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Frequently Asked Questions (UG Program)

Question 1: What kinds of career opportunities do I get if I major in AAS? 

Answer: Asia is a hot business market. You will have a variety of global and international opportunities, at home and abroad. If you have an additional major such as engineering, linguistics, and computer science, you can transfer your knowledge and skills you gained in AAS to these fields so you can stand out from other candidates in professional contexts. The following are some of the possibilities:

  • International Marketing Specialist: Advise on product development and marketing
  • Financial Advisor for Asian markets: Provide consulting services in outbound investment, private equity, stock exchange, insurance, etc.
  • Research Analyst: Analyze and research Asian economic and political developments
  • International Trade and Commercial Law Attorney: With a major in AAAS and a JD, specialize in interpreting international trade treatises and international commercial deals
  • Government, Diplomacy and Intelligence Official: Develop US policy abroad, represent and secure US interests
  • Policy Advocate: Advocate US policy at a think tank
  • Foreign Correspondent: Report on global affairs for a media outlet and foreign policy magazines and newsletters
  • Humanitarian and Non-Profit Sector: Work for a cause you believe in that has a global reach, a grassroots organization or an international organization such as the United Nations
  • Social Work:  Use your cultural knowledge and appreciation of difference to work in local communities for social good
  • Research in STEM areas: Use your language and intercultural skills to collaborate with researchers in Japan, China, Korea, India, etc.  
  • Language Instruction, Translation, Interpretation: Fulfill growing demand for teaching Asian languages, translating and interpreting, in the US or in Asia.
  • Travel and Tourism: Put your knowledge of other cultures to work in a travel agency, an airline or a tour company 
Question 2: I want to know the achievments of AAS students and alumni.  Where can I see them?

Answer: Their achievements are posted here. If you have good news, let the department secretary know (Ms. Lynne Foerster) and she'll post it!

Question 3: How can I declare a major or a minor in AAS, CNS, JNH, KOR, RLS, or SOA?  How can I be cleared for it?

Answer: See this page (Pathway to major/minor).

Question 4: How do I choose my concentration for the major or minor in AAS?  What about the courses for the Core?

Answer: You can "design" your concentration with the Director of AAS Major/Minor depending on your background, interest and future goals!  Many AAS courses can be applied to two or more concentration areas because our programs are mostly interdisciplinary. So, you can choose the courses with the Director to satisfy your needs. In addition, you can change the area of concentration if your interest changes. Again, talk to the relevant Director.

The choice of courses for the Core is also flexible. Ask the Director. She  will probably approve any AAS courses, either lower division or upper division, as long as the courses for the Core have different regional or thematic focuses. 

Question 5: I already speak one of the Asian langauges very fluently.  Is there any alternative way to satisfy the language requirement for the major in AAS? 

Answer: You can take Challenge Exam for the language you are already fluent if offered by the LLRC and earn 6 credits for 200+ levels of the language. Or, you can take two non-language AAS courses (6 credits) at 200+ level. 

Question 6: Are there any TA, internship, research, scholarship and study abroad opportunities for the students in the AAS Department? 

Answer: Yes, there are many such opportunities you can take through our programs. You should take advantage of them for gaining memorable college experiences and for enhancing your professional/academic credentials to make you a very attractive candidate in the job market. You  may be able to earn upper-division credits by registering for tutorial courses such as Teaching Practicum, Internship, Directed Reading, Supervised Research, and Honor's Theses. These credits can be used for you to satisfy the University's uppder-division requirement (39+ credits). 

TA:  If you are qualified , you can serve as a TA for our content courses or for our language courses such as Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Hindi and earn upper-division credits (AAS/CHI/JPN/KOR 475/476). They can satisfy the university's upper-division requirement. Talk to the directors or the professor of the course you want to work for.

Internship:  If you are qualified, you can serve as an intern to work with a professor for the Department or for its associated Centers and earn upper-division credits in AAS/CHI/JPN/KOR 488. One of the strengths of the Department of AAS is the close association with active Centers for education, research and outreach.  Click here to see our “Centers.”  

Research:  If you have taken (almost) all courses needed for your major or minor, you will have a chance to engage in research with a professor through tutorial courses such as AAS/CHI/JPN/KOR/RLS 447/487. We also have approved honors programs  (read the conditions for taking AAS 495 carefully). For these tutorial courses, you need to find a professor who is willing to supervise your study/research.  Click here to see our AAS faculty members' expertise.  If you wish, you can continue your study in our MA programs (click here to learn about our MA programs).

Scholarships: Some of our programs and centers offer scholarships  or organize essay/speech contests with cash award for students. Click here to see some of them.

Study abroad and exchanges:  Many of our AAAS faculty members assist International Academic Programs (IAP) to create, arrange, or offer a variety of opportunities for our students to immerse themselves and enhance their knowledge in other countries. As of 2020, we have: 41 Academic Year Programs with partner universities (20 Korea, 13 China, 8 Japan, 1 Singapore, 1 Taiwan, 1 Macau), 17 Summer Programs (3 Faculty-Led Programs), 3 Winter Programs (1 Faculty-Led Program), and 3 Internship/Experiential Leaning Programs (2 Faculty-Led Program).  

Question 7: I missed the AAS Open House in the past. 

Answer: Here are some of the feedback from the students who participated in the events:

Student 1: “ I really felt how close and caring the department is for their students and it made me interested in it. The opportunities for the students such as the scholarships and study abroad programs are great.  I liked the section where the alumni got to talk and share their experience as well as where they are today.  It was interesting to hear that two of the three alumni changed their majors to AAS and that they seem much happier because they changed their major.”

Student 2:“Alumni of the Dept. of Asian and Asian American Studies spoke as guest speakers and many of them said that the programs helped them a lot for the profession they chose in the future.”

Student 3: “After attending the AAS Open House, I was shocked at how many programs there actually are.  I never thought there would be so many, from classes to clubs, to study abroad and graduate opportunities."

Student 4: "I thought that a language degree would be limiting the career options that are possible in the future, but I was wrong. There are so many career opportunities from economics to research to international marketing and even politics.  Before the meeting, I thought Asian study would be a really niche thing that had limited opportunities; however, after the Open House, it has opened up to me all the broad options that are possible and how awesome Asian study can be.”

Student 5:  "It's a pity that I'm a senior now and cannot have another major or minor.  If I was a freshman,  I probably would minor in Japanese studies, because my major was physics and physics in Japan was great. I could have more opportunities in the future.”

Student 6: "I noticed that some of the alumni [who spoke at the Open House] were not initially expecting to go into this field like the one who was in pre-med. It inspires me that people can succeed in the department despite having changed their paths so drastically. Personally, I'm interested in maybe an Asian Studies minor to learn more about my heritage and the culture but because I didn't know how it relates to my English major, I didn't consider it as much. The alumni are a great example of discovering new opportunities because of exploring, so it encourages me to try it out as well. I also learned from the open house that the Asian Studies major/minor is much more applicable than I thought and gives you a specialized set of knowledge which is another reason to look into it.”