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Minor in East Asian Studies

The Minor in East Asian Studies provides a coherent framework for the study of East Asia. The minor is designed to prepare students for becoming leaders with specialized knowledge of the peoples, cultures, languages, and social systems of East Asia. It is also intended for heritage speakers of Chinese and Japanese, who wish to gain greater understanding of their identity, as well as for those who simply wish to acquire more knowledge about East Asia.

The minor in East Asian Studies provides opportunities for students to develop in-depth knowledge about China and Japan from multiple disciplinary perspectives and prepares students for future life and work in the region. Students will gain an understanding of the factors underlying Asia’s rising influence in the world and the possible consequences of this growing role. Available courses stretch across the fields of fine arts, history, language, philosophy, politics, religion, and sociology. The minor complements a major in any of these disciplines as well as others, e.g., international relations and international business. Students minoring in East Asian Studies are strongly encouraged to study abroad in Asia.

Please contact the Coordinator for East Asian Studies, Mary McCarthy, with any questions.

Requirements for the Minor

(21 credit hours)

History: HIST 021 (Pre-Modern East Asia) or HIST 022 (East Asia Since 1600) (3 credit hours)

Language: Two semesters of Chinese, Japanese, Korean (must transfer from another institution) or equivalent competence (6 credit hours)

Electives: Two courses each (four courses total) from the lists of social science and humanities/fine arts below (12 credit hours)

Study Abroad: Study abroad is strongly recommended, but not required. Students will take advantage of existing opportunities, including short-term travel seminars. Primary advisors and an advisor from WLC will work with Drake International to identify appropriate programs. Current faculty and staff are anticipated to develop new study abroad experiences in China and Japan.

Approved Courses*

Fine Arts/Humanities


ART 075 – Themes in Art History

ART 103 – Art of India, China, and Japan

ART 111 – Cultural Intersections C. 1900

ART 113 – Current Chinese Art and Issues

ART 117 – Chinese Landscape Painting


HIST 021 – Pre-Modern East Asia

HIST 022 – East Asia Since 1600

HIST 128 – Imperial China

HIST 129 - Modern China

HIST 130 – Twentieth Century China

HIST 131 – Modern Japan

HIST 170 – Women and Family in China

HIST 177 – Politics and Society: Late Imperial China


REL 064 – Introduction to Buddhism

PHIL/REL 103 – Philosophy and Religion in China

PHIL/REL 111 – Eastern Philosophy

REL 114 – Religions of Des Moines

PHIL/REL 121 – Comparative Religions

PHIL/REL 125 – Philosophy of Religion


REL 151 China: Way of the Sage


WLC 148 - Intercultural Communications


Social Sciences


ECON 131 – China’s Economic and Business System


MKTG 170 – Global Marketing

Political Science

POLS 109 – China and the World

POLS 109 - -Japan and the World: Issues of War and Memory

POLS 162 – The Government and Politics of China

POLS 163 – The Government and Politics of Japan

POLS 139 – Comparative Asian Politics

Study of Culture and Society

SCSS 130 – Contemporary Chinese Society


*Other courses may be applied to the minor as well, on the approval of your advisor. 

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