East Asian Languages and Cultures Program

EALC Program

Under the new EALC major and minor, students may choose to study across disciplinary and geographic boundaries, or they may pursue a more focused approach to their studies. Our language programs continue to offer their full sequence of courses in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. Students are able to choose among the range of non-language courses to enhance their grounding in the East Asian nation of their choice. Students who major in EALC will be equipped with the sort of training in East Asian languages and cultures that will best prepare them to be productive scholars and professionals, and educated global citizens.

The Languages: Chinese, Japanese, Korean

The modern Chinese language curriculum is arranged in a five-year sequence of courses offering a balanced emphasis on listening, speaking, reading, and writing. EALC also offers three levels of Heritage Chinese for students who speak Chinese at home, but may not have had formal training in Chinese.

Japanese offers four years of language training in an intensive, interactive classroom experience, and aims at fostering natural fluency and cultural competence from the very beginning stages of study.

The four-year Korean language program enables students to attain a high level of proficiency in speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills, and to acquire the cultural knowledge and competency needed to communicate effectively in a Korean environment.

Each language program offers its students chances for language practice outside the classroom with extracurricular activities, including language tables, cultural events, and guest lectures.

The Literatures and Cultures of East Asia

EALC faculty teach a wide range of literature and cultural courses, offering students opportunities to discover the rich and unique cultures and literary traditions of China, Japan, and Korea.  EALC students can explore the rich interconnectivity that represents the global trends that have long shaped, and continue to shape, East Asia.


ealc library

East Asian Languages and Cultures Program

Major & Minor Requirements

Students undertake language study in Chinese, Japanese, or Korean, and take one core Civilization course and a 300-level EALC Seminar, along with two literature courses of their choosing. The EALC major and minor allow students the flexibility to study across regions.

learn more about major & minor requirements


EALC majors have the option of concentrating their major requirements in one of three East Asia civilizations.

Concentration in Chinese
Concentration in Japanese
Concentration in Korean

Concentrations recognize a student’s proficiency in one language or extensive knowledge of one East Asia civilization. East Asian Languages and Cultures majors may concentrate in a civilization of East Asia by taking (as part of their major requirement) 15 upper-level units (5 courses) in one of the three civilizations (Chinese, Japanese, Korean) and submitting a concentration form to the department. Students may earn a concentration in one civilization. Upper-level language and study abroad courses may be used to complete a concentration. The successful completion of a concentration will appear on the student's transcript after graduation and may be particularly helpful for students interested in graduate or professional school. Submission deadlines: Spring graduates due by March 1 of senior year; Fall graduates due by November 1 of senior year. Download a copy of the form.

In class we don’t just memorize words and characters; I’ve learned about Chinese geography, food, holidays, and daily life, as well as more serious issues like pollution, overpopulation, and gender inequality. Studying Chinese has brought me close to a lot of friends I never would have met otherwise, and given me the opportunity to live in China for a summer and experience a new and very different part of the world.

―Keatley PihlMinor in Chinese '17, summer 2015, Fudan Study abroad program


Have questions? We would love to help you explore studying EALC at WashU. 

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