East Asian Studies Department

In the Fall of 2014, Wesleyan’s Asian Languages and Literatures Department (founded in 1967), major in East Asian Studies (begun in 1973), and Mansfield Freeman Center for East Asian Studies (opened in 1987) will merge to become the new College of East Asian Studies (CEAS).  

College of East Asian Studies: FAQ 

This webpage aims to answer the most frequent questions about the CEAS. If you have further questions, please contact the current Chair of EAST (who next year will be the Chair of CEAS), Stephen Angle. 

What are the differences between the major in CEAS and the current major in EAST?

In brief, the CEAS requirements are: 3rd-year competence in Chinese, Japanese, or Korean; 3 core courses including the Proseminar; 4 courses in a concentration; a minimum of one semester study abroad; and a senior capstone project. This is very similar to EAST (see here for the EAST major requirements). A more detailed page on the CEAS requirements will be available soon. The main differences between CEAS and EAST are:

  • CEAS requires 3 years of language instead of 2. Admittedly, the large majority of EAST majors in recent years have done at least 3 years of language study.

  • The current rule allowing EAST majors to use two summers of language study or supervised research abroad to substitute for full-semester study abroad, which was almost never used, has been eliminated.

Other than changes to the major, what else is new about CEAS?

The merger of the three administrative units will, we expect, allow us to take better advantage of existing resources. We also anticipate that a combination of support from the university, grant applications to major foundations, and general fundraising will enable us to replace a number of faculty positions that either have or will be vacated due to retirements.

In addition, this combination of existing and new faculty will allow us to both strengthen our lower-level CJK language classes and to add innovative options for advanced language learners and native speakers. Over the next two years, we will be developing both new “hybrid” courses, which are “content” classes (i.e., literature, history, philosophy, etc.) taught in a CJK language, and “lab” classes, which are 0.5-credit classes with instruction in CJK, offered as add-ons to existing English-language classes.

Finally, there will be a range of new activities, both social and co-curricular, for the majors and faculty of the College, much of which will also be open to minors and to the whole university community.

I hear there is going to be a minor in CEAS. What are the requirements, when is it available, and what do I do to declare the minor?

The minor requires any 5 CEAS courses and Intermediate-level competence in Chinese, Japanese, or Korean. No more than 2 of the 5 courses may be language courses.

  • The rule that no more than 2 of the 5 can be language courses means that students beginning their CJK language study at Wesleyan may have to take as many as 7 courses to fulfill the minor (because 4 courses would be required to reach intermediate competence, but only 2 will count toward the minor).

  • Note that the CEAS/EAST rule mandating that native speakers of a CJK language must study a different language does not apply to the minor, so a native speaker of Korean, for example, can pass the “intermediate competence” standard without taking any classes, and simply take any 5 CEAS classes.

The minor will be available starting with Fall 2014, via the minor declaration form in a student’s electronic portfolio. 

I am a current Junior or Senior EAST major. How does this affect me?

Current seniors will graduate with degrees in EAST. The default for current juniors is that they are bound by the current EAST requirements and will graduate with a degree in EAST. If a current junior can fulfill the CEAS requirements and would like to switch to the CEAS major, please contact the CEAS Chair in the Fall of 2014 to petition for the change. 

I am a current Junior; I have been thinking about declaring an EAST major. Is that still possible? Would it be possible to become a CEAS major?

Yes, you can still declare an EAST major using the regular major declaration form. 

Starting in Fall 2014, you may contact the CEAS Chair to petition to join the CEAS major, if you are able to fulfill the CEAS requirements.

I am a current Sophomore. If CEAS doesn’t begin until July 2014, can I still declare a major in EAST? Or in CEAS? What major requirements apply to me?

Current sophomores will use the existing major-declaration tool to declare CEAS as a major, during the second semester of their sophomore year (i.e., Spring 2014). They will be subject to the CEAS requirements. (For technical reasons, EAST will also appear as an option, but please do not choose it.) 

I am a current First-Year student. I hear that first-years can apply for CEAS, because it will be a three-year major (like CSS or COL). How do I apply?

There is a straight-forward application process for first-year students, to be completed by March 31, 2014. More information is available here.

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