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Grand Valley State University    
2011-2012 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog 
  Sep 22, 2018
2011-2012 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

East Asian Studies - Program Description

For additional information about opportunities your college offers, please refer to the Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies  section in this catalog.

East Asian Studies Program Faculty:

Coordinator: Wu. Professors: Ni, Wu; Associate Professors: Benjamin, Helgert, Lai, Shan, Shang, Smith, Wanxiao Sun, Wangdi, Yu; Assistant Professors: Gu, Liang, Ma, Robinson,  Xu, Zhang, Zhao.


The East Asian Studies program at Grand Valley State University explores languages, cultures, histories, politics, and economics of China and Japan. The program recognizes the complex traditions and historical contributions of these countries while acknowledging the essential roles they play in the world today.

China, with five thousand years of civilization, more than a billion people, and a fast growing economy, and Japan, with its unparalleled economic success and its unique geopolitical position, commands the attention of the world. The East Asian Studies curriculum provides students with a balanced liberal arts and professional perspective on the study of the rich cultural resources, economic potentials, and comparative politics of these two countries. Students gain intercultural knowledge and competence that benefit them in this increasingly globalized world.

Students who minor in East Asian Studies can participate in the study abroad programs at East China Normal University in Shanghai, Nanjing University in Nanjing, National Taiwan Normal University in Taipei, Japanese Studies program at International Christian University (ICU), or the Japan Center for Michigan Universities (JCMU). Consult the Barbara H. Padnos International Center or the Director of the East Asian Studies Program for more information.

Completion of the minor in East Asian Studies requires a total of 21 to 22 credit hours. Normally this includes nine credits of core courses, four credits of either Chinese or Japanese above the 201 level, and nine credits of electives, for a total of 22 credits.

Students who enter the university competent in Japanese or Chinese at the 202 level or higher will take one extra elective course for a total of 21 credits.  No more than two courses from any department other than EAS may be counted toward the minor. There is no limit on the courses designated EAS that may apply to the minor.

Career Opportunities

The East Asian Studies Minor is designed for students who are interested in Chinese or Japanese culture and who see fluency in the Chinese and Japanese language and knowledge of East Asia as instrumental for their academic or professional careers in education, international business, international relations, governmental and non-governmental organizations, and in other areas of work related to China and Japan.

Participating Programs

Grand Valley students majoring in areas such as business, communications, English, history, international relations, philosophy, and political science, among others, will find that this program provides a unique perspective on these two dynamic countries and a valued complement to their major programs.  Students studying Chinese or Japanese at the primary or secondary level, transfer students who began studying these languages at other two- and four-year institutions, and study abroad participants may also choose to minor in East Asian Studies.

Student Organizations (

The Chinese Language and Culture organization provides interested students of any major a place to learn about the culture and language of China. Students are also encouraged to participate in the activities of local Asian associations, including the Chinese Association of West Michigan, the Asian-American Association, the Japan-American Society of West Michigan, as well as campus student groups such as the Asian Student Union (ASU) and the International Student Organization (ISO).  Members of community organizations and businesses are also invited to take courses and participate in program activities.


The following program is available:

East Asian Studies Minor