Undergraduate Programs

Undergraduate International Studies Program

The flagship Undergraduate International Studies Program provides a holistic, interdisciplinary, and cross-cultural foundation offered through the Colleges of the Arts and Sciences. International Studies is the 7th most elected major at The Ohio State University, and offers ten major specializations, eight minor specializations, and a certificate of study. Specializing in contemporary global issues and regional areas, the vision created in 1943 resonates today in an era of globalization.

International Studies is designed to produce informed leaders on world issues; proficiency in a foreign language; and exceptional research, writing, and public speaking skills. The program promotes rigorous academic training, and endows students with the professional skills needed to practice at home or abroad.

Students can select a major, minor, or certificate track in East Asian Studies.

Departmental Undergraduate Programs

Many departments at OSU offer undergraduate degrees related to East Asia, including the following:

Comparative Studies

Comparative Ethnic and American Studies Major
Asian American Studies Minor

Asian American Studies is an interdisciplinary and comparative field of study that examines the culture, history, experiences, concerns, and contributions of Asian/Pacific Americans and their communities. It focuses on the American experience of persons from Asian countries of the Pacific Rim and Pacific Islands, and it maintains its relationship with the Asian American community and the broader society.

In Asian American Studies, students learn to document and interpret the historical and contemporary experiences, cultural constructions, and societal contributions of Asian/Pacific Americans from the perspectives of different disciplines representing the arts, humanities, social and behavioral sciences, law, and the health-related professions. The production of knowledge and distribution of power in relation to questions of cultural and multi-cultural identities and values among the diverse Asian/Pacific American population are also central to Asian American Studies. Research in American Studies is conducted within a conceptual framework that seeks to draw distinctions and point out similarities and differences among the histories and cultures of the various Asian American population groups and, moreover, clarify their integral role in American history and culture.

Students may pursue a minor in Asian American Studies through the department of Comparative Studies, or pursue a major in Comparative Ethnic & American Studies, where they may focus on Asian American studies in a comparative context.

Religious Studies Concentration

The Religious Studies concentration offers a uniquely comparative, cross-cultural, and interdisciplinary way to study the sacred beliefs and practices of our own and other societies. Unlike most conventional departments of Religion at other major universities, Religious Studies at OSU is situated in an explicitly cross-disciplinary program. Rather than studying religion in isolation, we examine religion as inextricably intertwined with the domains of science, literature, politics, and ethnic identity.

Ohio State University offers one of the most unique, diverse, and innovative approaches to the study of religion in the United States. We have the faculty resources to train students in all the major religions of the world, including ancient Greek and Roman traditions, Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Taoism, Confucianism, as well as a variety of Indigenous traditions and New Religious Movements; we also provide critical courses in the major theoretical approaches for interpreting the plurality of religious claims in our own increasingly globalized, inter-connected, but often violent historical moment. Students who have completed the Comparative Studies degree with a concentration in religious studies have gone on to some of the most prestigious graduate programs in the country, as well as to a wide range of non-academic employment.

East Asian Languages and Literatures

The Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures (DEALL) in the College of Humanities is one of the largest programs of its kind in the continental United States. It offers undergraduate degrees in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean language and literature. DEALL's undergraduate language programs offer one of the most extensive and diverse curricula in the country. They include innovative programs such as the Individualized Track and the Intensive Track language programs, which are offered throughout the regular academic year, as well as the Intensive Track Summer Language Immersion Programs in Chinese and Japanese. Furthermore, DEALL offers an impressive array of specialized courses in the summer, including intensive workshops designed to instruct teachers of Chinese and Japanese in the art of language teaching at both the college and secondary school levels.


The history major at OSU offers students an opportunity for advanced studies across the spectrum of time and in different geographical areas. It includes a focus on one geographical area and distribution requirements with the selection of courses dealing with the human experience both before and after 1750, as well as a distribution of courses in different geographical areas. For instance, all history majors will enroll in courses that deal with the varieties of human experience in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

The department has a coherent and integrated curriculum on East Asia, one that offers courses in East Asian, Chinese, or Japanese history at all undergraduate and graduate levels. The introductory level offers a two-quarter survey on East Asian history, which covers the histories and cultural, political, and economic interactions of China, Korea, and Japan from the beginnings of their respective histories to the present. At the intermediate level is a course that introduces the major schools of thought and the most important political institutions of early China through the Tang dynasty, also touching on the impact that these philosophies and institutions had on China the other countries of East Asia. More detailed surveys of Chinese and Japanese history are offered at the advanced undergraduate level.

History of Art

History of Art studies the changes and continuities that characterize human endeavors in the visual arts. Intellectually, it is a constantly expanding discipline whose objects of study include architecture, painting, sculpture, photography, film, performance art, decorative art, the history of art history itself, and its critical methodology. This field of study examines works of art in terms of both aesthetic and historical issues; it is concerned with definitions of style, materials and modes of execution, iconographic and other interpretive methods, and the economic and social factors that shape visual culture.

The department offers one of the most broadly based and comprehensive programs in Asian art history in the country, providing undergraduates a strong foundation for further study or work in any related fields. With twenty-four courses ranging in coverage from introductory surveys to advanced graduate seminars on China, India, Japan, Tibet, and Nepal, students have the opportunity to study most of the major areas of Asia with area specialists.

Political Science

The Department of Political Science is a comprehensive department with programmatic strength in all of the main fields of the political science discipline. Students focusing on East Asian politics could major in the fields of comparative politics or international relations, where US News and World Report recently ranked us 1 th and 13th in the nation, respectively. In another study of journal publication quantity and impact, conducted by Simon Hix of the London School of Economics, Ohio State's Department was ranked 4th in the world. The department offers extensive opportunities for training in research methods and statistics, one of the nation's leading programs in political psychology, a new program in political economy, and a developing presence in formal theory and political philosophy. Our facilities include state-of-the-art computerized teaching and long-distance learning classrooms, an experimental lab, and a research and teaching consultation lab for faculty and students.

The Political Science Department offers an array of specialized course coverage on East Asia, offering seven courses related to the area. At the undergraduate level, the department offers major and minor programs. Undergraduates are not required to choose a concentration within political science. However, the courses on East Asian politics are available to both students with serious interest in East Asia and students seeking breadth of study.