Undergraduate FAQs

Fulfilling the Major or Minor

What majors and minors are offered in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures?

Beginning in FL21, the department will offer the major and minor in East Asian Languages and Cultures.

Students who matriculated prior of FL21 may continue to pursue majors and minors in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.

Can I major or minor in EALC and another degree?

Yes, however, please keep in mind that the EALC major requires 24 units of advanced coursework (300 level or above) that are unique to the major and cannot be "double-counted."  The EALC minor requires 18 units unique to the minor. 

Can I major or minor in just Chinese, Japanese or Korean language?

No. While language study is the foundation of the EALC curriculum, we consider a solid knowledge of the literature, history, and cultures associated with these languages to be very important as well.

How do I declare a major or minor in East Asian Languages and Cultures?

You may request to declare a major/minor through WebStac. Majors will then be asked to arrange a meeting with the EALC Director of Undergraduate Studies. When your request is approved, you will be assigned an appropriate major or minor advisor.

Do I need to satisfy a Capstone requirement for an EALC major?

Yes, prime majors are required to do a Capstone experience. You may fulfill the Capstone requirement by taking an approved 400-level seminar course during your senior year. Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and EALC majors must use a 400-level course home-based in L03, L04, L05, L51, or L81 to satisfy the Capstone requirement.  The Capstone course must be within your area of focus.  Writing Intensive courses cannot fulfill the Capstone requirement.

Alternatively, if you have earned an overall GPA of 3.65 or higher you may choose to write a senior honors thesis, which will not only fulfill your Capstone requirement but also qualify you for Latin honors. Note that the 3 units of the 400-level seminar may be included in the upper-level non-language courses apart from the literature survey. However, the 6 units of Senior Honor’s Thesis research are in addition to the required 24 upper-level units.

All seniors who are prime majors, regardless of whether they are writing a thesis or taking a 400-level seminar, are required to make a brief presentation of their thesis research or their seminar paper/project at the Senior Symposium held at the end of the spring semester.

Am I required to meet with my assigned advisor?

Majors will need to check in with their advisors at least once a semester since you must have your advisor’s authorization before registering for the following semester’s courses. You should also meet with your advisor whenever you have any questions about fulfilling the requirements for the major or other academic-related issues. Minors do not need their advisor’s authorization for registration but should plan on meeting with their advisors at least once or twice in the course of the academic year.  

Am I required to participate in the EALC Senior Symposium?

All EALC prime majors are required to participate in the Senior Symposium by preparing a 3-minute presentation and a poster (or powerpoint) of either the research paper written for their 400-level Capstone course, OR their senior honors thesis. Second majors are encouraged to attend the Senior Symposium. 

What is the Senior Exit Dossier?

All EALC majors, both prime and second, are required to submit a Senior Exit Dossier before graduation.  Refer to this page for details.

What if I still have questions about the EALC majors and minors?

For further information, contact the EALC Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Courses and Credit

Must I register through the L81 EALC number to get credit toward my EALC major or minor even if a cross-listed course is home-based in another department?

We advise you to enroll under the L81 EALC course number to better ensure that all of the courses you intend to count toward your major or minor will be properly credited. Language courses are listed only in their respective number: L04 Chinese, L05 Japanese, L51 Korean. If a course you wish to take is not cross-listed with EALC, you will need the approval of your advisor and/or the Director of Undergraduate Studies in order to count it towards your major or minor.

Can I audit language courses?

Given the highly interactive and participatory nature of our language instruction, the auditing of EALC language courses is not allowed.

Can Independent Study courses be used to fulfill the EALC major or minor requirements?

No more than 3 units of Independent Study may be applied towards an EALC major. Independent Study courses cannot be applied to an EALC minor.

As a transfer student, do language courses taken at my previous school count toward the language requirement for an EALC major?

Credit for previous language study is awarded only after you have taken the EALC language placement exam and earned at least a B- in the course into which you have placed.

What is the department's back-credit policy?

Credit is typically awarded for completing the following courses with a grade of B- or better.  Native speakers are not eligible for back credit, so evidence of secondary or post-secondary study of the language is required. 

Chinese:  L04 211 or 212 = 3 units for 102D;  L04 360 or 361 = 3 units for 102D and 3 units for 212
JapaneseL05 213 or 214 = 3 units for 104D;  L05 412 or 413 = 3 units for 104D and 3 units for 214
Korean:  L51 217 or 218 = 3 units for 118D;  L51 417 or 418 = 3 units for 118D and 3 units for 218

May I use two different languages to satisfy my language requirement?

You are encouraged to study more than one language at WU, but in order to satisfy the requirements for the major, you will need to demonstrate competence in one language.

May courses taken at Washington University through Summer School or University College count toward the majors or minors in EALC?

With the approval of your advisor, Summer School courses may be counted toward the major and minor.  However, no more than one University College course may be counted towards the EALC major or minor.

Can I take language classes Pass/Fail?

Some language courses may permit the P/F grade option.  Please check grade options on WebStac.  However, all courses for the major or minor, including language classes, must be taken for a letter grade. Moreover, a B- minimum is required in order to advance from one level to the next.

Study Abroad

Is there a study abroad requirement?

There is no study abroad requirement. However, you are strongly encouraged to participate in one of the several Washington University-approved study abroad programs in East Asia, such as the Kyoto Consortium for Japanese Studies in Japan and the Seoul National University program in Korea.

What is the EALC study abroad policy?

Up to 6 units of credit may be applied toward the major from one semester abroad and up to 12 units of credit from two semesters abroad.  Note that EALC no longer distinguishes study abroad credits earned in advanced language courses from those credits earned in other "content" (non-language) courses.  The revisions will be effective for students matriculating fall 2017 and later.