The Asian Studies Undergraduate Certificate combines the study of Asian languages, culture, politics, and history, and is particularly well-suited to majors from business, global studies, international studies, journalism and advertising, the visual and performing arts, communication, economics, the natural sciences, political science, or any discipline that involves interactions with the Asian world.

Students who obtain this certificate are better equipped to work in global industry and business, international politics, technology, tourism, and media because they're able to better analyze Asian societies and act with cultural awareness and understanding. Students can choose to obtain the certificate with or without an Asian language focus, with the latter requiring more language classes. The certificate is interdisciplinary with coursework from economics, history, comparative literature, anthropology, political science, sociology, and art history.


The Undergraduate Certificate in Asian Studies is open to all students seeking a bachelor's degree from UWM, to those who previously received a bachelor's degree from UWM or any other accredited college or university, and to people who do not plan to pursue a college or university degree (non-degree students) but who have a strong interest in this subject area. 


Students enrolling in the Asian Studies Certificate Program are required to earn a minimum of 18 credits, at least 9 of which must be completed at UWM. Of the 18 credits, at least 12 credits must be taken in courses in the College of Letters and Science, and 9 of those must be at the upper level (numbered 300 and above). Of the required credits, at least 9 must be at the 300 level or above, of which 6 credits must be non-language courses. Courses counting for the certificate may not be taken on a credit/no credit basis. Students must achieve a grade point average of 2.700 or above in all courses counting toward the certificate. A maximum of 6 credits in a combination of approved independent study and/or relevant Asia-focused courses from other schools and colleges may count toward the requirements of the program. 

To earn the Certificate in Asian Studies, students must fulfill the requirements for one of two tracks:

  • Track A (22 credits): 6 courses, including 2 courses in a single Asian language (10 crs.), 1 gateway course (3 crs.), and 3 upper-level electives (9 crs.); or
  • Track B (18-22 credits): 6 courses, including 1 gateway course (3 crs.) with the remaining courses chosen from the list of electives. Students must take a minimum of 3 upper-level courses (9 crs.), and no language courses are required. However, as electives, students may choose to take a course in any single Asian language or 2 courses (up to 10 crs.) in any combination of Chinese, Japanese, or Korean.

Students majoring or minoring in Chinese or Japanese may only earn the Asian Studies Certificate through Track B. Interested students should contact the Asian Studies Program Advisor as soon as they decide to pursue the certificate. The advisor's role is to help the student design a program of study from the among the available courses and to guide the student in completing that program.

Select one of the following:3
Asian Art and Architecture (HU)
First-Year Seminar: (Economics of Asia (SS) or other appropriate subtitles)
Geography of Asia (SS)
East Asian Civilization to 1600 (HU)
East Asian Civilization Since 1600 (HU)
Buddhism Across Asia
Introduction to Asian Religions
Select 15 credits from the approved list below15
Total Credits18


The following courses have been approved for the Certificate in Asian Studies:

ANTHRO 325Japanese Culture and Society3
ARABIC 390Islam: Religion and Culture3
ARTHIST 105Asian Art and Architecture3
ARTHIST 192First-Year Seminar: (with appropriate subtitle)3
ARTHIST 281Modern and Contemporary Chinese Art3
ARTHIST 308Film Styles: (with appropriate subtitle)3
ARTHIST 380Chinese Painting3
ARTHIST 381Honors Seminar: (with appropriate subtitle)3
ARTHIST 382Chinese Art and Architecture3
ARTHIST 383Japanese Art and Architecture3
ARTHIST 386Art, Ritual, and Ethnicity of China3
ARTHIST 387Buddhist Art and Architecture3
ARTHIST 481Topics in Chinese Art:1-3
ARTHIST 482Topics in Non-Western Art: (with appropriate subtitle)3
CHINESE 101First Semester Chinese5
CHINESE 102Second Semester Chinese5
CHINESE 150Contemporary Chinese Society and Culture3
CHINESE 160A Taste of China: Learning Chinese Culture and Society through Cuisine3
CHINESE 200Chinese Calligraphy3
CHINESE 201Third Semester Chinese5
CHINESE 202Fourth Semester Chinese5
CHINESE 220Introduction to Chinese Poetry3
CHINESE 301Fifth Semester Chinese4
CHINESE 302Sixth Semester Chinese4
CHINESE 320Contemporary Chinese Societies through Film3
CHINESE 330Chinese Language and Culture3
CHINESE 343Chinese Martial Arts Fiction3
CHINESE 353Popular Culture, Entertainment, and China's Modernization3
CHINESE 401Seventh Semester Chinese3
CHINESE 402Eighth Semester Chinese3
CHINESE 441Business Chinese3
CHINESE 699Advanced Independent Study1-3
COMPLIT 360Seminar in Literature and Cultural Experience: (with appropriate subtitle)3
ECON 193First-Year Seminar: (Economics of Asia or other appropriate subtitles) (if not selected above)3
ENGLISH 316World Cinema: (with appropriate subtitle)3
GEOG 213Geography of Asia (if not selected above)3
GEOG 381Honors Seminar: (with appropriate subtitle)3
GEOG 443Cities of the World: Comparative Urban Geography (with appropriate emphasis on Asia)3
HIST 175East Asian Civilization to 1600 (if not selected above)3
HIST 176East Asian Civilization Since 1600 (if not selected above)3
HIST 269Asian Americans in Historical Perspective3
HIST 284Buddhism Across Asia3
HIST 286The Korean War3
HIST 287The Vietnam War3
HIST 370Topics in the History of Religious Thought: (with appropriate subtitle)3
HIST 372Topics in Global History: (with appropriate subtitle)3
HIST 376Premodern China3
HIST 377Modern China3
HIST 378Revolution in China3
HIST 402Topics in Asian History:3
HMONG 107First-Semester Hmong Literacy3
HMONG 108Second-Semester Hmong Literacy3
HMONG 265Hmong Americans: History, Culture, and Contemporary Life3
HONORS 200Honors Seminar: The Shaping of the Modern Mind: (with appropriate subtitle)3
HONORS 350Honors Seminar in the Humanities: (with appropriate subtitle)3
INTLST 550Senior Seminar in International Studies: (with appropriate subtitle)3
JAPAN 100Introduction to Japanese Literature3
JAPAN 101First Semester Japanese5
JAPAN 102Second Semester Japanese5
JAPAN 110Japanese Popular Culture3
JAPAN 111Elementary Japanese I3
JAPAN 112Elementary Japanese II3
JAPAN 113Elementary Japanese III3
JAPAN 201Third-Semester Japanese5
JAPAN 202Fourth-Semester Japanese5
JAPAN 220Introduction to Japanese Food Studies3
JAPAN 221Japanese Film: Themes and Methods3
JAPAN 299Ad Hoc:1-6
JAPAN 301Fifth Semester Japanese4
JAPAN 302Sixth Semester Japanese4
JAPAN 330Japanese Language and Culture3
JAPAN 331Reading Japanese Short Stories3
JAPAN 345Japanese News Media3
JAPAN 351Japanese Performance Traditions3
JAPAN 352Japanese Performance Traditions: Readings1
JAPAN 355Seminar in Japanese Literature and Culture:3
JAPAN 356Seminar in Japanese Literature: Readings1
JAPAN 361Translating Japanese Media3
JAPAN 401Seventh Semester Japanese4
JAPAN 402Eighth Semester Japanese4
JAPAN 416Introduction to Translation: Japanese to English3
JAPAN 441Business Japanese I3
KOREAN 101First-Semester Korean5
KOREAN 102Second-Semester Korean5
KOREAN 201Third Semester Korean5
KOREAN 202Fourth Semester Korean5
KOREAN 221Korean Culture and Society3
KOREAN 301Fifth Semester Korean3
KOREAN 302Sixth Semester Korean3
KOREAN 325Korean Contemporary Culture and the Korean Wave3
PHILOS 204Introduction to Asian Religions (if not selected above)3
PHILOS 304Buddhist Philosophy3
POL SCI 314Chinese Politics and Foreign Policy3
POL SCI 338Seminar in International Relations: (with appropriate subtitle)3
POL SCI 341Politics and Markets in Pacific-Rim Countries: (with appropriate subtitle)3
POL SCI 343Asian International Relations3
POL SCI 345Korean Politics and Foreign Policy3
WGS 500Advanced Social Science Seminar in Women's and Gender Studies: (with appropriate subtitle)3