Department of Asian Languages and Cultures

College of Letters & Science
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Undergraduate Studies

Students at SOAR, Summer 2015.

Currently the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures offers two undergraduate majors and two undergraduate certificates to new students:


Undergraduate Majors


The requirements for our majors are layered on top of General Education Requirements universal to all majors at UW-Madison (Comm A, Comm B, Quan A, Quan B, ethnic studies, etc) and the Breadth Requirements shared by all majors in the College of Letters and Science (12 credits each in Humanities, Social Sciences, and Natural Sciences, etc). The combination of these two sets of general requirements for a BA or BS degree in any department in the College of Letters & Science (including us) is available here.

For additional information on placement into language courses and general information about the language programs, see here for Chinese, here for Japanese.

For more detailed information regarding our requirements for the majors, see the Chinese Major Worksheet or the Japanese Major Worksheet


Undergraduate Certificates


Our certificates both require four semesters of language courses and 12 additional credits, including one required course in Professional Communication to prepare students for careers utilizing Chinese or Japanese.

These certificates (similar to undergraduate minors or concentrations) are designed to provide a credential in targetted language training for students majoring in another field of study.


Undergraduate Advisor

Rachel Weiss
1244 Van Hise Hall
Schedule an advising appointment!

Rachel Weiss joined the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures on July 1, 2016 as the Undergraduate Advisor. Prior to joining ALC, Rachel worked for nearly fifteen years at the Center for South Asia, UW-Madison. At CSA Rachel managed the Annual Conference on South Asia, Directed K-12 Outreach Programs, served as the FLAS Coordinator, and Undergraduate Certiticate Advisor. She also enjoyed working with the International Internship Program to develop internships in India.

Rachel received a B.A. in Art History (with a focus in Asian Art) and South Asian Studies, at UW-Madison (1994). She completed a M.A. in South Asian Studies, at UW-Madison (1998), under Professor David Knipe.

After high school, Rachel’s first experience in South Asia was on a semester-long program in Kathmandu, Nepal – Sojourn Nepal. As an undergraduate, Rachel studied in Madurai, Tamilnadu on the University of Wisconsin’s College-Year-in-India program and studied Tamil language and researched a caste of traditional potters, studying their art and religious traditions. After graduate school, Rachel received an academic year AIIS Fellowship to study Tamil Language in Madurai, Tamilnadu. Rachel remained in Madurai for two additional years, serving as the “Monitor” for the College-Year-in-India, Madurai Program. 


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