EAS as a Secondary Field

The East Asian Studies (EAS) secondary field allows students whose primary concentration is not EAS to obtain an in-depth knowledge of one or more aspects of the culture and societies of East Asia (China, Korea, Japan). Students will select, in consultation with an academic adviser, a coherent set of classes from the rich offerings of East Asian Languages and Civilizations and other departments at Harvard that offer classes on East Asian topics.

Students are not required to focus on a specific area, but suggested paths within the secondary field of East Asian Studies include: Modern and Contemporary East Asian Studies, Chinese Studies, Japanese Studies, Korean Studies, Chinese History, Japanese History, Korean History, Chinese Literature and Arts, Japanese Literature and Arts, Korean Literature and Arts, and East Asian Buddhism.


6 half-courses

1. Two introductory courses.

a. One of these introductory courses must be EAS 97ab Sophomore Tutorial (spring). 

b. The program recommends that the second introductory course should be one of the broad historical or literary survey courses, SW12/HSA-13 (China); SW13/HSA-14 (Japan); SW27/HSA-75 (The Two Koreas); FC 68 (Chinese Literature). Acceptable alternatives include:

      • AIU 35 - Korea Indigenous 
      • AIU 36/FC 94 - Buddhism and Japanese Culture 
      • AIU 44 - Arts of Asia 
      • CB 33 - Introduction to the Study of East Asian Religions 
      • CB 40/FC 67 - Popular Culture in Modern China 
      • ER 18/ MR 78 - Classical Chinese Ethical and Political Theory 
      • SW 20/FC 48 - The Cultural Revolution 
      • SW 21/FC 63 - China's Two Social Revolutions 
      • SW 29 - Inequality and Society in 21st century East Asia 
      • SW 43/HS B67 - Japan's Modern Revolution
      • SW 45 - Beyond the Great Wall

2. At least one, but preferably two, 100-level courses offered by the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations (EALC). 100-level language courses do not satisfy this requirement, but students may apply to substitute a 100-level class with an East Asia emphasis offered by another department at Harvard.

3. No more than two language classes in one of the East Asian languages may count for the secondary field. The secondary field does not, however, require any language courses.

Other Information

Courses for the secondary field may be offered by EALC or by other departments at Harvard, as long as the emphasis of the course is clearly on an East Asian subject. Courses offered in other departments that are taught by EALC faculty automatically count for credit for the secondary field, as do courses that are cross-listed in the EALC section of Courses of Instruction. Others must be approved by the department.

Relevant Harvard Summer School courses and Study Abroad courses may be counted with permission of the department.

All courses must be letter-graded, with the exception of Freshman Seminars related to an East Asian subject and one course that may be taken Pass/Fail with special permission from the Director of Undergraduate Studies. EAS 97ab Introduction to East Asian Civilizations may not be taken Pass/Fail.

Students who are primarily interested in enhancing their language skills in one of the East Asian Languages—Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese—should consider a Language Citation.

Advising Resources and Expectations

Students interested in a secondary field in East Asian Studies should contact the East Asian Studies office at eas@fas.harvard.edu or by calling 617-495-8365.