East Asian Languages and Cultures

Administrative Information

Director of Undergraduate Studies: Prof. Theodore Hughes, 506 Kent; 854-8545;

Departmental Office: 407 Kent; 854-5027

Special Service Professors
William Theodore de Bary (John Mitchell Mason Professor and Provost Emeritus of the University)
Donald Keene (Shincho Professor Emeritus)

Paul Anderer
Charles Armstrong (History)
Bernard Faure
Carol Gluck (History)
Robert E. Harrist Jr. (Art History)
Robert Hymes
Dorothy Ko (Barnard History)
Feng Li
Lydia Liu
Wei Shang
Haruo Shirane (chair)
Tomi Suzuki
Chun-Fang Yu (emeritus)
Madeleine Zelin

Associate Professors
Lisbeth Kim Brandt
Michael Como (Religion)
Theodore Hughes
Matthew McKelway (Art History)
Adam McKeown (History)
Eugenia Lean
David Lurie
Rachel McDermott (Barnard)
David Moerman (Barnard)
Gregory Pflugfelder
Jonathan Reynolds (Barnard Art History)
Gray Tuttle

Assistant Professors
Hikari Hori
Guo Jue (Barnard)
Jungwon Kim
Annabella Pitkin (Barnard)


Adjunct Faculty
Mary Anne Cartelli
Rachel Chung
Harry Harootunian
Morris Rossabi
Gopal Sukhu

Senior Scholars
Mason Gentzler
Conrad Schirokauer

Senior Lecturers
Shigeru Eguchi
Lening Liu
Fumiko Nazikian
Miharu Nittono
Carol Schulz
Chih-ping Chang Sobelman

Mei-I Chiang
Lingjun Hu
James Lap
Beom Lee
Xin Li
Kyoko Loetscher
Yue Mao
Yuan-Yuan Meng
Tenzin Norbu
Keiko Okamoto
Jisuk Park
Shaoyan Qi
Zhongqi Shi
Naofumi Tatsumi
Hailong Wang
Xiaodan Wang
Zhirong Wang
Yoshiko Watanabe
Chen Wu
Hanyu Xiao
Jia Xu
Ling Yan
Hyunkyu Yi
Yuanyuan Zhang

The program in East Asian studies offers a wide range of courses in a variety of disciplines, as well as training in the Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Tibetan languages. The program is designed to provide a coherent curriculum for undergraduates wishing to major in East Asian studies, with disciplinary specialization in anthropology, art history, economics, history, literature, philosophy, political science, sociology, or religion. The department also offers a series of introductory and thematic courses especially designed for students seeking to acquire some knowledge of East Asia as part of their broader undergraduate experience.

Admission to Language Courses

All students wishing to enter the language program at other than the first term of the elementary level must pass a language placement test before registering. The language placement exams are held during the change of program period, the week before classes begin.

Students who have been absent from the campus for one term or more must take a placement test before enrolling in a language course beyond the first term of the elementary level.

Students who wish to place out of the Columbia College Foreign Language Requirement for a language taught in the department of East Asian Languages and Cultures must consult with the director of the relevant language program. The names of the directors, and additional information about East Asian language programs, can be accessed via the department website at

Language Laboratory

An additional hour of study in the language laboratory is required in elementary, second-year, and third-year Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. Students who plan to take CHNS C1101-C1102, C1111-C1112, C1201-C1202, C1221-C1222, or W4003-W4004; JPNS C1101-C1102, C1201-C1202, or W4005-W4006; and KORN W1101-W1102, W1201-W1202, or W4005-W4006 must attend all assigned language laboratory sessions. Grades for written and oral work in the language laboratory and for additional work in oral drill sessions count as 25% of the final grade in the course. Assignments of laboratory hours are made during the first session of the regular classes.

Language Instruction

Please see Admission to Language Courses for information on the language placement test and schedule. Students whose native language is not English are not required to take an additional foreign language if they have completed the secondary school requirement in the native language.

For more information on Chinese language courses, please visit the Chinese Language Program website.

Introductory Chinese

For beginners who wish to study Chinese at a slower pace. The entire course consists of two parts covering the same material as the first semester of Elementary Chinese (CHNS C1101/F1101). Students who have successfully completed the Courses I and II (W1010-W1011) will be admitted to Elementary Chinese II (C1102/F1102) in the spring semester. Alternatively, students who suddessfully complete Course I and choose to study in a summer or another program and upon passing the program placement test be placed into the Intermediate Chinese course.

Elementary Chinese (Level 1)

N-sections: for students who have no or a limited background in Chinese.

W-sections: for students of Chinese heritage or advanced beginners with Mandarin speaking ability but minimal reading and writing skills


NOTE: Advanced beginners or heritage students who can speak Mandarin are not accepted into the N sections.

Intermediate Chinese (Level 2)

N-sections: continuation of elementary N focusing on further development of listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills.

W-sections: continuation of elementary W focusing on reading skills and written language. Open to students of Chinese heritage or those with good speaking skills in Chinese only.

Advanced Chinese I (Level 3)

N-sections: continuation of the intermediate N focusing on more sophisticated language usage and fluency as well as reading skills with systematic vocabulary expansion.

W-sections: continuation of intermediate W focusing on practical writing skills and semi-formal or formal style of Chinese used in various professional settings. Open to students with good speaking skills in Chinese only.

Other Advanced Courses (Level 4)

Please see the courses listed on-line.

Course Numbering

The following are general guidelines to the numbering of department courses open to undergraduates, although not all courses conform to them. Students with questions about the nature of a course should consult with the instructor or the director of undergraduate studies.

  • 1000-level: First- and second-year language courses
  • 2000-level: Broad introductory undergraduate courses
  • 3000-level: Intermediate and advanced undergraduate lectures and seminars
  • 4000-level: Third- and fourth-year language courses, and advanced undergraduate seminars, which may be open to graduate students
  • 5000-level: Fifth-year language courses
  • Study Abroad

    East Asian Studies majors or thesis-track concentrators who plan to spend their junior spring abroad must take the required disciplinary and senior-thesis-related courses in the spring of their sophomore year. Contact the director of undergraduate studies for details.

    The Kyoto Center for Japanese Studies

    The Kyoto Center offers Columbia students the opportunity of study in Japan in a program combining intensive instruction in the Japanese language with courses taught in English on a wide range of topics in Japanese studies. Students should have at least the equivalent of two years of Japanese by the time of their departure. The program is most appropriate for the junior year, though other arrangements are considered. East Asian Studies majors or thesis-track concentrators who opt to spend their junior spring at the Kyoto Center must take the required disciplinary and senior-thesis-related courses in the spring of their sophomore year (contact the director of undergraduate studies for details). For further information about the Kyoto Center, please consult Prof. Henry Smith, 407 Kent; 854-5027;


    Courses in which the grade of D or P has been received do not count toward the major or concentration requirements.

    Departmental Honors

    Departmental honors are conferred only on East Asian Studies majors who have earned a grade point average of at least 3.6 for courses in the major, have pursued a rigorous and ambitious program of study, and have submitted senior theses of superior quality, clearly demonstrating originality and excellent scholarship. Qualified seniors are nominated by their thesis advisers. Normally no more than 10% of the graduating majors in the department each year receive departmental honors. Concentrators are not eligible for departmental honors.