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2023-2024 Graduate Bulletin

Graduate Program in

Asian Studies

College of Social Sciences and Public Policy


Director: Lee Metcalf (Social Science); Director of Undergraduate Studies: Whitney Bendeck (Social Science); Director of International Economic Education: Onsurang Norrbin (Economics); Director of Internships and Professional Development: Na'ama Nagar (Political Science)

Asian Studies is an interdepartmental program leading to the Master of Arts (MA) or Master of Science (MS). The program is designed to give students a well-rounded understanding of Asian culture. Courses are offered in the areas of political science, economics, sociology, public administration, urban and regional planning, history, anthropology, geography, humanities, language, literature, religion, art history, and music. Many students in the program anticipate careers in government, business, international organizations, journalism, or teaching. Other students use the program as a stepping stone into more specialized doctoral programs, by developing a language and area competence and through exposure to graduate coursework prior to entering a PhD program in one of the disciplines represented by the participating Asian Studies faculty.

Study Abroad Programs

Asian Studies students are encouraged to participate in the University's summer study program in China or in another appropriate program. See International Programs and consult with Asian Studies program director.


Asian Studies students have the opportunity to do an internship designed to provide practical experience that will complement traditional coursework. Interns can expect to gain valuable work experience, develop professional skills, cultivate valuable contacts and investigate career options. The internship allows students to receive academic credit for internship placement in approved agencies and organizations. Information about internships and application materials are available on the International Studies Organization site. All internships must be approved by the program director the semester before the internship takes place.


Admission Requirements: A candidate is admitted to the degree program by meeting the University's general requirements for graduate admission and by recommendation of the director and executive committee of the degree program. It is recommended that the student have undergraduate preparation in those fields where graduate work is contemplated. A candidate is admitted to the program by meeting the general requirements for graduate study. All applicants must take the verbal and quantitative portions of the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) or equivalent prior to admission to the program. International Students must submit official English Proficiency Test scores (TOEFL or IELTS) if their native language is not English.

Program Requirements: The program is a total of thirty-one (31) credit hours, where students choose between completing a comprehensive exam or thesis route. Students selecting the first option will undergo comprehensive examination on the coursework taken for the degree during their last semester in the program. With the advice and consent of the director and the participating faculty, the student selects a three-person committee from among the listed Asian studies faculty to supervise the student's degree program. The committee members must be drawn from at least two different disciplines. The student's supervisory committee will administer the exam.

Students selecting the thesis option will designate one of their committee members to serve as their major professor at least two semesters prior to completing their degree program. Students will then work closely with this major professor throughout the stages of outlining, researching, and writing their thesis, and six of their required thirty semester hours are to be taken as thesis hours. In lieu of a comprehensive written examination, students selecting this option will be examined by an oral defense of their thesis before their supervising committee. The choice between the comprehensive exam and thesis route will depend upon career objectives. Students must have prior approval of the director before selecting the thesis option.

Course Requirements: Students are required to take INR 5935r Special Topics (Colloquium) or an approved equivalent. This is a one credit pass/fail course that is designed to foster knowledge about the career field. Students may select courses broadly from the listing of coursework below, so long as they take a minimum of six semester hours in history and six semester hours each from the social science and arts and humanities tracks. Students, however, are encouraged to concentrate their coursework as much as possible to develop a particular country and language competence. Moreover, while it is required to take coursework from both the social science and the arts and humanities tracks, students should select one of these two broad areas for greater concentration, generally around one or several related disciplines. While students can take undergraduate courses as a graduate student, undergraduate coursework will not be eligible to count toward the thirty-one (31) credit hours. All thirty-one (31) credit hours must be 5000 and above.

Language: All students must satisfy the foreign language requirement for the MA degree, even if they choose to graduate with the MS degree. Students prove proficiency in Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, or some other approved language by demonstrating one of the following: 1) the completion of twelve semester hours of college level coursework in the chosen Asian language with an average grade of at least 3.0 ("B"); or 2) passage of a reading comprehension test administered by the Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics at Florida State University; 3) four years of a single language in high school; or 4) if the first language is not English: TOEFL or IELTS. Students, however, are encouraged to go much farther in their language training to gain an effective competency in their chosen area language.

Note: Descriptions of individual courses can be found under the departmental listings. In addition to the courses listed below, special topics courses may be approved by the program director in any particular term. These courses appear on the term course lists and are available at the International Studies Organization site as well as the program office in 211 Bellamy.

Asian History

Minimum of six semester hours

ASH 5266 Central Asia Since the Mongols (3)

ASH 5409 Imperial China (3)

INR 5936 Special Topics in International Affairs (3) [21st Century China]

INR 5936 Special Topics in International Affairs (3) [Readings on Communist Asia]

HIS 6934 Special Topics in History (3) [Islamic World]

Social Science Track

Minimum of six semester hours

CPO 5407 Seminar in Comparative Government and Politics: The Middle East (3)

CPO 5740 Comparative Political Economy (3)

ECO 5005 Economic Principles for International Affairs (3)

ECO 5208 Global Macroeconomics (3)*

ECO 5305 History of Economic Thought (3)

ECO 5707 International Trade (3)*

ECO 5715 International Finance (3)*

ECP 5115 Seminar in the Economies of Population (3)

ECS 5005 Seminar in Comparative Economic Systems (3)

ECS 5015 Economic Development: Theory and Problems (3)

GEA 5195r Advanced Area Studies (3)

GEO 5305 Biogeography (3)

GEO 5358 Environmental Conflict and Economic Development (3)

GEO 5425 Cultural Geography (3)

GEO 5435 Global Health (3)

GEO 5472 Political Geography (3)

INR 5012 Problems of Globalism (3)

INR 5036 International Political Economy (3)

INR 5088 International Conflict (3)

INR 5934r Selected Topics (3)

INR 5938 Joint Seminar in International Affairs (3)

INS 5906 Directed Individual Study (1–6)

PAD 5310 Disaster Management Planning for Urban Poor Communities (3)

PAD 5376 Introduction to Terrorism: Preparedness and Response (3)

PAD 5377 Advanced Topics in Terrorism (3)

PAD 5389 Disasters: From Shock to Recovery (3)

PAD 5397 Foundations of Emergency Management (3)

PAD 5835 International and Comparative Disaster Management (3)

PAD 5873 International Terrorism Policy (3)

PAD 5898 Global Security and Fusion (3)

SYA 5018 Classical Social Theory (3)

SYD 5046 International Population Dynamics (3)

SYD 5105 Population Theory (3)

SYD 5135 Techniques of Population Analysis (3)

SYD 5215 Health and Survival (3)

SYD 5225 Fertility (3)

SYO 5306 Political Sociology (3)

SYO 5335 Sociology of Political Economy (3)

SYP 5105 Theories of Social Psychology (3)

SYP 5305 Collective Behavior and Social Movements (3)

URP 5355 International Transportation Planning (3)

URP 5405 River Basin Planning and Management (3)

URP 5526 Healthy Cities, Healthy Communities (3)

URP 5544 Gender and Development (3)

URP 5610 Introduction to Development Planning (3)

URP 5611 Strategies for Urban and Regional Development in Less Developed Countries (3)

URP 5615 Infrastructure and Housing in Less Developed Countries (3)

URP 5616 Project Planning in Developing Countries (3)

URP 5847 Growth and Development of Cities (3)

*Note: Consult with instructor and/or see course description about required prerequisites

Arts and Humanities Track

Minimum of six semester hours

ANG 5137 Nautical Archaeology: Global View (3)

ANG 5172 Historic Archaeology (3)

ANG 5240 Anthropology of Religion (3)

ANG 5242 Symbol and Ritual (3)

ANG 5266 Economic and Ecological Approaches to Anthropology (3)

ANG 5275 Human Conflict: Theory and Resolution (3)

ANG 5426 Kinship and Social Organization (3)

ANG 5471 Technology and Social Change (3)

ANG 5478 Cultural Evolution (3)

ANG 5737 Medical Anthropology (3)

ARH 5556 Arts of Japan (3)

ARH 5558 Arts of China (3)

ARH 5575 Islamic Art and Architecture, 7th-21st Centuries (3)

ARH 6592r Topics in Eastern Art: Seminar (3)

CHI 5505r Readings in Chinese Literature (3)

FOL 5934r Problems and Studies in Modern Languages and Literature (3)

FOW 5595 Transnational Literature (3) [Sinophone and Chinese Diaspora]

JPN 5900r Studies in Japanese Language and Literature (3)

MUH 5555 Music of Middle East (3)

MUH 5576 Music of Indonesia (3)

MUH 5577 Music of Japan (3)

RLG 5195r Seminar: Religion and Culture (3)

RLG 5292 Tutorial in Near Eastern Languages and Literature (3)

RLG 5305r Seminar: History of Religions (3)

RLG 5318 Tutorial in Classical Chinese Religious Texts (3)

RLG 5332 Modern Hinduism (3)

RLG 5354r Special Topics in Asian Religions (3)

RLG 5356 Readings in Tibetan Religious Texts (3)

RLG 5910r Tutorial in Pali (1–3)

RLG 5915r Tutorial in Sanskrit Texts (1–3)

Note: Each of the participating departments periodically offers courses in selected or special topics, or as directed individual studies, which allows a student the opportunity for greater concentration in selected areas of specialization relevant to his or her country focus.

Definition of Prefix

ASH—Asian History

ASN—Asian Studies

Graduate Courses

ASN 5148. Topics on 21st Century China (3). This course focuses on topics of particular relevance to China in the 21st Century. Students evaluate China's domestic policies, foreign relations, and ongoing challenges as China continues to rise. Students relate these issues to the key theories of international relations, as well as assess China's objectives.

ASN 5225. Imperial China (3). China has a particularly rich and vibrant history, one that remain relevant to this very day. This course familiarizes students with the history of Imperial China as they examine China's dynasties and discuss the political, cultural, social, religious, ideological, and economic developments that characterizes each period.

ASN 5415. Modern China (3). This course familiarizes students with the history of Modern China, as China has experienced dramatic and, in many ways, revolutionary changes during the past few centuries. The course explores such topics as the impact of western imperialism, China's struggle to blend tradition and reform, attempts at democracy, the anti-Japanese War/World War II, the role of Communism, and the rise of China as a global economic superpower.

ASN 5456. Readings on Communist Asia (3). This course familiarizes students with the events and personalities of Communist Asia. Focusing heavily on China, but also including Korea and Vietnam, the course examines the origins of communism and communist ideology in Asia, Asia's unique version of communism, the major communist leaders and their policies and the effects that communism has had on the Asian world and beyond. Through assigned readings, this course serves as both an introduction to the subject of Asian communism, as well as an advanced study of communist Asia.

ASN 5910r. Supervised Research (1–5). (S/U grade only). A maximum of three hours may apply to the master's degree. May be repeated to a maximum of five semester hours.

ASN 5935r. Special Topics in Asian Studies (1–3). May be repeated to a maximum of nine semester hours as topics change. Duplicate registration allowed within the same term.

ASN 5971r. Thesis (1–6). (S/U grade only). A minimum of six semester hours credit is required. May be repeated to a maximum of six semester hours.

ASN 8966r. Master's Comprehensive Examination (0). (P/F grade only.)

ASN 8976r. Master's Thesis Defense (0). (P/F grade only.)