Area Studies Degree Programs
Area studies programs teach you about the history, culture and traditions of a particular region of the world. Courses cover may cover cultural art forms, regional languages and anthropological studies in a region. Keep reading to find out more about area studies programs and what you can do with your degree.
What Area Studies Degree Programs Are Available?
You can find area studies degree programs at the bachelor's and master's level. Although your major is in area studies, you select one area of the world to concentrate, such as Latin America, Scandinavia, Africa, Asia, Russia, the Middle East, Europe and the United States. At most schools, your specific region will be part of your degree name, such as a Bachelor of Arts in East Asian Area Studies. Area studies concentrations can sometimes be part of a humanities, geography or history degree program.
An area studies degree program is designed to help you gain a world perspective and the ability to understand global developments from the perspective of the region you study. By the end of your education, you may have skills in communicating with many cultures, recognizing cultural practices, resolving cultural conflicts and speaking a language related to your area of study.
|Program Levels||Bachelor's degree, master's degree|
|Common Courses||Diversity, geopolitics, cultural migration, language, folklore|
|Possible Careers||Journalism, foreign relations expert, international business consultant, travel and tourism agent, immigration officer|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)||10% growth (for Area, ethnic, and cultural studies teachers, postsecondary)*|
|Median Salary (2018)||$74,440 (for Area, ethnic, and cultural studies teachers, postsecondary)*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
What Courses Can I Expect?
Regardless of your level of education, your core classes cover cultural, social, political and economic properties of your selected region. You can also expect to learn about the history, ethnic groups, social change, diversity, geopolitics, global relationships and global trends in a region. You take courses in anthropology, sociology, art and literature as well.
Area studies degree programs typically require that you are proficient in at least one language of your regional concentration. Undergraduate courses in language, global politics, cultural development, geographic features, cultural migrations and cultural traditions are common. Courses that may be covered in a master's degree program include historiography, regional economics, language studies and folklore. Since some programs offer internships and on-location studies, you may not be able to find online programs.
What Can I Do With My Education?
Having an in-depth understanding of a region of the world is useful for many careers. For example, you could go into the field of journalism and report on the events in your specialty region. Other career fields include travel and tourism, international business, immigration services, geographic publishing, community development and foreign relations. If you decide to continue your education, you could earn a graduate degree in geography, education or law.