Asian Language and Culture

Asian Language and Culture incorporates coursework on Asian civilizations, past and present, and more advanced language study.

Students may pursue a Major, Minor, or Honours and focus their coursework on any of these three paths. All lead to an in-depth understanding of the Asian tradition.

Languages available for study include Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Punjabi, and Sanskrit.

Students majoring in Asian Languages and Culture can choose between the following areas of specialization:

    • China
    • Japan
    • Korea
    • South Asia

Click here for Program Requirements


The major and minor can be declared on the Student Service Centre (SSC) when you have second-year standing. Admission to the Honours program requires an application.

If you have any questions regarding applications, please contact the department.


Undergraduate Research Spotlight: Exploring the Heritage of Chinese Migration

As part of a Go Global seminar, 20 UBC students travelled to China to explore the heritage of Chinese migration.

Clarissa Forbes and Michael Schwan: Preserving Language through Research

Linguistics students Clarissa Forbes and Michael Schwan spent much of 2012 working on the documentation and linguistic analysis of Gitxsan, an aboriginal language spoken in the northern interior of British Columbia. Over the course of 8 months, they were given the opportunity to work directly with Gitxsan speakers to help document the language. Through elicitation sessions, in which they recorded stories told in Gitxsan, as well as other grammatical exercises, they were able to gather new knowledge about this endangered language.

Nick Angiers: Discovering a love for the Chinese language

Nick Angiers (BA '08) stumbled into Chinese after completing all the courses he could take in Japanese. Angiers graduated with a BA in Asian Languages and Culture, specializing in Chinese. He’s fluent in four languages: English, French, Japanese, and Chinese.

Dr. Duanduan Li: Teaching Chinese

When Professor Duanduan Li joined UBC from New York City’s Columbia University in 2003, she did so for a specific reason. She had worked as director of Columbia’s Chinese language program and was attracted to UBC because of its large community of heritage language (HL) learners — students with a background, though not necessarily a fluency, in the language being taught.


Department of Asian Studies
UBC Asian Centre
Room 403
1871 West Mall
Tel: 604-822-0019