Degree Requirements

General Requirements for the Major or Minor

General university degree requirements stipulate that (1) at least four units of the major or three units of the minor be taken in residence at Puget Sound; (2) students earn a GPA of at least 2.0 in courses taken for the major or minor; (3) all courses taken for a major or minor must be taken for graded credit. Any exceptions to these stipulations are indicated in the major and minor degree requirements listed below.

Requirements for the Major

Each major consists of 10 units.

  1. Courses taken for an ALC major may not be used to satisfy requirements for a second ALC major or a minor.
  2. Only courses in which a student has received a grade of C- or better may be counted toward the major or minor.
  3. Each student must coordinate his or her program with an ALC faculty member. Variation of requirements is possible, as arranged by petition to the Director of Asian Studies.

Requirements for the Major in Chinese (BA)

  1. Concentration in language and culture
    1. Six units in Chinese language, of which at least one must be at the 300 level and taken on the Tacoma campus.
    2. Four units of Chinese culture, of which at least two must be at the 300 level or above, taken on the Tacoma campus. Of the four, at least three must be chosen from the following courses: ALC 215, 315, 325, 335; ART 367, 369; HIST 245, 246, 343, 344; REL 234. An additional unit may be chosen from the following courses: ALC 205; ART 278, 370, 371; ASIA 341; HIST 349; HUM 330; REL 332; SOAN 225.

Requirements for the Major in Japanese (BA)

  1. Concentration in language and culture
    1. Six units in Japanese language, of which at least one must be at the 300 level and taken on the Tacoma campus.
    2. Four units of Japanese culture, of which at least two must be at the 300 level or above, taken on the Tacoma campus. Of the four, at least three must be chosen from the following courses: ALC 310, 320, 330, ART 368; HIST 247, 248; REL 233, 300, 328. An additional unit may be chosen from the following courses: ALC 205; ART 278, 370, 371; ASIA 341; HIST 349; HUM 330, 335; REL 332.
  2. Concentration in language and literature
    1. Seven units in Japanese language, of which at least two must be at the 300 level, and one must be either JAPN 360 or 380.
    2. Three units from the following: ALC 205, 310, 320, 330

Requirements for the Minor (5 units)

Completion of a minimum of five units in one language is required for the minor in Chinese or Japanese.

Interdisciplinary Emphasis in Asian Studies

All students majoring in the Asian languages are strongly encouraged to augment these majors with the Interdisciplinary Emphasis in Asian Studies (IEAS) offered by the Asian Studies program, thereby enhancing their major with a deeper and broader comprehension of Asian cultures and societies. Other than the two language units and international experience requirements for IEAS, courses taken for the majors may not be applied to the IEAS designation. See requirements under the Asian Studies listing.

Robert Trimble Distinguished Asia Scholar

Students pursuing the IEAS designation who demonstrate academic excellence and complete a one-semester senior thesis will achieve the added designation Robert Trimble Distinguished Asia Scholar (DAS). See requirements under the Asian Studies listing.

International Experience

Not all international experiences are suited for Asian Languages and Cultures majors and minors; therefore, only pre-approved study-abroad coursework may be counted toward degrees in the program. To ensure that credit will transfer, a student wishing to apply study-abroad credit toward a major should consult ALC faculty prior to enrollment. Students with demonstrated financial need who are selected for any Chinese or Japanese language program in Asia are eligible for financial support through the Charles Garnet Trimble Endowment in Chinese Studies.

Language Houses

Knowing that a residential atmosphere provides strong support for language learning, students are encouraged to create their own living-language programs. Students have the opportunity to organize a group of language learners and apply to live in university-owned houses on campus where they may communicate in Chinese or Japanese and share their enthusiasm for the cultures they study in a small group environment. For further information and application deadlines, contact Residence Life.

Spring Festivals

The Asian Languages and Cultures program organizes festivals each spring celebrating the cultures of China and Japan. The Chinese festival coincides with the Chinese Lunar New Year and features a number of activities including calligraphy and tea workshops, traditional cultural displays, and community-based events. Japan Week occurs during the spring cherry blossom season and features movies, speakers, performances, and student-led activities. All Puget Sound students are encouraged to participate in these events.

Transfer of Units and Placement

Students with previous high school language study may be capable of beginning their language coursework at Puget Sound beyond the introductory level. Heritage students and those with other international experiences, such as study abroad, living with exchange students or other intensive studies should have their language proficiency evaluated by a faculty member. Consult program advisors in the particular language.

Advanced Placement Examinations (AP) with a score of four or five apply toward majors or minors for a maximum of one unit at the 200 level.

Asian language coursework completed at other accredited institutions may be accepted toward major areas of concentration for a maximum of four units, with two going toward the language component, and two more units going toward non-language courses. For the minor, only two units of language may be accepted.

ALC transfer students, especially those who have experienced prolonged periods since their last language coursework, will be evaluated on an individual basis. The Asian Languages and Cultures program does not accept or award credit for distance learning courses. The program also reserves the right to exclude a course from a major or minor based on the age of the course.