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Undergraduate Programs

The Department of Asian Languages and Literature offers undergraduate majors and minors in East and South Asian languages and literature. Undergraduate students in the Department receive instruction in language, literature, linguistics, and culture, and are encouraged to take advantage of numerous study abroad opportunities. Graduates of the Department go on to a wide variety of careers in which knowledge of and familiarity with Asian languages and cultures have become indispensable in our increasingly interconnected world. A popular option for many undergraduates at the University of Washington is to combine a major in an Asian language with a second major from another department, such as Computer Science, Business Administration, and International Studies.

Undergraduate degrees are offered in:

In addition to these degree programs, the department offers language instruction in a number of South, East, and Southeast Asian languages.  The department also offers a BA Honors program and teaching endorsements in Chinese and Japanese.

Prospective students may wish to review the Learning Goals for our majors and minors.

Declaring a Major


Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and South Asian are minimum requirement majors. That means as long as you meet certain prerequisites (below), you can be admitted to the major. The Asian Languages and Cultures major is an open major, meaning that students in good academic standing may declare the major at any time, without fulfilling requirements stated below.

Please note that prospective students who are not yet accepted to UW do not need to apply to this department directly. We do not have a "Direct to Major" or "Direct to College" pathway. Students interested in becoming AL&L majors can apply as pre-majors in the Humanities, and then apply for the major they are most interested in after taking some language classes. You can find out more information about applying to UW as an undergraduate student here. Are you a transfer student interested in declaring one of our majors? Check out this page.

To declare the major, please first check out the required classes for each degree, and then make an appointment with AL&L Undergraduate Advising.

Prerequisites for admission to a major in Asian Languages and Literature:

1) Completion of at least 20 credits of college course work (or Department-approved equivalent) in the intended primary language of concentration (e.g., Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Hindi, Sanskrit, depending on the specific major).

The following stipulations also apply to prerequisite (1) above: the most recent course completed in the intended primary language of concentration must be a course offered by the University of Washington. The final grade in the most recent course in that language must be 2.5 or higher.

2) Completion of one W-prefix writing course, conducted in English, with a grade of 2.0 or higher. (A "second" English composition course, such as Engl 111, 121, 131, 182, will also satisfy this requirement. Postbaccalaureate students are exempt from this requirement.)

The Department prefers that prospective majors present a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher.

Declaring a Minor

In order to apply for a minor, you must have completed at least 90 college credits and already have declared a major. You should declare your minor through your major department. For example, if you are a history major and want to declare a Japanese minor, please contact your history advisor. You do not need to make an appointment with an Asian Languages and Literature advisor to do this, although we encourage you to meet with an advisor and discuss any questions you might have about requirements or courses. You can make an appointment here.


Major and Minor Approved Courses

To see quarterly lists of courses that can be counted towards completing your major and/or minor requirements, please download the files below. You are always encouraged to contact your Undergraduate  Advisor should you have any questions.

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