East Asian Studies FAQ

If you don't find the answer you're looking for here, please contact us! You might also want to check out our program-specific FAQ for Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.


  • How big is your program?

In 2016-2017, we had 88 undergraduate majors and 144 minors.


  • Do you have a graduate program?

No. It is possible to pursue a graduate degree at the University at Albany in a different department, such as History, with an East Asian-related focus, but the East Asian Studies department itself does not offer an MA or PhD degree.


  • How do I apply? Do I need to apply through the department, or through Admissions?

It's easy! The Admissions office handles all applications. Please check their website at https://www.albany.edu/main/index_admissions.html. Although there is no need to contact East Asian Studies directly, we welcome queries from prospective students, and encourage interested students to talk to us about our program.


  • Do you have weekend and/or evening language classes?

We do have late afternoon classes in Beginning Japanese, but none for the moment in Chinese or Korean. Check our Schedules and Courses page for exact times.


  • What about Financial Aid?

Financial Aid packages are as varied as our student body. The Financial Aid office website has a wealth of information for incoming, transfer, and returning students.


  • Can I major in Korean?

No, but you can major in East Asian Studies and complete the language component of that major by taking Korean courses. Also, you can minor in Korean. The requirements for the minor are here.. We offer Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced Korean every academic year.


  • What is the difference between an East Asian Studies major and a Japanese or a Chinese major?

Simply put, the East Asian Studies major has a smaller language component than the other two majors. Conversely, it also has a larger non-language component. A full description of the requirements for each major is available in the Undergraduate Bulletin.


  • How do I declare a major in the department?

Undeclared students need to complete a Declaration of Major form with their advisers and have a minimum of 24 graduation credits to be officially enrolled in the program. If you are changing your first major or adding or changing a second major, minor, or second minor, you can do so online through MyUAlbany.


  • Are there placement tests for students who already know some Chinese, Japanese, or Korean?

No, largely because one size does not fit all. Students who have previous experience with an East Asian Language, such as those who have participated in a high school exchange program prior to college, should meet with the appropriate faculty member to determine their language level before registering for classes. It is our goal to place students at a level which challenges them, but does not overwhelm them. See our Language Placement page for more information.

Incoming freshmen should note that the College Board administers an AP (Advanced Placement) examination in Chinese Language and Culture and also an AP examination in Japanese Language and Culture. No examination is available yet for Korean.


  • What sorts of jobs do students who graduate from your department get?

Our students head in many directions after graduation. Some go to work for the government (Foreign Service, C.I.A., F.B.I., Dept. of Defense, Agency for International Development, Armed Services, etc.). Others go into business (Multinational corporations and non-governmental organizations, such as those concerned with the global environment). Other popular vocations include: education (Teaching English as a Second Language), export- import, travel, advertising, journalism, airlines, museum curator, public relations, television, editor/publishing, interpreter, writer, personnel specialist, international relations specialist, law enforcement, environmental studies, criminal justice.

One way to see what many alumni choose to do after graduation is to check out the archive of our featured alumni. Regularly updated, this archive presents a cross-section of our alumni, and reports on their trajectories after graduating from UAlbany.


  • Can I double major?

Absolutely! Many of our students choose to double major between our department and another, such as History or Anthropology. Within the East Asian Studies department itself, the only possible double major is Chinese/Japanese (the East Asian Studies major may not be combined with a Chinese major or a Japanese major).


  • Is it possible for a transfer student to participate in a study abroad program in East Asia?

Yes, and many do. The only concern is a university regulation which stipulates that degree candidates who complete two approved study abroad semesters during their junior or senior year must earn a minimum of 30 of their last 69 credits in courses at the Albany campus. An “approved” study abroad program is any program from which the University accepts credits.


  • Do you have an Honors Program?

Yes, we do! The Honors program provides our best students with the opportunity to write an honors thesis in their junior or senior years, working closely with the faculty.See our Honors page for more information.


  • I'm a new student (either freshman or transfer) and I'm really excited about being in the department. But when I tried to register for classes, everything was closed! What do I do?

Don't panic! Although no seat is guaranteed, we often set aside seats for new students who register later than returning students. If the class you want is closed, please contact the instructor to see if there are any reserved seats. If you are unclear about who the instructor is, contact the department office at 442-4117 to find out.

Last updated January 3, 2018