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Asian Studies

Photo of Amanda Shie.



Amanda Shie had never attempted to learn Chinese before taking her first course on the language as a freshman in fall 2018. She immediately fell in love with the Chinese language and culture. Read more here.

Majoring in Asian Studies

The Asian Studies major combines the study of an Asian language (Chinese or Japanese) and non-language courses in literature, history, philosophy, political science, sociology, and art history. Asian countries account for more than half the world’s population, while Asia’s strong economic growth trends, ensures that Asian people, culture, and business will become an increasingly important world influence. Asian Studies brings together an interdisciplinary group of faculty, staff, and students devoted to the study of China, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, and South Asia.

Upon completion of the program, students majoring in Asian Studies may choose to enter a field directly or indirectly-related to their studies. Possible careers include:

  • Government Profession
  • Foreign Service
  • Politics
  • Intelligence Analyst
  • Journalism
  • Study Abroad Liaison
  • Non-profit/NGO Sector Employment
  • Domestic or Global Business/Management Position
  • Asian Language and Cultures Teaching Position
  • Graduate or Professional School

Average Starting Salary: $42,041

All Purdue University College of Liberal Arts majors prepare students with the skills identified as contributing to professional success: communicating and listening well, an understanding and appreciation of diverse points of view, creative thinking and problem solving, a collaborative mindset, the ability to synthesize complex ideas and communicate them clearly, and a Boilermaker work ethic.

Research in recent years confirms the many cognitive benefits of learning a second language. In addition, Asian Studies majors develop skills that are applicable to many different careers. These skills may include, but are not limited to:

  • A global/cultural awareness of the social and political relationships that shape the world.
  • Understanding of Asian cultures and countries, cultivated both by study abroad opportunities and on-campus curricular and co-curricular experiences.
  • Ability to communicate and work productively with diverse groups of people.
  • Experience reading original written materials, such as legal documents, scientific works, literary texts, or news reports.
  • Ability to plan, execute, and disseminate research findings from different vantage points.
  • Ability to speak, read, and write Japanese or Chinese at a level sufficient for a business setting, teaching high school language courses, or entering an advanced graduate language program.

Cultural Studies majors may choose to enter into the workforce using the skills they have acquired at Purdue or to attend graduate school upon completion of their degree. Past graduates have gone on to:


  • Purdue University
  • Rensselaer Central School Corporation
  • Kochi Prefecture Board of Education
  • Interactive Intelligence

Graduate School

  • University of Hawaii - Manoa
  • Duke University
  • Indiana University
  • University of Maryland - College Park
  • Kent State University

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