Asian Studies Interdisciplinary Program

Asian Studies (ASNT)

Since 1975, the Asian Studies degree program has helped students understand Canada’s relationship with Asia and the impacts Asia has upon Canada. The program consists of the study of language, culture, geography, history and society, and facilitates student travel to experience parts of Asia first hand.  Students are  encouraged to add Asian Studies as a minor or a second major, or a more focused minor in either Chinese or Japanese Studies. Saint Mary’s University is the only institution in the Atlantic Provinces offering a comprehensive degree-granting program in Asian Studies.

An academic background in Asian Studies will help to prepare students for careers in a variety of fields, including the diplomatic service, in international trade and industry and in the secondary and university education.

Facility in an Asian language is central to the program and students are encouraged to consider participating in one or more of our cultural exchange programs overseas.


Regulations for Majors

To major in Asian Studies, students must complete forty- two (42) credit hours within the following constraints:

a. twelve (12) consecutive Asian language credit hours (Introductory and Intermediate).
b. six (6) credit hours fom the following: HIST 1222RELS 1220, RELS 1221
d. eighteen (18) additional core credit hours from at least two different disciplines other than languages. The list of core courses is given below.
e. Twenty-four (24) credit hours in Asian Studies core courses at the 2000 level or above.

Basic Arts Requirements

Students may find it useful to note that the following introductory courses available for credit towards degrees in Asian Studies also fulfill Basic Arts requirements:

Requirement 3b
JPNS 1100 Introductory Japanese
CHNS 1101 Introductory Modern Chinese I

Requirement 3c
ASNT 1105 Introduction to Chinese Culture
ASNT 1106 Introduction to Japanese Culture
HIST 1208 Global History: 1450 to the Present
HIST 1222 Introduction to East Asian History
RELS 1220 Introduction to Comparative Religions I
RELS 1221 Introduction to Comparative Religions II

Requirement 3d
ANTH 1202 Introduction to Socio-Cultural Anthropology


Regulations for Honours

1. Admission to and continuance in the honours program in Asian Studies follows the general regulations of the Faculty of Arts.

2. To obtain an honours or double honours program in Asian Studies, students must complete at least sixty (60) credit hours and satisfy the following requirements;

a. all of the requirements of the major listed above.
b. six (6) additional Asian language credit hours;
c. six (6) additional credit hours at the 2000 level or above in Anthropology, Asian Studies, History or Religious Studies in courses listed as Asian Studies Core Courses or recognized by the Coordinator as relevant for Asian Studies;
d. an honours thesis (ASNT 4500), prepared during the final year of study in the program. The topic must be approved by the Asian Studies Committee and the thesis will be supervised and graded by three faculty members chosen by the Asian Studies Committee; and
e. annual approval of their program of study by the Coordinator of the Asian Studies Committee.
Regulations for Minors

Students majoring in another academic discipline may obtain a minor in Asian Studies by completing the equivalent of twenty-four (24) credit hours approved for the program:

(a) JPNS 1100 Introductory Japanese or CHNS 1101 and 1102;
(b) ASNT 3300 and ASNT 4400; and
(c) twelve (12) credit hours from the Asian Studies Core Courses (below) (at least six from the 2000 level or above).


Minor in Chinese Studies

Students in the undergraduate Arts program who are not Asian Studies majors can complete a minor in Chinese Studies by completing the following courses: CHNS 1101; ASNT 3300 and 4400; and twelve (12) other credit hours on China in at least two different disciplines taken from the following list:

ANTH 2326, ASNT 1105, ASNT 2305, ASNT 3310CHNS 2200, CHNS 3300, HIST 1222, HIST 2381, HIST 2382, HIST 2383, HIST 3371, HIST 3416HIST 4572, RELS 2327, RELS 3359, RELS 3360.

Transfer credits from other academic institutions may be recognized.


Minor in Japanese Studies

Students in the undergraduate Arts program who are not Asian Studies majors can complete a minor in Japanese Studies by completing the following courses: JPNS 1100; ASNT 3300 and 4400 and twelve (12) other credit hours on Japan in at least two different disciplines taken from the following list:

ANTH 2326, ANTH 2327, ASNT 1106, ASNT 2303, ASNT 3302, ASNT 4410, GEOG 3360, HIST 1222, HIST 2354, HIST 2355, HIST 2356, HIST 4573, JPNS 2200JPNS 3300, RELS 2327, RELS 2340.

Transfer credits from other academic institutions may be recognized.


Certificate Programs

Information concerning the requirements for the Certificate of Chinese Studies Program and the Certificate of Japanese Studies Program are found in Section 4 of this Calendar under Chinese and Japanese.


Regulation for Concentrations

To obtain concentrations in Asian Studies, Chinese Studies, or Japanese Studies in partial fulfillment of the B.A. General Degree (Double Arts Concentrations), a minimum of twenty-four (24) credit hours in one of these three subject areas is required; also a minimum grade point average of 2.00. Further details are available from the Coordinator.


Dual Degree Program

Since it is possible to obtain two undergraduate degrees from Saint Mary’s University, for Commerce students it may be attractive to combine a degree in their field with a major in Asian Studies, especially in light of the interest which the Canadian federal and provincial governments and private industries have in developing trade with the Pacific Rim countries. It is relatively easy to combine Commerce and Asian Studies if Commerce students select their non-commerce and free electives carefully. The second degree can be obtained in a year or less in addition to the normal time requirement for a Commerce degree. For more information please contact the Dean of Arts, the Dean of the Sobey School of Business, or the Coordinator of Asian Studies, and also consult the material at the conclusion of the Faculty of Arts entry in Section 3 of this Calendar.


Asian Studies Core Courses

Note: With the Coordinator’s permission, relevant courses not listed below may be acceptable for credit towards the Major or Minor in Asian, Chinese or Japanese Studies.

Anthropology (ANTH)

1202 Introduction to Socio-Cultural Anthropology 
2326 Contemporary East Asia
2327 Japanese Society
3309 Peasant Society and Culture

Asian Studies (ASNT)

1105 Introduction to Chinese Culture 
1106 Introduction to Japanese Culture
1107 Introduction to Korean Culture
2210 Indigenous Voices in Modern Asia
2303 Contemporary Japan: Institutions and Culture 
2305 Contemporary China: Institutions and Culture 
3300 Multidisciplinary Study of Asia
3302 Japanese Film and Literature 
3310 Chinese Film and Literature 
3826-3849 Selected Topics in Asian Studies 
4400 Seminar in Asian Studies4500 Honours Thesis
4826-4849 Selected Topics in Asian Studies 
4876-4899 Directed Study

Geography (GEOG)

1100 Global Perspectives on Land and Life 
1200 People, Place and Environment

History (HIST)

1208 Global History: 1450 to the Present
1222 Introduction to East Asian History
2354 Japan before 1800
2355 Late Tokugawa and Imperial Japan 1800-1945
2356 Japan since 1945
2381 China before 1800
2382 China in Revolution: 1800-1949
2383 China since 1949
2393 History of Vietnam
2394 History of Korea
3371 The Chinese Cultural Revolution in History and Memory
3416 Love and Family in China 
4572 Memories of WW II in China
4573 The Rise and Fall of the Japanese Empire

Arabic (ARBC)

1100 Introduction to Arabic: Language and Cultures

Chinese (CHNS)

1101 Introductory Modern Chinese I
1102 Intermediate Modern Chinese II
3300 Advanced Oral and Written Chinese I
3301 Advanced Oral and Written Chinese II

Japanese (JPNS)

1100 Introductory Japanese
2200 Intermediate Japanese
3300 Advanced Oral and Written Japanese I
3301 Advanced Oral and Written Japanese II

Religious Studies (RELS)

1220 Introduction to Comparative Religions I 
1221 Introduction to Comparative Religions II 
2323 The Islamic Religious Tradition
2326 The Hindu Religious Tradition 
2327 The Buddhist Religious Tradition
3010 Vietnamese Religious Traditions
2401 Religions of China and Japan 
3010 Vietnamese Religious Traditions  
3312 Theologies of Liberation
3337 Religions and Art: The East 
3358 Religious Diversity in Canada 
3359 Buddhist Paths
3360 Engaged Buddhism
3370 Introduction to the Qur’an 
3373 Islam in South Asia
3374 Islam in North America since 9/11 
4387 Religious Pluralism
4500 Religions and Orientalism