Admission to the Major
Prospective majors are urged to start their language and Foundations core courses early in their Wesleyan careers. This will leave more time for study abroad and for more meaningful work in the concentration of the student's choice. To help students chart their way, the college faculty members have designed the concentrations listed below. Admission to the college is most commonly requested during the spring semester of a student’s first year, although students may join the major at any time, so long as they have a viable path towards completing the major’s requirements.
In order for us to learn a bit more about you and to help us match you with an advisor, we ask all students to fill out and submit the new major student information form prior to submitting your major declaration form via WesPortal.
Majoring in the College of East Asian Studies (CEAS) requires seven courses. These include two core courses, four in a concentration, and one elective. Other requirements include language courses and a senior capstone project. In addition, although not required, there is an expectation that students will study abroad, which for most students forms a vital part of their learning experience. Up to one full credit of CLAC courses may be counted toward major credit. All other courses counting toward the major must be taken for a grade. Please note that courses taken C/U during 2020 may also count towards the major in recognition of the difficulties that many students face as a result of the pandemic.
Core courses. Each CEAS major is expected to take an introductory "Foundations of East Asian Culture" course (usually taken in the spring semester of the first year) and our interdisciplinary Proseminar (CEAS201) (usually taken in the fall of the sophomore year). The goal is to ensure that each CEAS major is firmly anchored in the classical texts and key events that shaped the development of East Asian cultures before the 19th century as well as the basic methodologies and main areas of scholarship within East Asian studies. Details on the courses that count for the core courses are available at wesleyan.edu/ceas/majoring/core.html.
Concentrations. Each CEAS major must choose one of the four concentrations listed below. Our goal is to ensure that each major’s course of study has methodological coherence in a specific area of study. Course offerings for each concentration may vary in some years according to faculty on campus. Details on the courses that count for the concentrations are available at wesleyan.edu/ceas/majoring/concentrations.html.
- Archaeology and History
- Language and Culture
- Philosophy and Religion
- Political Economy
Student Learning Goals
The College of East Asian Studies (CEAS) has two mutually reinforcing core missions: to cultivate an outstanding group of students with strong language abilities, wide-ranging knowledge about East Asia, and an area of particular expertise; and to promote knowledge of and engagement with the histories, cultures, and contemporary significances of East Asia across the campus, curriculum, and broader community.
Experience living in East Asia and use of language in its appropriate cultural context is viewed as a vital component of East Asian studies. Accordingly, although not required, CEAS majors are expected to study abroad to develop their language competency and acquire a more concrete grasp of a specific East Asian cultural context. This expectation may be fulfilled through a semester or one year in an approved program.
For more information, see wesleyan.edu/ceas/majoring/studyabroad.html.
Questions about study abroad should be addressed to Prof. Wei Gong (China), Prof. Naho Maruta (Japan), or Prof. Hyejoo Back (Korea).
CEAS majors are expected to reach a minimum of advanced-level (completed third year) competency in Chinese, Japanese, or Korean. Majors who are native speakers of Chinese, Japanese, or Korean are expected to study another East Asian language. All students need to maintain a grade of B or above by the time they reach advanced-level competency. All students must take a minimum of four semesters of East Asian language courses; this may mean being required to take language classes beyond the advanced level. Evaluation of an individual student’s language competence will be undertaken by the relevant language coordinator, who will also determine how language courses not taken at Wesleyan count toward this requirement.
Questions about Chinese should be addressed to the Chinese language and cocurriculum coordinator, Prof. Wei Gong. Questions about Japanese should be addressed to the Japanese language and cocurriculum coordinator, Prof. Naho Maruta. Questions about Korean should be addressed to the Korean language and cocurriculum coordinator, Prof. Hyejoo Back.
All majors must complete a written or (with approval) creative project during their senior year. This should involve the use of East Asian language materials to the extent that the student's preparation permits. There are several ways in which this requirement can be fulfilled:
- Write a substantial essay, focusing on East Asia, as assigned in a regular class. The instructor must approve of this project and may suggest revisions as needed. Similarly, faculty approval is required also for a creative project done in the context of a class or as a tutorial. If the class instructor is not a CEAS faculty member, the essay or the creative arts project must be approved by the student’s CEAS advisor. Please note that this class can simultaneously fulfill other requirements.
- Write a one-semester senior essay in a tutorial, preferably given by a CEAS faculty member. The tutorial may be for a full credit or for 0.5 credit.
- Write a senior thesis, typically in a two-semester tutorial with a CEAS faculty member.
- Furthermore, each student will be expected to present his or her research at a poster presentation toward the end of the spring semester of the senior year. This presentation is in addition to and apart from the actual research project.