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Major in Asian Studies

What is an Asian studies degree?

Knowledge of other cultures, especially from a region as influential as Asia, is critical for a complete education. An Asian studies Bachelor of Arts degree is an intensive course of study in the cultures, politics, economics and history of Asia, exploring connections across the Pan-Asian region or focusing on China, Japan and South Asia.

Why study Asian studies at Furman?

Our Asian studies program takes an interdisciplinary approach to prepare you for a career at home or abroad. We offer the Bachelor of Arts degree with three majors focusing on Asian Studies, Chinese Studies and Japanese Studies. As a major in our department, you can gain a broad understanding of the entire continent or specialize in a particular region. Our program introduces our students to everything from the languages of China and Japan to South Asian music and popular culture to the social and environmental implications of rising Asian economies. Plan a visit to Furman’s beautiful campus or start your application today.

How will you learn?

Engaged learning within a private liberal arts and sciences university is the framework for your student experience at Furman. Our interdisciplinary approach will give you a deep breadth of knowledge and inspire you to discover connections between varied interests. Our program includes faculty from seven different academic departments, including history, literature, philosophy, anthropology, religion and others, ensuring you will have the opportunity to study Asia from every angle. At Furman, we believe an interdisciplinary approach will help you explore and understand the planet’s largest and most populous region – and our robust language, study away and internship programs will help you see that region from the ground up.

Careers for Asian studies majors

Many B.A. recipients go on to further studies, including postgraduate programs and training in Asian languages. The Furman Asian studies department can help prepare you for a variety of careers in this increasingly vital field, including:

  • International finance
  • Diplomacy and government service
  • Public health
  • Translation
  • Journalism
  • Law
  • Public policy research, analysis and planning
  • International development
  • Social work

Asian studies courses: What will you study?

Sample courses include:

Languages of Asia

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Seminar in Asian Studies

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94%
placement rate six months after graduation (employed or in graduate school)
No. 6
U.S. News and World Report rank among national liberal arts colleges in the Southeast
9:1
student to faculty ratio

What our students say

Birds eye view of lakeside housing

“The Asian studies major helped expand my worldview, and it armed me with the tools necessary for critical analysis. The professors are supportive and challenging, always pushing you to analyze a bit further. The study abroad opportunities within the Asian studies department are unmatched, and the department works with you to ensure that your schedule allows you to study abroad.” – Julia Freeman ’20

Our faculty

Your academic advisor will help you explore your passions, define your interests and achieve your goals. You’ll tap into a widespread network of community and alumni mentors to help you on your individual educational path – and to the opportunities at the end of it. Furman’s Asian studies faculty represents decades of study and real-world expertise in multiple academic departments. Take your first steps by contacting admissions or reading more about how to apply.

  • Eiho Baba
    Title:

    Associate Professor of Philosophy and Asian Studies

    Eiho Baba

    Eiho Baba
    Title:

    Associate Professor of Philosophy and Asian Studies

    Phone Number: 8642942389

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  • Sam Britt
    Title:

    Professor of Asian Studies and Religion

    Sam Britt

    Sam Britt
    Title:

    Professor of Asian Studies and Religion

    Phone Number: 8642943518

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  • Alexander Francis-Ratte
    Title:

    James B. Duke Assistant Professor of Asian Studies

    Alexander Francis-Ratte

    Alexander Francis-Ratte
    Title:

    James B. Duke Assistant Professor of Asian Studies

    Phone Number: 8642943389

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  • Lane J Harris
    Title:

    Associate Professor and Chair, History

    Lane J Harris

    Lane J Harris
    Title:

    Associate Professor and Chair, History

    Phone Number: 8642942798

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  • Nadia Kanagawa
    Title:

    Assistant Professor, History and Asian Studies

    Headshot of Nadia Kanagawa, new professor

    Nadia Kanagawa
    Title:

    Assistant Professor, History and Asian Studies

    Phone Number: 8642942281

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  • Katherine Palmer Kaup
    Title:

    James B. Duke Professor of Asian Studies and Politics and International Affairs

    Katherine Palmer Kaup

    Katherine Palmer Kaup
    Title:

    James B. Duke Professor of Asian Studies and Politics and International Affairs

    Phone Number: 8642943150

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  • Lisa I. Knight
    Title:

    Professor, Religion, Asian Studies, and Anthropology; Chair of Asian Studies

    Lisa I. Knight

    Lisa I. Knight
    Title:

    Professor, Religion, Asian Studies, and Anthropology; Chair of Asian Studies

    Phone Number: 8642943293

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  • Harry Kuoshu
    Title:

    Herring Professor of Asian Studies

    Harry Kuoshu

    Harry Kuoshu
    Title:

    Herring Professor of Asian Studies

    Phone Number: 8642942278

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  • Savita Nair
    Title:

    Professor, History and Asian Studies; Director, Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program; Inclusive Pedagogy Fellow, FDC

    Savita Nair

    Savita Nair
    Title:

    Professor, History and Asian Studies; Director, Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program; Inclusive Pedagogy Fellow, FDC

    Phone Number: 8642943332

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  • Izumi Tokunaga
    Title:

    Lecturer of Asian Studies

    Izumi Tokunaga

    Izumi Tokunaga
    Title:

    Lecturer of Asian Studies

    Phone Number: 8642943189

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  • Andrew Womack
    Title:

    Assistant Professor, Asian Studies, Anthropology

    Andrew Womack

    Andrew Womack
    Title:

    Assistant Professor, Asian Studies, Anthropology

    Phone Number: 8642942486

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  • Edward Yazijian
    Title:

    Assistant Professor of Religion and Asian Studies

    Edward Yazijian

    Edward Yazijian
    Title:

    Assistant Professor of Religion and Asian Studies

    Phone Number: 8642943682

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  • Qiaosi Joyce Yuan
    Title:

    Visiting Instructor, Asian Studies

    Qiaosi Yuan

    Qiaosi Joyce Yuan
    Title:

    Visiting Instructor, Asian Studies

    Phone Number: 8642943772

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  • Dongming Zhang
    Title:

    James B. Duke Associate Professor of Asian Studies

    Dongming Zhang

    Dongming Zhang
    Title:

    James B. Duke Associate Professor of Asian Studies

    Phone Number: 8642942951

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  • FAQ

    What can you do with an Asian studies degree?

    Many B.A. recipients go on to pursue postgraduate degrees and training in Asian languages. Many graduates of Asian studies programs have also found success in diplomacy and government, international aid as managers and analysts, social work, global finance, public health and public policy. Some also work in journalism as reporters, producers and editors, and international development, as consultants and advisors.

    What is the average salary for Asian studies majors?

    The average annual pay for graduates with an undergraduate degree in Asian studies is $57,299 or more, according to ZipRecruiter. While salaries can exceed $121,000, the majority of majors earn between $38,500 and $66,500, with top earners making $94,000 or more annually.

    How long does it take to earn an Asian studies degree?

    The Asian studies B.A. program is typically a four-year program.

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