Message from the Director

Asia as a region plays an undeniably crucial role in contemporary world affairs. The impact of Asia's economic growth has never been more deeply felt across the globe, while its strategic importance and political power to influence the operation of the international system have dramatically increased. Home to almost half of the world's population, source of much of the world's consumer goods, and place where some of the world's most ancient and enduring civilizations emerged, Asia is an important topic of investigation for aspiring scholars and practitioners.

Welcome to Asian Studies at Georgetown. In our small but industrious operation, we seek to meet three criteria of richness, rigor, and relevance in our study of Asia. We strive to give our students an education that is rich in scholarship, rigorous in terms of methodology, and relevant to Georgetown’s special niche in international affairs. When the program first began over three decades ago, it was primarily an undergraduate-focused certificate. Asian Studies at Georgetown has now multiplied in size and scope servicing graduate and undergraduates and advancing a national profile and presence.

This is truly an exciting time for our program. We are in the midst of a multi-year comprehensive expansion of the curricular offerings, faculty appointments, and programmatic activities. The primary benefactor of these efforts is our growing body of students with interests in Asia. The signature undergraduate certificate in Asian Studies underwent curricular revision and is now a more rigorous and enriching experience. The graduate certificate in Asian Studies, begun in 2008, is the only graduate certification in Asia at the University and has attracted candidates from the Law, Main, and Medical campuses! 

In June 2011, Asian Studies announced the establishment of the Master of Arts degree in Asian Studies. The new M.A. degree gives students a unique combination of functional training and regional expertise. This degree will provide students with the necessary skills to meet the demands of advanced graduate study and the demands of global private and public sector interest in Asia. The M.A. in Asian Studies at Georgetown is a terminal 36 credit (12 course) degree program, in which students will have the opportunity to study core disciplines in the humanities and the social sciences as they relate to Asia. Students will also be given the opportunity to specialize in at least one and potentially two areas of concentration. A thesis option is available.

The expansion of Asian Studies at Georgetown will eventually yield a new Center with space to accommodate its growth. Asia continues to be the most dynamic region of the world and Georgetown will strive to meet the growing demands to understand the region’s politics, society, and culture.

Victor Cha