photo of tourists at a Japanese temple


The Department of Asian Studies celebrated its 70th year in 2016. The department has 36 faculty members and offers courses in 20 languages, including 15 modern and 5 literary languages. Initially focused on Chinese language and history, the department today supports a comprehensive curriculum that spans the breadth of the Asian continent.

Taprom temple

Asian Studies encompasses the geographical areas of East Asia, South Asia, and Southeast Asia, with opportunities to specialize in one of the three regions. Currently 20 Asian languages are taught at Cornell or via distance learning. The department's courses through the 4400-level are taught in English and are open to all students in the university.  These courses cover topics in Culture, Religion, Film and Media, and Literature.  Literature courses taught in target language will be noted under that language/literature heading (e.g. CHLIT, JPLIT, etc...)

Asian Studies has two graduate program options: a Ph.D. in Asian Literature, Religion, and Culture; and an M.A. in Asian Studies. Both programs have three areas of concentration: East Asia, South Asia, and Southeast Asia.