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Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures

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Why study East Asian languages and cultures?

Because knowledge of East Asia is critical in the new global culture and marketplace.

Undergraduate Programs

The department offers a full program of instruction in the languages, literatures, and cultures of China, Japan, and Korea.

The areas of East Asia covered represent 3 of the oldest continuous civilizations in the world. Japan and mainland China are the world’s largest economies after the United States. Korea and Taiwan are also key U.S. trading partners. The economic and political relationship between the U.S. and East Asia will certainly be among the most important for the U.S. this century.

With an EALC B.A., students can pursue a range of careers in business, government, nonprofit organizations, etc., in which language skills and knowledge of East Asian culture are useful, or continue on to graduate study in East Asian languages and literatures. Some students chose an EALC B.A. to connect with their heritages or to fulfill personal interests.

Placement

If students have already learned Chinese, Japanese, or Korean to some degree, whether at home, in a classroom, or elsewhere, they must take a placement test before enrolling in a language class. For more information, contact the department administrator at 785-864-3100. There is no fee for a placement test. To be eligible for enrollment in intermediate Chinese, Japanese, or Korean, a student must have earned college credit for the first year or have earned 2 years of high school credit in that language or have permission from the department based on the results of the appropriate placement test.

Retroactive Credit

Students with no prior college or university Chinese, Japanese, or Korean course credit are eligible for retroactive credit according to this formula:

  • Students with 2 or 3 years of high school study who enroll in second-semester Chinese, Japanese, or Korean (CHIN 108, JPN 108, KOR 108) and earn grades of C or higher may receive 2 hours of retroactive credit.
  • Students with 3 or 4 years of high school study who enroll in third-semester Chinese, Japanese, or Korean (CHIN 204, JPN 204, KOR 204) and earn grades of C or higher may receive 5 hours of retroactive credit.
  • Students with 4 years of high school study who enroll in fourth-semester Chinese, Japanese, or Korean (CHIN 208, JPN 208, KOR 208) and earn grades of C or higher may receive 7 hours of retroactive credit.

Courses for Nonmajors

Courses available to nonlanguage specialists are listed under East Asian Languages and Cultures Courses.

EALC also offers elementary and intermediate language courses in Tibetan (TIB 101, TIB 102, TIB 201, TIB 202) and Uyghur (UYGR 101, UYGR 102, UYGR 201, UYGR 202). Tibetan and Uyghur language studies can be used to fulfill the CLAS second language requirement necessary to complete the B.A. degree.

Why study East Asian languages and cultures?

Because in-depth knowledge of East Asia is critical in the new global culture and marketplace.

Graduate Programs

The Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures is the only department in Kansas offering a regular program of instruction in the languages, literatures, and cultures of East Asia.

The areas of East Asia covered represent 3 of the oldest continuous civilizations of the world. The great historical contributions of China, Japan, and Korea in literature, philosophy, and art are widely recognized and studied throughout the world. Today, the highly advanced industries of Japan, the enormous human resources of China, and the rapidly growing economies of Korea and Taiwan have contributed to the development of extremely valuable socio-political and economic ties between these areas and the United States. The graduate program trains people who will devote themselves to becoming effective links between the Far East and the United States.

The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability, status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression and genetic information in the University’s programs and activities. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Director of the Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access, IOA@ku.edu, 1246 W. Campus Road, Room 153A, Lawrence, KS, 66045, (785)864-6414, 711 TTY.