Why Asian and Pacific Studies?

What is Asian and Pacific Studies (ASPA)?

Students in LMU's Asian and Pacific Studies major examine the broad sweep of the region's history, philosophy, 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, philosophy, literature, culture, and politics 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 Chinese, Japanese, Sanskrit, or Tagalog. 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 Asia and the Pacific 
  • Have diverse academic interests
  • Follow global current events
  • Like travel and international culture
  • Enjoy research
  • Are interested in a career that involves working with Asian affairs 

About Our Faculty

Our award-winning, interdisciplinary faculty comes from a broad spectrum of academic backgrounds, including philosophy, literature, film, history, art history, theological studies, communications, journalism, theatre, and management. Professors’ areas of interest include comparative philosophy, Asian literature, Asian cinema, feminist theory, Asian business, East Asian art history, and theology. 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 Yin Yang: The Way of Heaven and Earth in Chinese Thought and Culture. Articles by our instructors are published in leading journals in their fields. 

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, 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
  • Modern Asia
  • Economic and Political Issues in Contemporary Asia
  • Asian Philosophy
  • Masterpieces of East Asian Literature
  • Asian Mythology
  • Women in Asia
  • Contemporary Chinese Cinema
  • Asian Martial Arts Movies
  • Asian Cinema
  • East Asian Popular Culture
  • Religions of East Asia
  • Asia Media
  • Future of the UN
  • Arts of Asia: Zen
  • Buddhism
  • Asian Theatre
  • International Business

More Resources (links)

Asian and Pacific Studies Electronic Journals