Asian Studies Certificate

The following requirements are in addition to, or further elaborate upon, those requirements outlined in The Graduate School Policy Guide.


Total Units Required: 5

The Graduate Certificate in Asian Studies is designed to give students in Northwestern graduate programs advanced training in Asian studies. The Certificate provides an important credential as they establish careers in scholarship and teaching positions that combine traditional academic disciplines with interdisciplinary work in Asian studies.

Course Requirements:

  • Five 400-level courses taught by Asian Studies faculty in at least three different disciplines to provide students with broad theoretical and methodological training. Students may double- count pertinent courses taken for credit in their home departments. They may substitute independent studies or 300-level courses taken for graduate credit, subject to certificate director and instructor approval.

Other Certificate Requirements:

  • At least two quarters’ involvement in the Asian Studies Graduate Colloquium, 
meeting every other week in winter and spring of each academic year. Students and occasionally faculty members present work-in-progress at colloquium meetings.
  • One major research project, of article length or longer, which addresses current concerns in the large field of Asian studies and demonstrates the student’s willingness and capacity to work beyond his/her immediate cultural area of specialization. The project may be comparative in nature, or it could focus on one single geographic region (for example, a China specialist may choose to work on a subject related to Japan, or vice versa). Examples of suitable research projects include second-year papers or master's theses, doctoral research papers, or any other major research project acceptable to the Director of ASGC. Students are required to submit the proposed research project, along with a short but official letter from the student’s mentor on this project—who should be selected from the Asian Studies faculty—confirming it as having satisfied this requirement, to the Director of ASGC by the end of the Winter quarter of their third year.