Jul 18, 2024  
Undergraduate Record 2009-2010 
Undergraduate Record 2009-2010 [ARCHIVED RECORD]

East Asian Languages, Literature and Culture

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: College of Arts and Sciences


East Asia came to global prominence in the twentieth century and in the twenty-first century, knowledge and understanding of  the region will continue to be important for people in any profession or field of endeavor. To address that crucial need the department of East Asian Languages, Literatures and Cultures (EALLC) offers a comprehensive curriculum in some of the major languages, literatures and cultures of East Asia.

The languages currently taught in EALLC are Chinese (classical and modern), Japanese (classical and modern), Korean, and Tibetan. The Department reserves the right to place any student in the course most appropriate to her or his skill level. Such placement is the responsibility of the coordinator for each language program, and should be made by the fifth class meeting.

Literature courses in EALLC currently are offered in the languages of Chinese and Japanese, and in English with readings in translation. Courses on culture generally are offered in English. In addition to courses on language, literature, and culture, EALLC requires that its majors and minors take advantage of courses offered in many other departments and programs—Anthropology, Art History, Economics, History, Politics, Religious Studies, and Studies in Women and Gender—giving EALLC students a rounded, multidisciplinary perspective.

The EALLC curriculum is designed to give students a high level of language competency and a deep understanding of East Asia. The Department offers an Interdisciplinary East Asian Studies Major and  Minor, an Interdisciplinary Japanese Languages and Literatures Major, an Interdisciplinary Chinese Languages and Literatures major and a Distinguished Major for exceptional students in either the “Studies” or the “Languages and Literatures” major. Students of East Asia go on to graduate or professional schools, to work in governmental agencies, journalism, art, international banking and business, communications, or the Peace Corps, or they teach in Asia. The possibilities are almost infinite. Whatever the case, study in EALLC is an intense, intimate and rewarding experience, and EALLC students are well prepared for the future.

The Major in East Asian Studies

The East Asian Studies major is an interdisciplinary major featuring a language core in EALLC and additional coursework in both EALLC and other departments. Not all concentration courses must be from within EALLC. For instance, a course on Buddhism in Religious Studies would count towards the major. Current lists of possible concentration courses are on the EALLC website. Students are also encourage to take EALLC and related courses outside their country concentration.

Requirements for the Major in East Asian Studies


  • 1020/1060 level or above in a EALLC language. A grade of C or higher must be earned each semester in 1010, 1020, or the grade in 106 must be C or higher.


  • 30 credits in EALLC and related courses, including courses in the selected country concentration, with the following distribution:
  • 6 credits at the 3010 and 3020 level of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, or Tibetan, with a grade of C or higher each semester; language courses below the 3000 level count toward university language requirements;
  • 3 credits in EAST 1010;
  • 3 credits in an East Asian History (HIEA) course (It is strongly recommended that a second History course be taken);
  • 3 credits in an East Asian Humanities (Art History, Architectural History, Literature, Religious Studies) course; see the EALLC website for lists of approved courses;
  • 3 credits in an East Asian Social Sciences (Anthropology, Economics, Politics, Studies in Women and Gender) course; see the EALLC website for lists of approved courses;
  • 3 credits in EAST 4991 or an alternative 4000-level seminar in another department as selected from the EALLC website and approved by the major advisor;
  • 9 credits of elective courses from the EALLC lists on its website;
  • 21 of the 30 credits must be at the 3000 level or higher;
  • students who intend to double major are reminded that 18 credits in each major must come from courses unique to that major;
  • for single majors, 9 of the 30 non-language credits must come from a single academic department;
  • students are reminded that USEM credits do not count toward major requirements;
  • a maximum of 15 study abroad and domestic transfer credits are allowed, with the permission of the major advisor;
  • students in this major must maintain a satisfactory grade point in the major and related courses each semester; satisfactory is defined as an average of C (i.e., 2.0); students not maintaining this grade point are subject to discontinuation of the major.

Requirements for the Minor in East Asian Studies

  • 102-106-level in a EALLC language. A grade of C or higher must be earned each semester in 101, 102, or the grade in 106 must be C or higher.
  • at least 18 credits with the following distribution:
    • 3 credits in EAST 101;
    • 3 credits in an East Asian History (HIEA) course;
    • 3 credits in an East Asian Humanities (Art History, Architectural History, Literature, Religion) course; see the EALLC website for lists of approved courses;
    • 6 credits of elective courses from the EALLC lists on its website;
  • a maximum of 6 transfer credits can be used to satisfy the 18 credit requirement;
  • students are reminded that credits applied toward a minor cannot count toward a major.

The Major in East Asian Languages and Literatures

The Department offers a major in East Asian Languages and Literatures for students wanting to achieve proficiency in an EALLC language and a deeper understanding of its literature and culture. The core of this major is a high level of competency in the language and a more focused set of concentration courses.

Requirements for the Major in East Asian Languages and Literatures


  • 2020 or 2060 level of an EALLC language. A grade of C+ or higher must be earned in each semester.
  • EAST 1010 with a grade of C or higher.


  •  30 credits in EALLC and related courses, with the following distribution:
    • 18 credits must be in one EALLC language beyond the 2020 or 2060 level; at the discretion of the student’s advisor, 6 of these credits may be from a second language in the same region at the 1000 level or higher;
    • 6 additional credits must be in EALLC courses;
    • 6 credits must be in regional concentration courses from the following areas: Anthropology, Art History, EALLC, History, Politics, Religious Studies, and Studies in Women and Gender (see the EALLC website for lists of approved courses);
  • a maximum of 15 study abroad credits and domestic transfer credits are allowed at the discretion of the student’s advisor;
  • students in this major must maintain a satisfactory grade point in the major and related courses each semester; satisfactory is defined as an average of C (i.e., 2.0); students not maintaining this grade point are subject to discontinuation from the major.

It is crucial that language training begin early in the student’s career. Summer study and study abroad are also encouraged. (See the Study Abroad Programs section.)

The Distinguished Majors Program

EALLC offers a Distinguished majors Program for qualified majors in order to provide the opportunity to pursue in-depth analysis of issues and topics related to the major.

To qualify, students must meet the general requirements of their EALLC major with the following modifications. They must take 12 credits of concentration courses at the 4000 level or above, including EAST 4998, a six-credit sequence of tutorial work on a senior thesis to be completed over the fall and spring semesters of the fourth year. Students are responsible for obtaining the agreement of a faculty member to serve as thesis advisor and a second faculty member from a different department to serve as a second reader. Students are encouraged to use primary language sources in researching their theses.

Admission into the DMP occurs in the spring semester of the third year. Applicants must be in either the East Asian Studies Major or the East Asian Languages and Literatures Major, with major and general GPAs of at least 3.4. Applications must be submitted by the second Monday after spring break of the student’s third year, and should include the following: 1) a statement of interest explaining the student’s desire to enter the program and his or her general area of research interest; 2) a writing sample for example, the best paper you have produced so far in one of your courses; 3) a letter of recommendation from a faculty member in the student’s concentration, either sent directly to the EALLC Chair or sealed and submitted by the student with the other materials; and 4) a copy of the student’s most recent transcript. Decision concerning admission to the DMP are made by early April.

Commencement honors of Distinction, High Distinction and Highest Distinction require a minimum GPA of 3.4 as well as timely completion of the senior thesis. Honors are awarded on the basis of overall academic performance as well as at the recommendation of the first and second readers of the thesis.

Study Abroad Programs

Shanghai Chinese Language Program The UVA in Shanghai Intensive Chinese Language Program in the Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures at the University of Virginia is hosted by East China Norma University. It is intended to enable students who are serious about studying Chinese language in a total immersion environment to cover a year’s worth of material and to earn eight UVA credits. This rigorous, demanding, and rewarding language program allows the student to have first hand experience using Chinese in real world situations as well as studying and practicing it in the classroom. For more information, use the “Find a Program” link at www.studyabroad.virginia.edu.

Kyoto Center for Japanese Studies The University of Virginia joins Harvard, Stanford, and about a dozen other top universities in running the Kyoto Center for Japanese Studies, a well-regarded study abroad program based in Japan’s historic capital city. The consortium arrangement entitles the university to select two to four undergraduate students each year to participate for one semester or a full academic year. The program requires students to have two full years of college-level Japanese language coursework as a prerequisite, and it works to improve students’ language abilities through small-group instruction tailored to each students ability level. A few courses are taught in Japanese, but most of the courses (on Japanese politics, foreign relations, society and culture) are taught in English.

The KCJS program, unlike some other study abroad programs in Japan, facilitates daily use of the language outside the classroom by placing all students who want to take advantage of this opportunity with hose families. The deadline for applying for admission to the KCJS in January 15 on the local level.

UVa China Gateway Program is specially designed by UVa faculty to complement the University curriculum. This program will allow students to earn UVa credit and grades, not simply transfer credit. Participants will take an interdisciplinary study of Chinese language, history/society, and culture that will utilize local guest speakers and field trips. A member of the UVa faculty will accompany the group and will integrate resources from the community and country into the course syllabi with three elements - language, history/society, and culture - followed by twelve days of travel to Beijing, Xi’an and Chengdu. The program is ideal for students who have never before traveled to China.

Scheduled in the program is a trip to Shanghai, one of the most cosmopolitan and exciting cities in Asia, for six weeks of classroom study at East China Normal University and field trips in and around Shanghai. This is followed with 12 days of travel, first to the capital Beijing, to visit, among other sites, the Forbidden City and the Great Wall. Then we travel to the ancient city of Xi’an, home of Emperor Huang Di’s terracotta army and the tomb of Empress Wu. Interested students should contact he East Asian Center.

In addition to study abroad programs administered by UVa, students are encouraged to develop their language skills at the many other study-abroad programs that are available throughout East Asia. Faculty are happy to advise students concerning appropriate programs and program descriptions and advice are also available from the International Students Office in Minor Hall. Students are particularly encouraged to participate in such programs so that they can experience first hand the languages in their surrounding cultures.


East Asia Center Scholarship A generous endowment from the Weedon family allows the East Asia Center to award travel grants to undergraduates enrolled in language programs in East Asia as well as research travel grants to graduate students and faculty. Applications are due in mid-March.

Mastercard Asian Studies Scholarship This scholarship is awarded annually to a rising fourth-year major in Asian Studies, be it in the East Asian concentration or the South Asian. To be competitive, students applying for this scholarship should also be applying for the Distinguished Majors Program. This scholarship is in the amount of approximately $4000 for tuition, and it carries with it the possibility to apply for a paid summer internship with Mastercard. Unless we are informed otherwise, we assume that all applicants for the DMP are also applying for this scholarship. Therefore, no specific application is required.

Centers and Programs

Arts and Sciences Center for Instructional Technology (ASCIT) A resource containing many audio-visual materials which are used to help bring the culture surrounding our different languages alive for students. It is conveniently located in Cabell Hall along with most EALLC classrooms and offices. The language laboratory is used to help students practice and reinforce their speaking and listening skills.

East Asia Center for more than twenty years the Est Asia Center has promoted activities and events that enhance the study of East Asia and Southeast Asia at the University of Virginia. The Center sponsors ten to fifteen lectures and other events each year. It also manages graduate programs granting an M.A., in Asian Studies as well as an M.A./M.B.A. in conjunction with the Darden School of Business.

Additional Information

For more information, contact

deal-lc@virginia.edu; http://www.virginia.edu/deallc/

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: College of Arts and Sciences