Global Asias

A global Studies Major concentration

Study how Asia has manifested itself across space and time.

“Global Asias” provides the means for you to study Asia transnationally and transculturally, thereby expanding the geographic concept of the region beyond a set of political entities occupying a specific world region. East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Central Asia, and the Asian diaspora are all part of this concentration, with the goal of recognizing that the flows of people, objects, ideas, and practices of Asia have spread across the region and around the globe. Drawing on a range of approaches, the Global Asias concentration provides the means to study "Asia" in its many manifestations — in the past and in the present — in our world today.


To satisfy the concentration requirements, browse the available courses.

Browse Global Asias Courses


General Requirements

One semester of language must be completed before declaring the major.

  • You must complete a minimum of 36 units in GS, including at least three courses focused on a world area.
  • You must complete at least 24 units at the 300 level or above, including courses across a minimum of three academic disciplines.
  • You must complete at least 6 units at the 400 level, no more than 3 of which may be directed research or independent study.
  • In addition to the 36 units, you must complete a four-semester sequence of courses in one modern language appropriate to your concentration.

These requirements may be fulfilled only with college-level coursework undertaken during your undergraduate enrollment. Courses must be taken for a grade, and you must receive a grade of C+ or higher in all courses.

For more detailed information about the general requirements, please see the Global Studies FAQs page.

Additional Requirements and Information

Study Abroad

  • We strongly encourage you to study abroad. For those who do not study abroad and receive credit toward the Global Studies General Requirements, an additional 3 unit course at the 300 or 400 level is required.
  • We strongly prefer you to select a study abroad location and your regional specialization consistent with your chosen language of study (e.g., if you wish to study in Latin America, you must satisfy your language requirement with either Portuguese or Spanish).
  • You may receive a maximum of 6 credits from a single semester, 12 credits from a year, or 3 credits from a summer term of study abroad.
  • Study abroad credit only counts at the 300 level.
  • You may apply no more than 12 total credits to the Global Studies major from study abroad, the School of Continuing & Professional Studies, summer school at other US universities, or any combination thereof.
  • To receive credit for a summer course completed at another institution, you should fill out the Approval for Non-Wash U Course Credit form with Arts & Sciences to take the course for 'general credit' and then petition to have the course count toward your Global Studies major.
  • You may not receive credit for January Term (j-term) study abroad programs; they are too short in duration.

Concentration Specific Requirements

This concentration requires 36 units of coursework:

  • 3 units of introductory coursework (100-200 level)
  • 6 units of multiethnic, diaspora, transnational, or transregional Asia-related coursework (at least 3 units at the 300-400 level)
  • 24 units of advanced Global Asias coursework (300-400 level; at least one course must focus on premodern Asias [pre-1850])
  • 3 units of core coursework: GS (IAS) 4976 Global Asias
  • For students matriculating at Washington University beginning in Fall 2023, Global Futures (L97 GS 3020) is a required course.
  • East Asia, North Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Central Asia, and the Asian diaspora are the relevant areas for the Global Asias concentration. You must complete one course in at least three of these areas or with a transregional focus.

You must fulfill the standard Global Studies language requirement with Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, or Urdu. Russian may be considered upon petition if you are a native speaker of one of the listed languages or have tested into the fourth year of one of the listed languages.

Your study abroad location must be in a country relevant to this concentration area. Otherwise, you will not meet the study abroad requirement and will need to complete an additional 300 or 400 level course on campus.

Note: A single course may satisfy more than one of the distribution requirements (i.e., disciplinary or regional). Some of these requirements may be completed while abroad.


If you have questions about this major concentration, please contact Professor Watt.

Contact Professor Watt