Major and Minor

Visit the EALC Website for more information. Contact Dr. Hsiao-Wen Cheng ( for inquiries about the EALC major, and  Dr. Teemu Ruskola ( about the EALC minor.

Major in East Asian Languages and Civilizations (EALC)

Language Requirement: 6 c.u.

Students will be required to take six-semesters-worth coursework in one language: Chinese, Japanese, or Korean. If you choose to take Korean courses and do not have any prior knowledge of Korean, the 6 c.u. language requirement will be met by taking Beginning Korean (KORN 0100/0200), Intermediate Korean (KORN 0300/0400), and High Intermediate Korean (KORN 0500/0600). Students who place out of elementary courses must fulfill the 6 c.u. with more advanced courses chosen in consultation with the Korean language program director.

Gateway Course: 1 c.u.

Students must choose one among EALC 0020 / EALC 0040 / EALC 0060.

Seminars: 2 c.u.

Students must take two seminars taught by core EALC faculty [NB: These courses currently correspond to 2000-/3000-level courses. In the new numbering system courses will be designated as seminars in other ways (dependent not on the number alone, but on attributes assigned in CM).] Students will take one of the two seminars as a capstone course in which they will produce a research paper. When selecting a seminar to serve as their capstone course, students must a) reach out to the instructor at the time of enrollment and receive permission to take the course to fulfill the capstone requirement; and b) contact the major advisor to confirm that said permission was granted.

Electives: 3 c.u.

Students must take any three EALC courses.

Additional Requirements and Options

  • Breadth 1 c.u.: Students may create a concentration by taking up to 5 courses on the same country (China & Inner Asia, Japan, Korea). At least 1 course—either a seminar or an elective—must be taken on a second country as a breadth requirement.
  • 1 c.u.: Optionally, students may one of their electives as a seventh language CU to complete a language certificate (This course must be in the same language selected for the language portion of the major). This course may not take the place of the breadth requirement (students availing themselves of this option must take up to 4 courses in one concentration, at least 1 course for breadth, and 1 language course).

Minor in East Asian Languages and Civilizations (EALC), with Korean Studies Concentration

  • *Language Requirement: 4 c.u.
  • EALC 0060
  • Electives: 3 c.u.
*Students must complete 4 cu of Korean  language, usually KORN0100 & 0200: Elementary Korean I & II and KORN0300 & 0400:  Intermediate Korean I & II. For those students who place out of  KORN0400 or KORN0420, established by placement test or transfer credit, the language requirement is reduced to 2 cu taken at PENN so that the total minor requirement for these students is reduced to 6 cu. The three electives should be non-language courses pertaining to Korea. However, up to two higher level language and literature courses may be accepted with prior approval from the minor advisor.

Language Certificate

Students wishing to pursue advanced language study but who cannot or do not want to fulfill the requirements of a major or minor may apply for the Language Certificate. The minimum requirement for the certificate is three courses BEYOND proficiency in the same language. Courses taught in literature and culture in the original language are accepted. Approved Study Abroad courses may also be accepted. Only courses for which a grade of “B+” or above is given will count toward the certificate.

Completion of the certificate will be noted on the student’s transcript and at graduation. Applications may be obtained in the department office or can be downloaded below. Please note the special instructions for submitting the application while campus is closed.

Click here to download the language certificate application.