East Asian Languages & Cultures

What Is It?:

Through East Asian Languages and Cultures, students will gain a firm competence in an East Asian language, a solid familiarity with East Asian cultures through multiple disciplines, and a more advanced knowledge of the region including research and writing in a seminar format. The major and minor are useful for students seeking a broad liberal arts education and preparing for graduate or professional study involving East Asia.

For more information, please visit the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures


East Asian Languages and Cultures: provides an introductory knowledge of the civilizations of East Asia, a firm competence in an East Asian language (Japanese, Korean or Mandarin Chinese), a solid familiarity with East Asian cultures through multiple disciplines, and a more advanced knowledge of the region including research and writing in a seminar or senior project. 

Preparatory to the Teaching of East Asian Languages: prepares students for certification for teaching East Asian Languages (Japanese or Mandarin Chinese) in the public schools in Illinois.

Courses That Introduce the Major:

  • ASST 104—Asian Mythology
  • EALC 120—East Asian Civilization
  • EALC 250—Introduction to Japanese Culture

Students should consult with an academic advisor regarding course selection prior to the advanced registration period. 

Possible Career Opportunities:

  • Animation Industry
  • Business
  • CIA
  • Education
  • Foreign Service Institute
  • Government
  • Language teaching
  • Law

Common Career Titles Related to this Major:

(Some careers may require education beyond an undergraduate degree)

  • Advertising Executive
  • Archivist
  • Attorney
  • Business Manager
  • Community Affairs Specialist
  • Consumer Advocate
  • Cultural Affairs Officer
  • Customs or Immigration Officer
  • Editor or Writer
  • Employee Relations Specialist
  • Foreign Service Officer
  • Foreign Student Advisor
  • Government Agency Administrator
  • Human Resources Specialist
  • Import/Export Specialist
  • International Banker
  • International Consultant
  • International Trade Specialist
  • Interpreter
  • Journalist
  • Lobbyist
  • Nonprofit Administrator
  • Peace Corps or VISTA Worker
  • Politician
  • Professor or Educator
  • Public Administrator
  • Public Information Officer
  • Public Policy Specialist
  • Public Relations Specialist
  • Publications Specialist
  • Translator
  • Travel Consultant

Enhancing Your Academic Experience:

  • Participating in undergraduate research
  • Applying for a study abroad experience
  • Utilizing resources of The Career Center
  • Joining a Registered Student Organization (RSOrelated to this major, such as:
    • Chinese Students and Scholars Association: Promotes enjoyment of companion animals through related activities, such as volunteer opportunities and social events, while providing career and educational resources for its members.
    • Illini Japanese Association: helps people understand the Japanese culture and/or language better, as well as helps communities exchange ideas and views regarding Japan and new UIUC students from Japan. The association also provides a strong bridge for UIUC students who seek internship or job opportunities in Japan or with Japanese companies.
    • Korean Cultural Center: raises awareness and appreciation of Korean culture and functions as a place to foster multiculturalism and inter-cultural exchanges in the United States

Related Skills:

  • Ability to adapt programs and services to a cultural audience
  • Ability to communicate ideas
  • Adaptability to other lifestyles
  • Become knowledgeable of other cultures, regions, traditions, and institutions
  • Cross-cultural analytical skills
  • Gain and develop language skills
  • Sensitivity to diverse viewpoints
  • Strong listening skills

Further Information:

For more information on what you can do with a major in East Asian Languages and Cultures, visit The Career Center’s webpage: What Can I Do With This Major.

There are several professional organizations dedicated to East Asian Languages and Cultures.  Their websites might be able to provide a glimpse in the world of East Asian Languages and Cultures.  These organizations include Asian American Institute.

For more information on the classes needed for a degree in East Asian Languages and Cultures, visit Undergraduate Programs.