Programs & Courses

The University of Washington's Department of Asian Languages and Literature is renowned nationally and internationally for the excellence of its programs, both graduate and undergraduate. The Department offers B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees, with specializations in Chinese, Korean, Japanese, and South Asian languages (Hindi and Sanskrit), and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Buddhist Studies. It provides an excellent environment not only for developing advanced proficiency in Asian languages, but also, through its various classes, seminars, and colloquia, for developing skills applicable to a wide variety of careers.

The Department has close links with many other departments on campus, and its students regularly take courses in academic units such as Art History, Comparative Literature, Comparative Religion, English, History, the Jackson School of International Studies, and Women's Studies. The University of Washington Libraries boast one of the most extensive collections of Asian materials in the world. Finally, the University of Washington's location in Seattle, a major port and economic hub on the edge of the Pacific Rim, as well as the home to a significant Asian population, is another reason why the Department is an excellent place to pursue a degree in Asian languages and literature.

Undergraduate Programs

The Department offers B.A. degrees and minors in five areas: Asian Languages and Cultures (major and minor), Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and South Asian. In addition, we offer a minor in Vietnamese and Indonesian. We also offer a B.A. Honors program.  For details on programs and applications procedures, see Undergraduate Programs.

Graduate Programs

The Department offers M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in five areas: Asian Languages and CulturesBuddhist Studies, Chinese, Japanese, and South Asian. Our website also provides guides, policies, administrative forms, and other resources for current graduate students. For details on programs and applications procedures, see Graduate Programs.

Teaching Endorsements

The Department currently offers teaching endorsements in Chinese and Japanese.  Visit the Teaching Endorsements page to learn more.

Language Study

At present, the Department offers courses of instruction in the following Asian languages: Bengali (Bangla), Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Sanskrit, Pali, and the Prakrits, Urdu, and Vietnamese. (Tagalog (Filipino) is taught in the Department of American Ethnic Studies.)


We offer courses on literature and culture and language classes each term.  Visit our new At a Glance page for preliminary schedules of our upcoming courses.  For an up to date listing of scheduled offerings please see the Courses page or the UW Time Schedule.  You should also review our policies regarding Add Codes & Wait Lists and Proficiency & Placement.

Summer Study

 We offer literature and culture classes as well as language classes during the Summer Quarter.  See Summer Study to learn more.

Non-Degree Study

Non-matriculated students can enroll in some of our classes. See Non-Degree Study to learn more.