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East Asian Studies Certificate

The University of Pennsylvania was one of the first universities in the United States to offer the study of East Asia. Classes in language and civilization, established in the 1920s, followed the late-19th century formation of the world-famous collection of Chinese and Japanese art at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology. After World War II, Penn spearheaded the study of modern Asia, building on its long-established reputation as a leader in traditional East Asian studies and adding strength in social science, business and professional curricula. In 1995 the Center for East Asian Studies – an interdisciplinary unit composed of faculty members whose teaching and research focus primarily on China, Japan, Korea and bordering areas – was formed under the directorship of Professor G. Cameron Hurst III.

The East Asian certificate is designed to meet the academic interests of:

  • students seeking greater familiarity with the civilizations and cultures of China, Korea and Japan
  • educators who wish to add East Asian subject matter to their classroom teaching
  • professionals whose careers involve them with East Asia in trade, commercial or legal matters
  • administrators of non-profit agencies whose activities are affected by East Asian public policy and governmental activity

Program Prerequisites

  • At least two East Asian language courses (Chinese, Japanese or Korean)

Program Requirements

  • One MLA Proseminar focusing on East Asia
  • Three courses focusing on East Asia
  • Three courses with significant East Asian content
  • A Capstone Project on an East Asian topic, completed as one of the six courses in East Asian studies
  • Two MLA seminar electives

Application Procedure

Students wishing to pursue a certificate in East Asian Studies through the Master of Liberal Arts Program should complete an MLA Application.


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