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Great Wall of China

Asian Studies

Want to learn Mandarin? Or spend a semester in Beijing? Or learn about Japanese art in the year 1573? Or get an in-depth understanding of Hinduism, one of the most-practiced religions in the history of the world?

Degree Types
Major , Minor
Complementary Programs
Distinctive Requirements

The major or minor in Asian Studies provides a comprehensive, multicultural, and multidisciplinary examination of the history, society, arts, cultural traditions, and contemporary significance of the nations and peoples of Asia, especially India, China, and Japan. In addition to language study (Mandarin Chinese), the program offers a broad range of courses within a variety of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences. Students are invited to pursue the major, the minor, or individual courses in any of the participating departments.

Future Career Paths

With a firm grasp of Asian culture, you’ll be equipped to explore careers in fields such as:

  • Politics
  • Economics
  • International relations
  • International business
  • Education
  • National security

Distinctive Courses

AHY 2223 - History of Japanese Art to A.D. 1573

This course offers an in-depth study of the painting, sculpture, and architecture of Japan from Neolithic times to the Momoyama Period (1573), with special emphasis on those arts that are unique to the culture, such as the religious and secular narrative scroll and the decorative screen. Early Shinto architecture, the development of Buddhist arts, including the tea ceremony, Zen painting and garden design, temple architecture and sculpture are included. Influences on the arts from China and Korea— religious, philosophical and social—are also topics for discussion.

HIS 2232 - Modern East Asia

From 1600 to the present, this course maps the intersections and divergences in the histories of China, Korea, and Japan during the past four hundred years, from the Japanese invasion of Korea in 1592, the global economic crisis in the seventeenth century, and the Chinese domination of the world market in the eighteenth century, to the violent encroachment on East Asia by imperialist powers in the nineteenth century, the reforms and revolutions of the turn of the twentieth century, the massive destruction during the Second World War, and the political and economic developments of recent decades.

REL 2224 - Buddhism

An examination of the history of Buddhism, the practices, teachings, and forms of organization of its three major traditions – Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana – and the development of Buddhism in the United States. The course includes visits to Buddhist institutions in the surrounding area.

CHI 1101 - Elementary Chinese I

This is an introductory course in Modern Standard Chinese Mandarin. Students will learn the basic skills (writing, reading, listening and speaking) needed to function in Chinese. They develop communicative competence through consideration of cultural themes, language functions, and authentic situations as they acquire the structures and lexicon to work with written language, conversations, and compositions.

Special Opportunities

Students outside of Budapest campus.

Phi Sigma Iota - Foreign Language Honor Society

McDaniel College received its Beta Alpha chapter of Phi Sigma Iota in 1990. Phi Sigma Iota, the International Foreign Language Honor Society, was founded in 1922, and its purpose is to honor outstanding achievements of foreign language students. Phi Sigma Iota also promotes international communication and understanding, helps to maximize the understanding of ourselves and our cultural heritage by understanding others, fosters the spirit of liberal culture, and supports scholarly programs nationwide.

The McDaniel Commitment in Action

The McDaniel Commitment—a series of opportunities guaranteed to all students—provides enhanced mentoring and coaching, and ensures every undergraduate student completes at least two meaningful experiential learning opportunities.