Asian Studies Minor

Chiang-Kai-Shek Memorial temple, Taipei, Taiwan

The Program

Asia is a region of critical importance to the United States, particularly to California, and also particularly to the future of science, technology, education, the environment, and business. Cal Poly will maintain its reputation as a premier West Coast university in the near future by keeping pace with the incredible changes happening today in Asia.

Engineers, architects, scholars, teachers, scientists, entrepreneurs and businesspersons who are acquainted with these changes and the cultures and societies of Asia simply will hold an immediate and lasting advantage over those who do not. Their skills and ideas also will become more valuable to American society with this knowledge. This minor gives Cal Poly students a chance to gain an interdisciplinary understanding of Asia – particularly its rich and varied histories, arts, languages, philosophies, religions and social patterns. Sustained exposure to Asian issues, histories, cultures, and values will only make students that much more prepared to play an informed, sophisticated, and positive role in a world where Asia now matters so much.

The Asian Studies Minor is designed to offer a great deal of flexibility. Courses taken in the Thailand study abroad program (and other Asian study abroad programs, like those in China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan offered by the CSU, for example) are applicable.

Mandarin Chinese (CHIN) 103 or Japanese (JPNS) 103, the third quarter of each language sequence (or this level of documented proficiency in another Asian language), is required. This language requirement is meant to serve as a cultural cornerstone of the minor program. This is the minimum linguistic proficiency needed to interact in these societies on a meaningful level, and is invaluable in grasping the cultural and social underpinnings of these cultures. Students wanting to earn a minor in Asian Studies should make the commitment to achieve this level of linguistic and cultural proficiency.

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Who Can Minor in Asian Studies?

The Asian Studies Minor is open to all Cal Poly undergraduates.

Students can “double-count” courses that are already part of their major, General Education or elective requirements. It is worthwhile for prospective minors to look over the Asian Studies Minor requirements in order to see if they have completed or will complete some of the Asian Studies courses as part of their major, GE or elective coursework.

A minimum 2.0 GPA is required in all units counted for completion of the Asian Studies Minor. Not more than 8 units in the minor can be graded CR/NC. At least 16 units should be completed in residence at Cal Poly. (The catalog in effect when the student declares or changes a minor governs the requirements to be satisfied for the minor. This protects students from possible changes in the minor.)

Courses in the Asian Studies Minor

Please click here for a list of Asian Studies Minor course offerings by quarter.

Asian Studies Minor Curriculum

Please click here for the complete course curriculum.

Faculty Teaching Fields

The minor includes courses taught by 17 faculty members representing twelve academic departments. Click here for their specializations and teaching fields.

How to Apply

Please complete the Asian Studies Minor online application form for the 2022-26 catalog here.

For more information regarding the Asian Studies Minor please contact Dr. Christina E. Firpo.

Opportunities (Fellowships, Language Study, Study Abroad, Volunteering)

Click here to learn more about fellowships to study Asian languages, Asian study abroad programs, and other post-graduation opportunities.

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