Asian Studies Program

In the age of global economy and digital communication, Pacific Rim nations have become America’s close partners in multinational business, diplomacy and cultural exchange. The most populated region of the world, Asia has developed some of the fastest and most productive economies. A growing demand exists for Americans to become familiar with Asian business, journalism, government, education, information technology and service.

BGSU is one of few Ohio universities to offer a bachelor’s degree in Asian Studies. Students gain a broad knowledge of the culture and societies of East Asia, South Asia and Southeast Asia; an in-depth knowledge of one of the East Asian countries (Japan, China, and Korea); and basic conversational and reading skills of an Asian language.

A message from the BGSU Asian Studies Program

March 30, 2021

In these days following the senseless murder of eight people, six of them Asian women, in Atlanta, the beatings of Asian Americans across the nation, including that of Vilma Kari on the sidewalk in broad daylight in Manhattan, others across the city and its subways, and others across the country—we remember the history of violence towards people of Asian descent by white supremacists in this country. In these days of anguish, frustration, rage, and fear—days filled with vigils and sadness—we in BGSU’s Asian Studies Program recognize the pain and grief, anger and desolation, being experienced by Asian Americans and Asians in America. The long-standing impact of racism in the United States affects all aspects of Asian lives, families, and communities, and by extension, all of us, whether we be Asian or Asian-allies.

These recent acts of violence are part of a growing list of Asian lives terrorized and/or cut short. The tragedy of these deaths feels even more devastating while the world continues to live under the coronavirus pandemic, which has only served to underscore the racial disparities in health and medical care in this country.

We condemn the ongoing devaluation of Asian lives, and the violence towards People of Color and their communities. The oppression, disrespect, and white violence are reprehensible violations of human rights, which in turn affect the mental health and well-being of all People of Color.

We condemn the violence against individuals in communities across the nation. We in the Asian Studies Program commit to standing up, to recognizing and calling out oppression and hate, implicit bias, and micro-aggressions, and to combating systemic racism in our communities, our classrooms, and wherever we encounter it.

These tragedies must stop. This violence and these murders must stop. The ongoing and systemic mistreatment, dehumanization, disrespect, traumatic aggressions, and blatant disregard for Asian lives must stop. We all have the right to be safe, to prosper, to live.  We must all do our part to empower one another, to be allies, to advocate, and to be present. For, in the words of Angela Y. Davis, “It is not enough to be non-racist, we must be anti-racist.” In Asian Studies we commit to using our platform in higher education to expand the scope of the predominantly Eurocentric teaching in our education system and to help shape a future that is inclusive, diverse, global, and respectful, for people of all colors, races, and creeds.

We see you. We hear you. We honor you. We support you.

We offer these resources to help guide us in creating a socially just and equitable society. 


Careers in Asian Studies

Opportunities exist in academia, business, government and the nonprofit sector for Asian Studies graduates.


Akiko Jones Honored for Teaching Excellence

For Akiko Kawano Jones, director of the Asian Studies Program, teaching Japanese involves far more than helping students learn a language. For her, it means introducing them to an entire culture and immersing them in it as much as possible.

For her tireless devotion to her students and her extraordinary ability as an instructor, the Student Alumni Ambassadors named Jones the 2018 Master Teacher. The award includes a $1,000 cash prize.


Alumna Credits Japanese Studies for Career Success

As an undergraduate majoring in International Business in the late ’80s, Sheila Spradlin Reich planned to take Japanese only long enough to fulfill a humanities requirement and to speak just enough of the language to be employable upon graduation. “I ended up taking Japanese all the way through my junior year,” she said. “Not only did I learn the language, my eyes were also opened to a whole new culture and society.”

Asian Studies Class Returns to Hiroshima

Every two years since 2006, students in “Hiroshima and Beyond” (Asian Studies 3100) travel to Japan to observe the anniversary of the WWII atomic bomb attack and to immerse themselves in Japanese culture. The program is offered through a partnership with Hiroshima Jogakuin University, which provides lecturers and experts during the experience and places students with host families during their visit.

Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of the baccalaureate degree, students in Asian Studies are expected to be able to:

  • Know the developments in the arts, history, culture, economics, politics, and societies of selected countries in East Asia, South Asia, and Southeast Asia; recognize the diversity of Asia; and identify basic practices and theories of major Asian beliefs and institutions;
  • Demonstrate an advanced level of understanding of a chosen Asian country or region;
  • Develop knowledge of the historical, present, and evolving relationship of the United States with other Asian countries of the Pacific Rim. Cultivate a sensitive cultural and historical understanding of US-Asian relations;
  • Choose at least one discipline (language and literature, history, political science, geography, philosophy, anthropology, education, music) and gain an ability to use its methodology in identifying, analyzing, and explaining issues of Asian region;
  • Demonstrate college-level competence in an Asian language (including speaking, reading, and writing).

Accreditation and/or Program/Cluster Review
Bowling Green State University [BGSU] is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.  BGSU has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 01/01/1916. The most recent reaffirmation of accreditation was received in 2012 - 2013. Questions should be directed to the Office of Institutional Effectiveness.

The Asian Studies program went through Program/Cluster Review during the Academic Year 2017/18.

Professional Licensure (If applicable)
Bowling Green State University programs leading to licensure, certification and/or endorsement, whether delivered online, face-to-face or in a blended format, satisfy the academic requirements for those credentials set forth by the State of Ohio.

Requirements for licensure, certification and/or endorsement eligibility vary greatly from one profession to another and from state to state. The Asian Studies program does not lead to professional licensure.

Gainful Employment (If applicable)
Under the Higher Education Act Title IV disclosure requirements, an institution must provide current and prospective students with information about each of its programs that prepares students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation.

The Asian Studies program is not a recognized occupation that requires a Gainful Employment disclosure.

Updated: 02/13/2023 12:53PM