University of Southern California

Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

East Asian Languages and Cultures

Undergraduate Degree

Bachelor of Arts in East Asian Languages and Cultures Requirements

For the lower division, two years of Chinese, Japanese or Korean language are required. For the upper division, 32 units, including the third year of language, are required. The 32 units of upper-division courses must also include one civilization course, one literature course and four upper-division elective courses (16 units) in Chinese, Japanese or Korean. One lower-division course may be counted toward the 16 units of upper-division electives. One East Asian course from another department may be included in the 32 unit requirement, if ­approved by an adviser.

Honors Program

Candidates for the B.A. in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures may receive a designation on their transcripts of departmental honors. Admission to the honors program is required.

Prerequisites: 3.33 overall GPA, 3.5 GPA or better in courses in the major, completion of at least one upper-level EALC course requiring a seminar paper at the time of admission, submission of an application form to the undergraduate faculty adviser.

Required for departmental honors: Maintain GPA re­quirements stated above and complete EALC 495ab Undergraduate Honors Thesis.

East Asian Languages and Cultures Minor Requirements

For the lower division, two years of language in one of three languages (Chinese, Japanese and Korean) are required. For the upper division, four 4-unit courses, including one civilization course, one literature course and two upper-division elective courses in Chinese, Japanese or Korean are required.

Cultures and Politics of the Pacific Rim Minor Requirements

This interdisciplinary minor introduces stu­dents to the cultural heritage and political contexts of the United States’ most important trading partners on the Pacific Rim. Students study East Asia and Latin America, and the cultural, economic and ­political dimensions of international trade. It is intended for students who are interested in or considering diplomatic or commercial careers that require knowledge about the people and cultures of the Pacific Rim.

As with all minors, students must choose at least four classes dedicated to this minor and four classes outside their major department, which may be the same four courses.

Requirements (five courses, 20 units) units
International Trade (choose one course from the list below)
ECON 450 International Trade (prerequisite: ECON 303 or BUAD 351) 4
IR 325 North-South Relations in the Global Economy 4
IR 330 Politics of the World Economy 4
IR 470 Comparative Regionalism (prerequisite: IR 210) 4
POSC 345 International Law 4
POSC 451 Politics of Resources and Development 4
Area Studies (choose two courses, each from a different list below)
Latin America:
AHIS 319 Mesoamerican Art and Culture 4
ANTH 314g The Nature of Maya Civilization 4
ANTH 328 Culture Change and the Mexican People 4
ANTH 425 Peoples and Cultures of Latin America 4
HIST 372 Modern Latin America 4
HIST 374 History of Mexico 4
HIST 451 The Mexican Revolution 4
HIST 473 Colonial Latin America Seminar 4
IR 364 The Political Economy of Latin American Development 4
IR 365 Politics and Democracy in Latin America 4
POSC 350 Politics of Latin America 4
SPAN 320 Iberian and Latin American Cultures: Readings on Society (in Spanish) 4
SPAN 321 Iberian and Latin American Cultures: Readings on the Arts (in Spanish) 4
SPAN 372 Modern and Contemporary Latin American Fiction (in Spanish) 4
SPAN 380 Literature of Mexico (in Spanish) 4
East Asia:
ANTH 323 Regional Ethnology: Southeast Asia 4
ECON 343 Economic Development of East Asia (prerequisite: ECON 203 or ECON 205) 4
IR 358 The Asia Pacific in World Affairs 4
IR 360 International Relations of the Pacific Rim 4
IR 361 South and Southeast Asia in International Affairs 4
IR 384 Asian Security Issues 4
POSC 352 Politics of Southeast Asia 4
POSC 355 Politics of East Asia 4
POSC 377 Asian Political Thought 4
POSC 453 Political Change in Asia 4
REL 331 Religions of East Asia 4
Country Study (choose two courses from the lists below)
AHIS 384 Early Chinese Art 4
AHIS 385 Later Chinese Art 4
ANTH 324 Regional Ethnology: China 4
EALC 350 Chinese Civilization 4
EALC 352 Chinese Literature and Culture 4
EALC 354 Modern Chinese Literature in Translation 4
EALC 355 Studies in Chinese Thought 4
EALC 375 Women and Gender in China: Past and Present 4
HIST 338 China to 960 A.D. 4
HIST 339 China, 960–1800 A.D. 4
HIST 340 History of China since 1800 4
IR 333 China in International Affairs 4
POSC 356 Politics in the People’s Republic of China 4
AHIS 386 Early Japanese Art 4
AHIS 387 Later Japanese Art 4
EALC 340 Japanese Civilization 4
EALC 342 Japanese Literature and Culture 4
EALC 365 Studies in Japanese Thought 4
EALC 428 Nature and the Ecological Imagination in Japanese Literature 4
EALC 460 Love, Self and Gender in Japanese Literature 4
HIST 335 History of Japan to 1550 4
HIST 336 History of Japan, 1550–1945 4
HIST 337 Japan since 1945 4
HIST 438 Seminar in Pre-Modern Japanese History 4
HIST 464 Culture, Money, and Power: Japanese-American Relations since 1853 4
IR 442 Japanese Foreign Policy 4
POSC 354 Japanese Politics 4
EALC 332 Korean Literature in English Translation 4
EALC 335 Korean American Literature 4
EALC 345 Korean Civilization 4
HIST 333 Korea: The Modern Transformation 4

Study Abroad Programs

East Asian Languages and Cultures majors and minors are encouraged to take advantage of the numerous semester and year-long study abroad opportunities sponsored by the Office of Overseas Studies. Currently, the office offers programs in China (Beijing and Nanjing), Taiwan (Taipei), Korea (Seoul), and Japan (Tokyo, Nagoya). Each of the programs is affiliated with a world class institution, such as Waseda University in Tokyo, National Chengchi University in Taipei or Yonsei University in Seoul. Contact the Office of Overseas Studies at (213) 740-3636 for further details or visit them online at

The majority of course work offered by these programs may be counted toward the EALC major or minor requirements. Students who receive major credit from any of these programs must still take at least eight units of non-language courses within EALC at the upper-­division level while at USC (specifically an EALC civilization and an EALC literature course). Students interested in attending one of these programs must meet with an EALC academic adviser to ensure that the courses enrolled in overseas will meet EALC major or minor requirements.

Chinese Summer Program in Beijing

The Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures offers its Chinese language summer courses in Beijing. Participants will be able to transition seamlessly to the next level courses upon returning to campus. Cultural visits and excursions will be included in the tuition fee. All courses count toward a major and minor in East Asian Languages and Cultures.

Bachelor of Arts with a Combined Major in Linguistics/East Asian Languages and Cultures

See Department of Linguistics.

Progressive Degree Program in East Asian Languages and Cultures

The progressive degree program permits exceptional undergraduate students to receive both a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts in East Asian Languages and Cultures within five years. It is intended for students with extraordinary EALC preparation and performance who demonstrate a superior level of overall scholarship.


Applicants may apply after the completion of 64 units of course work applicable to their undergraduate degree since graduating from high school. (AP units, IB units and course work taken prior to high school graduation are excluded). Applicants must submit their applications before completing 96 units of course work. Normally, the application is submitted in the fall semester of the third year of enrollment at USC. The application for admission to a progressive degree program must be accompanied by a departmentally approved course plan proposal and two letters of recommendation from USC faculty members in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures.

Awarding of Degrees

Progressive degree program students must fulfill all of the requirements for both the bachelor’s degree and the master’s degree, including a master’s thesis. The unit requirement for the master’s degree can be reduced by as much as one-third. The degrees may be awarded separately, but the master’s degree will not be awarded before the undergraduate degree.

Time Limits

The time limit for completing a progressive degree program is 12 semesters.

Further details about progressive degrees can be found here.