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2023-2024 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog

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East Asian Studies

For additional information about opportunities your college offers, please refer to the Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies section in this catalog.


The East Asian studies program at Grand Valley State University explores languages, cultures, histories, politics, and economics of China and Japan. The program recognizes the complex traditions and historical contributions of these countries, while acknowledging the essential roles they play in the world today.

China, with 5,000 years of civilization, more than a billion people, and a fast-growing economy, and Japan, with its unparalleled economic success and its unique geopolitical position, command the attention of the world. The East Asian studies curriculum provides students with a balanced liberal arts and professional perspective on the study of the rich cultural resources, economic potentials, and comparative politics of these two countries. Students gain intercultural knowledge and competence that benefit them in this increasingly globalized world.

Students who minor in East Asian studies can participate in the study abroad programs at East China Normal University in Shanghai, Nanjing University in Nanjing, National Taiwan Normal University in Taipei, Japanese studies program at International Christian University (ICU), or the Japan Center for Michigan Universities (JCMU). Consult the Padnos International Center or the director of the East Asian studies program for more information.

Completion of the minor in East Asian studies requires a total of 21 to 22 credit hours. Normally this includes nine credits of core courses, four credits of either Chinese or Japanese above the 201 level, and nine credits of electives, for a total of 22 credits.

Students who enter the university competent in Japanese or Chinese at the 202 level or higher will take one extra elective course for a total of 21 credits. No more than two courses from any department other than EAS may be counted toward the minor. There is no limit on the courses designated EAS that may apply to the minor.

Participating Programs

Grand Valley students majoring in areas such as business, communications, English, history, international relations, philosophy, and political science, among others, will find that this program provides a unique perspective on these two dynamic countries and a valued complement to their major programs. Students studying Chinese or Japanese at the primary or secondary level, transfer students who began studying these languages at other two- and four-year institutions, and study abroad participants may also choose to minor in East Asian studies.

Program Requirements

The following program is available:

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