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.

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.

Students who have already achieved Asian language competence equal to or surpassing the level achieved in the Asian language classes are encouraged to consider the following elective options.

Elective Courses

Students who start the program with four semesters, or more, of Asian language competence, may choose among the following elective courses and options: 

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 basi