East Asian Studies Department Language & Culture Certificate

A student majoring in a department other than East Asian Studies may earn a certificate in Chinese, Japanese, or Korean by completing 7 language courses, 3 or more of which must be beyond the 2nd-year level, and 1 or more East Asian Studies or cognate courses. Courses taken on a Pass / D / Fail (P/D/F) basis will not be counted. Students must also complete a substantial piece of independent research (20-25 pages) based at least in part on Chinese, Japanese, or Korean sources dealing with aspects of East Asia. The paper could be either an original piece of research or a Junior Paper or Senior Thesis. If such a Junior Paper or Senior Thesis is written for another department, at least half of the work has to be on East Asia. Students interested in earning a certificate should apply at the department office by the end of their junior year.

  • Students placing into higher-level language courses may still qualify for the certificate by substituting EAS-prefixed and cognate courses for language work. Such exceptions will be made in consultation with the EAS Director of Undergraduate Studies.
  • Courses taken abroad in summer language programs (i.e. Princeton in Beijing or Princeton in Ishikawa) or over the course of a semester or year at other institutions may count towards certificate requirements. However, pre-approval for such coursework must be obtained from the EAS Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Independent Work 

The Independent Work can be a paper written exclusively for the Language and Culture Certificate, or it can be a piece of work – i.e. Senior Thesis, JP, substantial seminar paper – submitted to another department. In any event, 50% of its content must concern an East Asian subject. Usually, other departments require the same ratio for their certificates, so the Independent Work may then be evenly divided between two fields.

  • As a stand-alone, the Independent Work should be no less than 20-25 pages.
  • The Independent Work may have either a Humanities or Social Science methodological orientation.
  • The Independent Work must draw substantially on original language sources. Students are encouraged to consult material in Chinese, Japanese, or Korean that furnishes perspectives, information, and insights not readily available through English-language research. These sources should be central and meaningful and not simply peripheral to the project.
  • The Independent Work should aim at producing new knowledge and generating creative ideas through careful research and reflection.


A student must find an advisor who will supervise the progress of the Independent Work and assess whether it fulfills the requirements outlined above. Students should consult the EAS Director of Undergraduate Studies about any difficulties in finding and working with an advisor. If the Independent Work is deemed acceptable, the advisor will complete the independent work form which the student is responsible for submitting to the EAS Undergraduate Administrator in Jones 211 at least one week before Dean's Date in the spring of their senior year.

Students who have met all the requirements of the program will receive upon graduation with their diploma, a certificate of proficiency in the language and culture of their specialization.