The Department of Asian Languages & Cultures at UW-Madison is student-centered and driven by research that is integrated into the classroom. With thematic foci in Asian languages, linguistics and literature, Asian cultural studies, religions of Asia, and critical issues in contemporary Asia, we aim to teach students how to recognize and critically analyze the realities of past and present "Asia" as a region that is crucial to the global flows of people, materials, and ideas through its own rich complexity with deep interconnection across multiple domains. For more inforamtion please review our Department Overview.
Undergraduate Majors in the College of Letters & Science
Undergraduates can choose from three majors, each has a different set of prerequisites and requirements. Students with prior experience in an Asian language will be required to take a placement test at UW-Madison prior to enrollment.
A new undergraduate program in Asian Languages and Cultures is under development. The plan includes multiple options, such as East Asian Studies, South Asian Studies, and Southeast Asian Studies, South Asian Studies, as well as a non-region-specific or Trans Asian options. These new programs will open Fall 2018.
The Chinese program offers students a range of courses and activities which impart an understanding of the culture and civilization of China. With the completion of three basic years of the language, students will be prepared to handle various types of colloquial Chinese. Most majors pursue advanced studies in Chinese linguistics or literature, while others combine an interest in China with a degree in business, education, engineering or journalism. The most up-to-date information about the Requirements and Learning Outcomes are made to The Guide.
The Japanese program offers students a range of courses and activities which impart an understanding of the culture and civilization of Japan. With the completion of the four basic years of the language, students will be prepared to handle various types of colloquial Japanese. Most of our majors pursue advanced studies in Japanese linguistics or literature, while others combine an interest in Japan with a degree in business, engineering, history, or international studies. The most up-to-date information about the Requirements and Learning Outcomes are made to The Guide.
Undergraduate Certificates in the College of Letters and Science
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.
- Certificate in Japanese Professional Communication
- Certificate in Chinese Professional Communication
Beyond the Classroom
In addition to their course work students are encouraged to explore opportunities to use their language of study outside of the classroom.
A great place to start is the International Internship Program office that is dedicated to create internships around the world specifically for UW-Madison students. Or the UW-Madison International Academic Programs (aka Study Abroad) office that advises and manages UW Signature Programs, Exchange & Affiliate Programs throughout Asia!
Check the Language Institute events and opportunities that focus on world languages and developing skills for putting languages to use in careers. You can also meet their International Directions Advisor Michael Kruse.
If you have questions about our programs and are exploring your options; or you are ready to declare a major or certificate, please make an appointment to meet with Rachel Weiss, Undergraduate Advisor:
International Academic Programs (IAP) Red Gym
International Internship Programs (IIP) Bascom Hall
Retroactive Credits Language Institute
Degree Program Change (BA/BS) Letters & Science
Alumni Profile Submission Form Language Institute
Undergraduate Academic Awards National Scholarships and Campuswide Awards
Pass/Fail Letters & Science
Probation Letters & Science
Career Services @ UW-Madison
Career Services Letters & Science
Transfer to L&S Request Letters & Science