Asian and Pacific Studies

Student graduating with international flags in the background

What is Asian and Pacific Studies

Students in LMU's Asian and Pacific Studies major examine the broad sweep of the region's history, politics and culture, while gaining an understanding of contemporary issues related to this rapidly changing part of the world.

Majors may choose to study the region as a whole or concentrate on a specific country or area. All students, regardless of academic focus, are encouraged to spend time in Asia through various LMU-connected programs. 

What do Asian and Pacific Studies majors do?

Majors receive a firm grounding in the history, culture, politics and geography of Asia and the Pacific. Students may also delve into areas such as theology and the arts, or learn an Asian language. Students whose cultural backgrounds are from other parts of the world may explore relationships between their own cultures and those of the region.

Students who choose to concentrate on a specific country or area may complement their focus with language studies in Japanese, Chinese, Sanskrit, or Tagalog. Through arrangement with nearby UCLA, students can earn LMU credit for courses in Arabic, Korean or Mongolian. Language study can be excellent preparation for further studies and professional work. 

Is this major right for you?

You might be an Asian and Pacific Studies major if you:

  • Are curious about the Pacific Rim
  • Have diverse academic interests
  • Follow global current events
  • Like travel and international culture
  • Enjoy research 

About our faculty

Our award-winning, interdisciplinary faculty comes from a broad spectrum of academic backgrounds, including theological studies, art history, management and philosophy. Professors' areas of interest include Asian literature, feminist theory, Asian business, ethics, East Asian art history, and comparative philosophy. Many instructors have taught, researched, and studied abroad.

Faculty members are widely published in the area of Asia and the Pacific. Professors have authored important and influential books such as Chinese Philosophy in an Era of Globalization and The Roots of Tantra. Articles by our instructors are published in leading journals and sit on editorial boards of publications, among them the Journal of World Business

About our students and graduates

Our students often seek to complement their studies with experience in the region.  LMU offers a study abroad program in Beijing, China, at the Beijing Center of Language and Culture; and exchange programs at Sophia University and Kansai Gaidai in Japan, Sogang University in Korea, and the Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines.

A major or minor in Asian and Pacific Studies offers a valuable foundation for careers in government, social services, the law, education and many other fields. Given the recent surge of interest in Asia and the Pacific, employers increasingly seek out those with a background in this area. 

Representative courses

Our courses have included:

  • Asian Civilizations
  • Geography of Asia and the Pacific
  • Politics of Asia
  • Religions of East Asia
  • Economic and Political Issues in Contemporary Asia
  • Asian Philosophy
  • Hawaii and the Pacific Islands
  • Asian Mythology
  • Modern Asian Fiction
  • Age of Samurai
  • Asian Women Writers
  • Arts of Asia: Zen
  • Martial Arts in China
  • Multinationals and the Third World
  • Independent Studies   

More resources (links)