Asian Studies

Admission Type
Open Enrolment - General Admission Requirements


Take the first step toward a career in international trade, consular or diplomatic services, immigration, tourism, journalism, finance, marketing, intercultural communication and more with this two-year Associate of Arts Degree in Asian Studies.

In this program, you will explore topics in religion, history, politics and culture, as well as take several language courses to develop an intermediate proficiency in either Chinese (Mandarin) or Japanese.

Asia is the fastest growing economic region globally, and Canada’s second largest trading partner. It’s also the most populous and diverse continent in the world. Asian Studies graduates offer employers valuable knowledge and insights into this rich region.

Get work experience – before you graduate

Students enrolled in this program may be eligible to apply for Co-operative Education work terms. After completing 18 credits of a diploma, degree or university transfer program, Co-op students alternate semesters of classroom studies with semesters of paid, full-time employment.

Transfer your credits to university

All Asian Studies courses and their credits are fully transferable to the main research universities in B.C., as well as many universities across Canada. They can also be applied to other Douglas College programs.

Program Requirements

Curriculum Framework

Graduation Requirements:

  • Successful completion of 60 University Transfer credits as listed below
  • A minimum program GPA of 2.00 is required
  • All courses must be University Transferable - a University Transferable course is a course that transfers to one of the Research Universities - SFU, UBC (UBCV or UBCO), UNBC, or UVIC in the BC Transfer Guide
  • 50% (30 credits) of all coursework must be completed at Douglas College
  • Specializations are not noted on credentials but will be noted on the transcript

Course Requirements:

The Associate of Arts Degree with a specialization in Asian Studies will enable students to earn a credential in this field across a range of courses in the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. Students must fulfill all of the requirements of the Associate of Arts Degree, as well as completing the required courses listed below:

Course Number

Course Title


Students must select six (6) courses from List A:


ENGL 1130

Academic Writing


ENGL lit course*

Designated sections of English literature courses


HIST 1155

Asian History: An Introduction


HUMS 1171

World Religions: Oriental


MODL 2273**

Introduction to Japan: Language, Culture and Society


PHIL 1135

Asian Philosophy


HIST 2250**

Modern China: An Introduction


GEOG 2281**

Contemporary Geographies of Monsoon Asia


Students must select four (4) courses from List B (Modern Languages):


MODL 1171

Basic Japanese I


MODL 1172

Basic Japanese II


MODL 2271

Intermediate Japanese I


MODL 2272

Intermediate Japanese II



MODL 1191

Basic Chinese (Mandarin) I


MODL 1192

Basic Chinese (Mandarin) II


MODL 2291

Intermediate Chinese (Mandarin) I


MODL 2292

Intermediate Chinese (Mandarin) II


Students must select one (1) course from List C (History):


HIST 2251**

Modern Japan: An Introduction


HIST 2252**

Modern South Asia: An Introduction


*ENGL 1099 cannot be counted towards the AA in Asian Studies. For sections of English literature courses with Asian content, please consult the English Department Chair.

**Course may have prerequisites. Please check the Program and Course Catalogue 

The following are the general requirements for an Associate of Arts Degree at any BC college:

  • 6 credits first-year English* electives
  • 6 credits Humanities** electives
  • 6 credits Social Sciences** electives
  • 6 credits Arts** electives
  • 18 credits second-year Arts** electives in 2 or more subject areas
  • 3 credits Lab Science elective
  • 3 credits Math, Statistics or Computing Science elective
  • 3 credits Math, Statistics or Science elective
  • 9 credits other University Transfer electives

*English courses can include courses in written Communications and Creative Writing that transfer to one of the BC research universities (SFU, UBCV, UBCO, UVIC or UNBC) as English credit. A maximum of 3 credits can come from such an equivalent; at least 3 credits must be earned in an actual ENGL course, so-named. For purposes of the Associate of Arts degree, English courses cannot be counted as Humanities courses.

** Arts courses are available in the Faculty of Languages, Literature, and Performing Arts, and the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. To confirm whether a course is designated as "humanities" or "social sciences", check the Associate of Arts degree graduation checklist. Economics courses are Arts courses. Arts courses may also include Mathematics courses.


A course is defined by the subject for which it is granted transfer credit at one of the research universities (SFU, UBCV, UBCO, UNBC, or UVIC).

  • An Arts course is defined as any course in a subject area for which there is a Baccalaureate of Arts Degree at one of the research universities.
  • A Science course is defined as any course in a subject area for which there is a Baccalaureate of Science Degree or Baccalaureate of Applied Science Degree at one of the research universities.
  • The requirements specified above are intended to provide breadth of exposure to a variety of disciplines in both Arts and Sciences. In some instances there may be some ambiguity as to whether a course is in the Humanities or Social Sciences and is an Arts course or a Science course. Most Physical Geography and Mathematics would be designated as Science courses.
  • A course in an "other" area is defined as any course in a subject area for which there is a Baccalaureate Degree other than in Arts, Science or Applied Science at one of the research universities.
  • first-year course is defined as a course that has assigned or unassigned transfer credit at the 100-level at one of the research universities.
  • second-year course is defined as a course that has assigned or unassigned transfer credit at the 200-level or higher level at one of the research universities.
  • laboratory science course is one in which a substantial component of instruction involves the study of natural phenomena, either in the laboratory or in the field.

For detailed information you should meet with a Student Success Advisor.

Co-operative Education Option:

Students enrolled in this program may be eligible for a Co-operative Education designation. Co-operative Education involves alternating full-time academic and work terms. For information contact the Co-operative Education Office.

Admissions Requirements


You can get an average cost for your program - tuition and student fees, books, uniforms, lab fees etc - on the Program Cost page. 

Only programs approved for student loan funding are listed on the Program Cost page. For all other programs, refer to the Tuition Fee page.

Program Guidelines

Program Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this program and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the program, consider the previous version as the applicable version.