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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.

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.


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.

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,, 1246 W. Campus Road, Room 153A, Lawrence, KS, 66045, (785)864-6414, 711 TTY.