Asia is the home of the most ancient and longest-lived civilizations the world has witnessed and of most of the world’s present population. Moreover, recent history would be impossible to write without frequent reference to Asia.

Many of the momentous events of modern times can be evoked by the names of Asian countries: Japan, China, Korea, Vietnam, India, Pakistan, Southeast Asian countries, and Middle Eastern countries. The resolution of many of today’s pressing issues requires an understanding of the needs and interests of the Asian peoples.

Declaring a Minor

Current students can declare a minor in this program through their myUPEI account.

Recent grad hopes to "inspire internationalism"

upei alumna krystin matters
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dr. edward chung upei
Success Story
upei alumna krystin matters

Krystin Matters, who graduated from UPEI this spring with a major in Religious Studies and a minor in Asian Studies, has accepted a position as an assistant English language teacher with the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) program.

Course Structure

A minor in Asian Studies consists of twenty-one (21) semester hours of credit taken from the list of approved courses.  Either Asian Studies 2010 or 2020 is compulsory for the Minor. At least three semester hours of credit must be taken from any two of the four groups of Asian Studies electives. Students must take at least six semester hours of elective credit outside of their major area of study.

Guidelines for Taking Core and Elective Courses

Asian Studies at UPEI is a flexible interdisciplinary program. For this and other reasons, we have developed no formal regulations regarding when you should take the core and elective courses and how you can integrate them. But here are some flexible guidelines:

Most of the elective courses are introductory courses, which can be completed in your second, third, and fourth years at UPEI. You can take the Asian language courses (AS 1010 and AS 1020) in any semester/year we offer them, but we encourage you to complete at least AS 1010 (Introduction to Japanese I) by your second year.

We also encourage you to take core courses (Asian Studies 2010 and 2020) in the first or second year, so that you can have a broad introductory preparation in Asian Studies before taking the electives offered by Religious Studies, Sociology/Anthropology, and Political Studies.

If this is not possible due to your Major requirements and academic schedule, then you may take Asian Studies 2010 and 2020 even in the junior and senior years, while taking some of the electives or after completing them.

The core courses will be offered every other year, alternating with the Japanese language courses: Asian Studies 2010 in the first semester, and Asian Studies 2020 in the second semester. But not all electives are offered every year because the participating departments have their own curriculum needs and plans. Accordingly, try to take the required number of electives as they are offered in different years.

For any questions or further guidelines, see Ms. Susie Jay (Secretary of Asian Studies, Main 330), call her at (902) 566-0480, or e-mail to jay@upei.ca

Asian Studies Core Courses

  • 2010 Introduction to West Asia
  • 2020 Introduction to East Asia
  • 2090 Special Topics
  • 3090 Special Topics
  • 4090 Special Topics
  • 4510-4520 Directed Studies

Asian Language Courses

  • 1010 Introduction to [a selected language] I
  • 1020 Introduction to [a selected language] II

Asian Studies Electives

  • Language Courses (see above 1010 and 1020)

Peoples and Cultures

  • Sociology/Anthropology 2120 - Peoples of South Asia

Religion and the Arts

  • Religious Studies 2210 - Buddhism East and West
  • Religious Studies 2420 - The Hindu Religious Tradition
  • Religious Studies 2510 - Japanese Religion and Culture
  • Religious Studies 2610 - Religion and Philosophy in China
  • Religious Studies 3210 - Women in Eastern Religions

History and Politics

  • Political Science 3430 - Comparative Politics of South Asia
  • Political Science 3630 - Comparative Politics of the Middle East


The Departments of Political Science, Religious Studies, and Sociology/Anthropology accept Asian Studies 2010/2020 as substitute prerequisites for any of their courses on this list.

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