Undergraduate Program Asian Studies

Sunset Beijing cityscape between ancient chinese architecture. historic buildings and Beijing modern building with sweet sun rise sky, Beijing, China

Asian Studies Bachelor's Degree and Certificate Overview

Asia, the largest continent and home to the largest number of people, witnessed some of our world’s earliest civilizations, flourishing from western Asia to the Indo-Gangetic and North China plains. Today, the continent is experiencing remarkable cultural, technological, and economic transformations. We are truly living in the “Asian Century!” Asian Studies in the Department of International and Global Studies dives into the continent’s past, present, and future through the interdisciplinary study of political-economy, cultures and religions, communication and media, gender and sexuality, migration, development, and environmental change grounded in South, Southeast, and East Asia.

Degree Details


Asian Studies Bachelor's Degree and Certificate: Why PSU?

Choose PSU’s Asian Studies major if you’re looking for:

  • Exceptional faculty. Our faculty have extensive lived experience in South, Southeast, and East Asia. This includes teaching about the regions and conducting research.
  • Exciting, cutting-edge courses. Our face-to-face and online courses cover topics such as Bollywood, Japan and the US relations, cultural and energy economies, youth and popular culture, nationalism and transnationalism, and contemporary India.
  • An interdisciplinary degree. We offer a flexible, interdisciplinary curriculum tailored to your goals and interests. Our faculty are scholars from diverse disciplines such as communication studies, geography, education, and history. 
  • Personalized advising. Professional and faculty advisors are there to support your learning goals and guide you to new opportunities.
  • Study abroad opportunities. You can enhance your knowledge of the region by going on one of the many credit-bearing international opportunities in central, south, southeast, and east Asian countries offered through PSU’s Education Abroad
  • Scholarships and fellowships. Many scholarships are available to students, including Critical Language Scholarships as well as Boren and Fulbright opportunities. 

Our diverse campus is located in downtown Portland, one of the most vibrant cities on the West Coast.

What can I do with a Bachelor's Degree or Certificate Asian Studies?

A degree in Asian Studies prepares students for a wide range of careers in the nonprofit, private, and government sectors. Graduates of our program have found opportunities all over the world in:

  • Graduate programs in the social sciences and humanities, such as Asian Studies, International Studies, Business, Geography, Urban Studies, Public Health, etc.
  • Private-sector employers, including international businesses 
  • Aid organizations such as the International Red Cross
  • Nonprofits focused on issues ranging from health to education, food systems, gender rights, sustainability, and more
  • Business incubators and trade organizations
  • Government agencies, with a focus on international affairs
  • Journalism and media organizations

Whether you want to pursue a career overseas, work in the United States, or prepare for a graduate degree, take the first step with a Portland State University’s Asian Studies degree or certificate.

Core Curriculum

  • INTL 201 Introduction to International Studies
  • INTL 216 Introduction to Asian Studies
  • INTL 296 The United States and the World
  • INTL 407 Seminar
  • INTL 415 Global Studies Theories
  • INTL 470 Intercultural Leadership and Change or INTL 471/LING 471 Understanding the International Experience

INTL 216: Students may double count INTL 216 for the major and University Studies Sophomore Inquiry; a Mentored Inquiry section is required.

INTL 201 is a prerequisite for INTL 415.

Individualized Curriculum

Connected Learning: At least 20 upper-division credits from advisor-approved courses. Connected Learning courses must have global/international content.

Regional Focus: At least 20 upper-division credits from advisor-approved, area-specific courses appropriate to the student’s regional focus. 

Language: Two years, or equivalent proficiency, of a world language. For students taking courses at PSU, second-year proficiency is defined by successful completion of the terminal course in the second-year language sequence or demonstrating proficiency through the Department of World Languages and Literatures.

Accreditation & Ranking

Portland State University is fully accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).