advisors are available for assistance with degree planning. The graduate program holds an orientation/reception for newcomers and returning graduate students just before the start of each fall semester.
Asian Studies provides ample opportunity for students and faculty to interact in the form of regularly scheduled seminars, lectures, and other events throughout the year. Several study-abroad programs provide students the opportunity to spend a summer or a semester in an Asian country. Students may also participate in outreach programs for K-12 students, teachers, and the community. There is a popular spring celebration known as the Spring Festival, which consists of an abundance of Asian food and an awards ceremony for students.
We encourage students to visit the undergraduate and graduate blogs for news and information about Department of Asian Studies and other UT events, programs, and opportunities.
Several of our graduate students are also available as tutors. Please consult our tutor list.