East Asian Studies

Japanese painting of people walking along a forest street by Hiroshige
Japanese painting of people walking along a forest street by Hiroshige

Welcome to the Department of East Asian Studies!

The Department of East Asian Studies is an interdisciplinary home for research and education about the societies and cultures of China, Korea and Japan, run by scholars working in the social sciences, humanities and fine arts. Our undergraduate program emphasizes giving students high levels of language proficiency in Chinese, Korean and Japanese language, while also giving them the cultural understanding to be effective professionals in a variety of business and government careers relating to Asia. At the graduate level, our MA program gives students intensive scholarly training in field-specific research methods, and has an excellent success rate placing them in top PhD programs in Canada and the United States.

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East Asian Studies Degree Program

East Asian Studies majors are able to choose from a wide array of fascinating and lucrative career paths, both in Asia and in Canada. East Asian nations occupy positions of critical importance to the world economy, international relations and cultural exchange. Therefore, employers understand the value of having employees with advanced language skills in Chinese, Japanese and Korean, as well as the cultural and historical knowledge necessary for effective engagement.

East Asian Studies Honors Degree Program

Our honors program is designed for students who want to go on to research Asia in graduate school. In addition to their coursework, students do a major research project in collaboration with one of our professors; this gives our honors students a unique opportunity to learn research skills and supercharge their graduate school applications.

Chinese Language

Like almost all university Chinese programs, we teach Mandarin, the standard dialect for business communication across China. In addition to being a critical language for business whose importance will only grow in the 21st century, Chinese is actually much easier than you think! There’s no conjugating verbs, no tenses or moods, not even singular and plural! Even the writing system is easier than it looks–and our award-winning teachers know exactly how to introduce it in a way that makes sense to Canadians.

Korean Language

Korea has its own amazing and distinct Asian culture for millennia – and until recently, almost no one outside the peninsula noticed. But now K-pop and K-drama have taken the world by storm, and Korean is one of the fastest growing world languages. In our program, we have designed our classes to encourage pop culture fans to learn Korean in a way that deepens their understanding of Korean society. We designed our own textbooks from the ground up to make the language as easy and fun as possible, and our instructors have been recognized by the South Korean government as among the best in the world.

Japanese Language

Year after year, Japanese is one of the most popular languages on campus – no matter how many classes we open, they always fill up. (We are guessing there are a lot of anime fans? But it’s not required!) If you want to register, be sure to jump on Bear Tracks as soon as the system opens!

Graduate Program - MA in East Asian Studies

The two-year master's thesis-based degree program in East Asian Studies aims at providing graduate students with advanced disciplinary training and a profound understanding of research methods in Asian cultures. Accommodating a diverse array of research interests in linguistics, literature, art history, religion and cultural studies, we maintain individual attention and direction for students.

winter term 2025
mwf 10:00 - 10:50 A.M.

EASIA 272: Introduction to Contemporary korea

Learn about the culture and society of 21st century Korea in this entirely new course! We will examine how Korean arts and pop culture reflect the social, economic, and political forces keeping Korea in the spotlight of the world's attention. An essential course for anyone who wants to understand or travel to today's Korea.

Bo Young Chang

Fall Term 2024
TR 11:00 A.M. - 12:20 p.M.

EASIA 305: introduction to chinese linguistics

This course provides students with a general understanding of the Chinese language from a linguistic perspective. It offers an introduction to important linguistic elements of the Chinese language – its phonological (sound system), morphological (word formation system) and syntactical structure (sentence structure) and its writing system. Covered also are other topics concerning the Chinese language, including dialects, and the relationship between language, culture and society. This is NOT a language course but a course about the Chinese language. The lectures and discussions will be in English. This course is intended to help you with your understanding of the Chinese language in a systematic manner.

Prerequisites: LING 101 and CHINA 202, or consent of Department

Xiaoting Li

News + Events


Celebrating a pillar of the Korean community

Kyungsook Kim rose from personal challenges to create one of the most successful Korean language programs in Canada

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