The civilizations of East Asia offer a wealth of human experience of invaluable import to every academic discipline. Unbroken cultural lines of great antiquity lead to modern East Asian cultures of ever growing global significance. Whether we look first to the past, the present, or the future, in studying East Asia we study ourselves and our world.

A traditional liberal education, limited to the study of "Western" civilization, is no longer a liberal education. The department of East Asian studies, therefore, offers courses for all Bucknell students, as well as for the special interests of students choosing either the East Asian studies major or one of the department's three minors: in East Asian studies, Chinese, or Japanese.

The major, requiring an emphasis on either China or Japan, entails a program of study (created in consultation with a department adviser) that requires a minimum of 11 courses:

  • six language courses in the language of one's emphasis (Chinese or Japanese);
  • four cultural courses, of which one - to provide a broad historical introduction to East Asian civilizations - must be chosen from the following (for the China emphasis: EAST 111, EAST 233, EAST 234, EAST 267; for the Japan emphasis: EAST 111, EAST 254, EAST 255, EAST 256); and one must be outside one's emphasis (on China or Japan); and
  • a Culminating Experience in the senior year.

The Culminating Experience, required of all majors, may be fulfilled in one of two ways:

  • Completion of an Honors Thesis (EAST 395), or
  • Completion of a Senior Thesis (EAST 400).

The department encourages majors and potential majors, especially those considering a double major, to consult early and frequently with an EAST faculty member to explore ways to systematically connect and expand work done in the culture courses taken for the major with the research project that forms the core of the Culminating Experience.

The Culminating Experience provides students an opportunity to pursue focused research on a subject relevant to their concentration and of interest to them. The Culminating Experience must: involve substantial writing, involve substantial research, incorporate Japanese- or Chinese-language sources, treat in depth some aspect of the culture of Japan or China, and be presented at the spring Majors' Symposium.

All students majoring in East Asian studies will receive instruction in writing, speaking, and information literacy in the discipline through experiences in the language courses, culture courses, and the Culminating Experience that each major completes.

The department offers three minors. A minor in East Asian studies consists of a coherent group of five courses offered or crosslisted by the department, one of which must be chosen from EAST 111, EAST 233, EAST 234, EAST 254, EAST 255.  A minor in Chinese or Japanese consists of six department courses, of which four must be in the respective language.

All students majoring or minoring in the East Asian studies department are strongly encouraged to seek opportunities for summer, semester, or preferably, full-year study in China or Japan. Bucknell is a member of the Associated Kyoto Program, under which students may, if accepted, spend their junior year at Doshisha University in Japan. Many other opportunities to study in East Asia also are available.