Asian Studies

Interdisciplinary Major
Bachelor of Arts
College of Arts and Sciences

A growing demand exists for Americans to become more familiar with Asia in business, journalism, government, education, information technology, and service. In the age of global economy and satellite communication, the Pacific rim nations have become America’s close partners in multinational business, diplomacy, and cultural exchange. Asia, the most populated region of the world, has developed some of the world’s fastest and most productive economies.

Career Opportunities

Students in the Asian Studies major are encouraged to develop a second major in history, geography, general studies in business, computer science, or English. They may also consider a minor in political science, art history, economics, peace studies, or East Asian languages. A student with a double major in Asian Studies has a comparative edge for employment and promotion in private industry, government, and semi-government organization. Many Asian Studies graduates are employed in industry and government agencies, while some have become high school teachers and college professors.


BGSU is one of the few Ohio universities that offer an Asian Studies major leading to the Bachelor of Arts degree. Students gain a broad knowledge of the culture and societies of East Asia, South Asia, and Southeast Asia; an in-depth knowledge of one of the East Asian countries (Japan, China, and Korea), and the basic conversational and reading skills of an Asian language.

Students must complete a minimum of 36 credit hours from an approved list of core and elective courses. The core courses are designed to introduce students to the social sciences and humanities and to provide them with a global outlook of the world and Asia. The elective courses provide students with in-depth knowledge of Asia and analytical and practical skills of selected disciplines, such as history, business, and political science.

In addition, Asian Studies majors must complete two years of Japanese or Chinese. Upon completion of the program, students have a broad interdisciplinary, international, and comparative understanding of Asia and the United States and a functional ability in an Asian language that will enrich their professional and personal lives.

Special Features

Students have the opportunity to study in Asia as an exchange student at Nanzan University, Saitama University, or Hiroshima Jogakuin University in Japan, Yonsei University in Korea, or Shandong University or Xi’an International Studies in China. Students may apply for an international travel grant from the University’s international programs office to cover the round-trip airfare. Students may participate in a summer program at Nagoya Gakuin University in Japan and earn six credits. The credit earned in Asia counts toward the BGSU degree.

Students can also participate in a business internship program and earn up to 12 credit hours in leading Japanese corporations. Students receive monthly stipends and free housing. Students participating in the exchange and internship programs enjoy the rare experiences of studying, living, traveling, and working in Asia without delaying the completion of the degree program.

Student and Outreach Organizations

The Japanese Club and the Chinese Club are active student organizations that value diversity and fellowship among students who study Asia and exchange ideas for mutual respect and understanding between Americans and Asians.

Asian Studies Forum features special lectures on Asia by guest speakers, faculty, and students who share their knowledge and interest of Asia on a variety of subjects.

Nakama: US-Japan Business Dinner is an outreach program for local business executives from Japanese and American companies in northwestern Ohio and southeastern Michigan. Asian Studies sponsors the program to promote fellowship, business opportunities, and cultural exchanges.

Scholarship Opportunities

The Asian Studies major awards the following scholarships to students every spring:

Preparation for College

There is no specific high school preparation for enrollment in Asian Studies. Previous knowledge of an Asian language is not required, but students who have studied a foreign language have an advantage. Strong interest in the social sciences and humanities and a good background in English composition, social studies, and mathematics are desirable.

Completing the requirements for high school graduation is necessary for admission to BGSU, but only finishing the minimum coursework will leave you unprepared for college. Consider taking four years of mathematics instead of the three that are required. Taking two, three or even four years of the same foreign language is excellent preparation for college. You will also benefit from competency in computer use. Courses that provide exposure to or training in the visual and performing arts are excellent choices.

For Further Information

Internet Access

BGSU's website for future students contains University highlights, admissions procedures, financial aid information and many department profiles. It can be accessed at

The University

Bowling Green State University is a vibrant university that engages, challenges and prepares students for meaningful futures. At BGSU, students enjoy an education that integrates personal growth, academic excellence and an environment that expands their thinking and potential. A mid-size residential university, BGSU has an enrollment of approximately 20,000 and a full-time faculty of more than 900 on its main campus. More than 200 undergraduate majors and programs are offered as well as master's and doctoral level programs.

NOTE: Information in this guide is subject to change without notice. To learn more about the official program of study for Asian Studies, please check the undergraduate catalog online at: