Undergraduate Program

Discover the language, literature and culture of China, Japan and Korea

Our Program

Beginning in Fall 2021 the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures will offer the unified major and minor in East Asian Languages and Cultures which allows students to explore our three linguistic and cultural traditions, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. Students may pursue a focused approach to their studies by studying one of our languages and may choose among the range of non-language courses to enhance their grounding in the East Asian nation of their choice. Students may also choose to study across disciplinary and geographic boundaries. Majors who opt to concentrate their requirements in one of our three East Asia civilizations may earn a concentration in Chinese/Japanese/Korean which appears on the transcript after graduation.

The EALC major provides advanced training in the chosen language and a sound background in the relevant literature while encouraging students to enhance their cultural knowledge by enrolling in cultural-related courses offered through other departments and programs, such as Anthropology, Art History, Film and Media Studies, History, Performing Arts, and Religious Studies. A major in EALC opens up career opportunities in diplomacy, business, law, journalism, and higher education, in addition to preparation for further study in the relevant languages and cultures.

Students who matriculated prior to FL21 may continue in one of these majors and minors:

Study Abroad

Majors are highly encouraged to participate in Washington University-approved summer, semester, or academic year study-abroad programs as an important way to develop both their practical knowledge and their cultural sensitivity.

East Asian Languages and Cultures Program

Starting Fall 2021, students in Arts & Sciences will be able to major or minor in East Asian Languages and Cultures. The department’s three existing tracks in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean have been consolidated into a single major and minor.

Learn More

Language Placement Exams

Placement tests are required for all students entering our language programs, with the exception of those students who have had no previous knowledge of the language and are planning to enroll in the first semester of the first year of instruction.

Placement Exam Information

Programs for Students who Matriculated Prior to Fall 2021

Close-up photo of undergraduate Angie Kolb

Korean Studies professors... are always ready to go above and beyond for their students... It was an easy decision to switch my Korean minor to a major after experiencing how amazing the WashU program is.

―Angie KolbKorean Major


Have questions? We would love to help you explore studying East Asian languages at WashU. 

Contact Us