Core Courses

Comparative Modernization of East Asia
The historical process of political and social modernization in China, Japan, and Korea. Emphasis is on the evolution of traditional societies in the classical and medieval periods and their transformation in the modern era. Both the influence of contact with the West, and the effects of internal pressures for change are examined from a comparative perspective.

Cultures of East Asia: Religion and Philosophy
The religious and philosophical traditions of China, Japan, and Korea, especially as they affect the lives of contemporary East Asians. Emphasis is on the development of Confucian, Taoist, Buddhist and other schools of thought, their spread through South, Southeast, and East Asia, and the story of how they shaped and were in turn shaped by the cultures of the region.

Literatures of East Asia
Comparative survey of influential traditional and modern literary works from China, Japan, and Korea, investigating the cultural assumptions and historical conditions under which they came into being. Emphasis is on utilizing the lens of literature to examine the society it reflects and shapes and on gaining an understanding of the role literary arts play in the cultural life of each country.

Society and Culture in the Contemporary Asia Pacific
Comparative study of the social and cultural aspects of contemporary China, Japan, and Korea. Emphasis is on the symbols, ideologies, social orders, and politics that lend themselves to the construction and maintenance of national and cultural identities. The continual modification of these identities under the pressure to meet the challenges of the 21st century will also be explored.

International Politics of the Asia Pacific
Comparative analysis of the international politics of Japan, Korea, 'Greater' China, Southeast, and South Asia in the 20th century. Emphasis is on regional and international political developments, including those involving the United States, and on examining policies and strategies used by countries to compete and cooperate while assuring their national security.

Political Economies of Asia
Comparative study of the economic systems of East Asia with a focus on Japan, China, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Emphasis on East Asian economic developments in the 20th century with a focus on the applicability of competing economic theories and models of economic development to current economic problems and opportunities in the East Asia region.

Master's Capstone Project
In their final semester, students research an Asia Pacific Studies issue of their choice, write a thesis on the topic, and present their work. The thesis can include optional fieldwork.

Quantitative Methods
Quantitative research skills applied to topics of the Asia Pacific with an emphasis on statistical techniques and data analysis for academic research.

Language Courses

The Asian Language component of the MAPS program lays a firm foundation in the target language or advances language competency previously acquired. An understanding of Chinese, Japanese or Tagalog opens a unique window into the peoples who speak these languages and the cultures they have constructed. The language skills offered by the MAPS program form the basis for a quantifiable, career-building asset that opens opportunities that are otherwise closed to students.

In addition to achieving Asian language proficiency at the fourth semester level or above, students will have the opportunity to take elective courses and explore other elective options.

Elective Courses

East Meets West: An Early Global History (1450-1750)
An exploration of the creative encounters as well as turbulent clashes that took place between explorers, merchants and missionaries of the European maritime empires (Portugal, Spain, England, France, and the Netherlands), and the peoples and indigenous cultures and civilizations of the Asia “Pacific Rim.”

Human Rights: East Asian Perspectives and Practices
A critical examination of the viability of rights discourse out of non-Western traditions, including a comparative analysis of human rights discourses (East Asian and Western) and a focus on current human rights issues, including gender equality and the conditions of migrant workers.

Ideologies and Encounters: Historiography of Racial Hysteria in U.S. and East Asian Relations
Historical analysis of cultural representation, misrepresentation, and the critical role of racial hysteria in U.S. and East Asian relations from the mid-nineteenth century to the present.

International Development Management in Asia
An examination of how the NGOs and NPOs design and manage sustainable development in partnership with private and government sectors with a focus on program management strategies, concepts, tools and best practices.

Translation Practicum
Chinese-English translation of literary texts, examination of complex cultural and linguistic challenges/rewards of literary translation, and development of new skills transferable to other kinds of communications.

Other Electives

Directed Research
Directed Research is an option that allows a student to explore a research topic in depth. Students secure and confer with an advisor to develop practical and relevant ideas for research. The faculty advisor supervises the writing of the research paper. Directed Research is organized on an ad hoc 'contract' basis, which requires the student to complete a specified amount of reading and research writing to earn the specific number of units agreed on.

MAPS students are encouraged to seek out approved internship opportunities in suitable companies and organizations that offer meaningful involvement with issues and activities related to their studies in the program.

Students have held intern positions with the Asia Foundation, the Japan Society and other non-profit organizations, and with such for-profit companies as Matthews International Funds, Coca Cola Corp. and Meridian Resources. Students in good standing may submit internship proposals to receive 1 (one) or more units credit in lieu of Asian language courses. Internships can also be done on a non-credit basis.

Additional Options
Electives are available in the School of Management (MBA), the School of Law, and the School of Education.