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Catalog 2004-2005
East Asian Studies
School of American and International Studies

Requirements of the Minor

Career Paths
Convener: Ting Gong

About the Minor

In recent years, the center of the global economy has shifted to the Pacific Basin. The United States is on one side of this vast area, and the Asia Pacific region is on the other. East Asia, with the world's greatest concentration of population and its most volatile economies, comprise the epicenter of Asia Pacific. It has, therefore become imperative for Americans to understand an area that includes China, Japan, the two Koreas, Hong Kong, Taiwan Mongolia, Southeast Asia and Far Eastern Russia.

America's role in the world, its economic competitiveness, and its ability to meet the challenges of the new millennium – all rely on a clear perception of the history, politics, economics, sociology, culture and languages of East Asia. Learning about East Asia is in fact learning about those forces that affect our country, our jobs, our businesses, our households and indeed ourselves.

The East Asian Studies minor, totaling 21 credits, is offered by a faculty with various disciplines in anthropology/sociology, political science, business/ economics, psychology, and languages. Its two interdisciplinary foundation courses of three credits each are: East Asia: History and Politics of China, Japan, and Korea, and The Asians. These basic courses provide the student with a broad historical, political and cultural background to the region as a whole. One 200-level course and four additional 300-level courses also are required from an approved list of course offerings. An East Asian language course of the appropriate level may be substituted for these requirements. Many other upper division courses on the politics and history of specific East Asian countries, courses in law, religion, immigration, business, sociology, and others, are offered each year.

The growing demand for knowledge of East Asia as well as for skills in its languages has paralleled the region's growth of importance in the global economy. Careers in international business, international studies, government, communications, journalism, education, East Asian affiliate companies all have put a premium on knowledge about East Asia. Credentials with a specialization in the area have opened up numerous options for career applicants.

Ramapo College has established study abroad programs with educational institutions in East Asia. Our students have studied in Wuhan, China, and almost every year, Ramapo's summer program in China draws many students who wish to study in Shanghai or in Hong Kong. We regularly have visiting professors from China who teach the language and culture of their country. Visiting scholars from Japan have also enriched our courses. More individualized programs of study in conjunction with other American programs in East Asia have been arranged for Ramapo students.
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