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Asian Studies Degree Programs

Asian studies degree programs can be found at the bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree levels. Requirements typically include language training plus classes in history, politics, economics, geography and culture. Continue reading for information on undergraduate and graduate programs as well as statistics regarding the job market.

What Degree Programs Are Available in Asian Studies?

You have Asian studies options at the undergraduate and graduate levels. As an undergrad, you could pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Asian Studies. Once you have your baccalaureate, you could apply to Master of Arts (M.A.) or Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) programs. You can also find joint degree programs that combine Asian studies with journalism or law. Asian studies degree programs aren't typically available online.

Degree Levels Bachelor's, master's and doctorate degrees are available
Common Courses Politics, history, economics, culture, geography
Potential Work Environments Education, government agencies, business
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 Is the Curriculum Like?

While undergraduate degree programs in Asian studies offer broad, foundational training in history, economics and politics, graduate degree programs typically focus on advanced, focused research. For example, in graduate programs, you usually complete a thesis or dissertation, which are works of original research overseen by an advisor. Possible undergraduate areas of study include geography, Asian history periods and international relations for Asian countries.

Many courses of study include a language requirement, so you may need to become familiar with at least one Asian language. The following are examples of classes you might be able to take:

  • Critical cultural studies
  • Early Japanese culture
  • Hindi language and literature
  • Arabic language
  • Buddhist practice
  • Asian political systems

What Is the Job Market Like?

A bachelor's degree in Asian studies can prepare you for various industries, such as business, teaching and government. If you earn an advanced degree in the field, you may be able to work as a postsecondary teacher. Professionals in this field give lectures, assess students and develop classes. This position could include administrative duties as well, such as curriculum development or committee planning.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), postsecondary teachers earned a median salary of $78,470 as of May 2018, and top-paid professionals in this field earned $175,110 (www.bls.gov). The BLS projected that employment for all postsecondary teachers would grow about 15% from 2016-2026.