About Center for East Asian Studies (CEAS)

Founded in 1959, the Center for East Asian Studies (CEAS) at the University of Kansas is the only East Asian resource center in the Great Plains region. CEAS supports East Asian language instruction and promotes East Asian studies across the curriculum. Seventy affiliated faculty members teach in 29 departments and 10 professional schools at KU, offering over 250 courses fully or partially devoted to East Asia.

Why consider a degree in Contemporary East Asian Studies?

The M.A. in Contemporary East Asian Studies is an interdisciplinary degree focused on 20th and 21st century East Asia that provides students with in-depth knowledge of a selected East Asian country (China, Korea, or Japan), a broad knowledge of modern East Asia, and social science research skills and methods appropriate to international area studies.

The pace of globalization has sped up over the past half century. Because of this, East Asia has experienced rapid economic, political, and social changes that have not only strengthened and challenged intra-regional relationships but that have also led to increasingly close ties with countries outside of this world area. For strategic reasons, and owing to the close socioeconomic ties between the US and East Asia, the need for US-trained specialists on East Asia has greatly increased. Mutual interests in fields such as business, finance, technology, environment, education, and communication continue to grow and create demand for East Asia specialists both in the US and abroad.

Thus, the study of contemporary East Asia – particularly China, Japan, and Korea – is both relevant and important for American students. Various career opportunities exist for students who wish to pursue careers as East Asia specialists. M.A. degree holders in Contemporary East Asian Studies are qualified to move into jobs in fields such as international business, non-profit organizations, journalism, translation/interpreting, and government.

Our M.A. program in Contemporary East Asian Studies will help students to develop expertise on this dynamic and diverse region and would be ideal for students who want to realize their intellectual and career potential.

Two Concentrations:

1. Contemporary East Asia

A conventional M.A. program usually completed in 18 months to two years, depending on prior language training. This concentration can be used either for professional advancement or as preparation for a doctoral degree.

2. Foreign Affairs Studies (FASt): Contemporary East Asia in a Global Context

An accelerated (12-month) program designed for students with second-level (intermediate) language proficiency and substantial first-hand experience in East Asia. This concentration is usually selected for professional advancement.  For Foreign Area Officers, more information is available at: Graduate Military Program, Foreign Area Officer (FAO). If you are a Foreign Area Officer interested in our program, please read Information for FAOs.


CEAS 200. Topics in East Asian Studies: _____. 1-3 Hours U.

An introductory interdisciplinary topics course addressing contemporary issues related to one or more East Asian countries. Format and content will vary. Does not count toward the EALC major or minor requirements unless otherwise indicated by EALC in the Schedule of Classes. LEC.

CEAS 500. Seminar in East Asian Studies: _____. 1-3 Hours U.

An interdisciplinary seminar addressing contemporary issues related to one or more East Asian countries. Prerequisites to be determined by instructor(s) on the basis of course content. Does not count toward the EALC major or minor requirements unless otherwise indicated by EALC in the Schedule of Classes. LEC.

CEAS 610. Minorities in Japan. 3 Hours S.

This course offers a sociological and historical exploration of Japan's minorities: the Ainu, Okinawans, Burakumin, and Zainichi Koreans who are often excluded from narratives of Japanese history. Exclusion of the minority issue not only overlooks the existence of minority populations in Japan but also contributes to misconceptions of Japan as a homogeneous country. The course objective is to challenge the conventional master narrative of racial and cultural homogeneity. We shed light on Japan's minorities, their historical experiences, current struggles, and future challenges. This course is taught at the 300 and 600-levels, with additional assignments required at the 600-level. (Same as EALC 610.) Prerequisite: An introductory East Asian Studies course or consent of the instructor. LEC.

CEAS 704. Contemporary East Asia. 3 Hours.

This graduate seminar explores rapidly changing societies in contemporary East Asia, particularly China, Japan, and Korea. The course provides a critical overview of East Asia and its diversity and complexity using cross-cultural perspectives and interdisciplinary social science approaches, and situates East Asian societies in the context of globalization. (Same as EALC 704.) LEC.

CEAS 710. Interdisciplinary Research Methods for Global Contexts. 3 Hours.

This course addresses the challenges for students engaged in research in an interdisciplinary and international context. The course will take issues for research and place them within the structure of a research design process, including formulation of a general question, the appropriation of theory, the grounding of a literature review, and the positing of a testable research question and/or hypothesis. Students will also be exposed to research methodologies and how these manifest themselves through the logic of the disciplines--such as anthropology, sociology, geography, political science, history and literature. With a final thesis project design in mind, students will be expected to be able to utilize the research tools of accessing secondary analytical data, archival research, SPSS, ArcView and methods such as survey construction, implementation, and analysis, interviews, content analysis, dicourse analysis, case study, and GIS. (Same as GIST 710.) Prerequisite: GIST 701 or consent of instructor. LEC.

CEAS 802. Research Seminar. 3 Hours.

Students will work with the instructor and, when appropriate, an additional faculty advisor to design, research and write up a research paper on an East Asian topic of their choosing. Students enrolling in this course are expected to have taken a social science research methods class prior to taking this course and to apply those methods to the research process. A core course for the MA in Contemporary East Asian Studies. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor. SEM.