Programs

Undergraduate Studies

The goal of the department is to introduce to our students general knowledge about the culture, history, language, society, politics and various other aspects of East and South Asian countries: China, Japan, Korea, India, Mongolia, and Indonesia. Special emphasis is given to the problems and issues that are associated with the development of China, Japan, and Korea in the modern era (since the 19th century to this day), the studying of the Chinese, Japanese, Korea, and Indian languages, as well as of cross-regional connections across East, South, and Southeast Asia.

 

BA studies at the department are offered in 7 majors:

  1. China - studies include Chinese language, culture, history, society, politics and other aspects of China.
  2. Japan - studies include Japanese language, culture, history, society, politics and other aspects of Japan.
  3. Korea - studies include Korean language, culture, history, society, politics and other aspects of Korea.
  4. India and Southeast Asian studies include language, culture, history, literature and the religions of India and Southeast Asia.
  5. Contemporary Asia - studies include history, society and politics of contemporary Asian countries.
  6. Asian Cultures – studies focus on the pre-modern and modern cultures of East and South Asia.
  7. Business in Asia – a joint program with Business administration where students focus on the study of contemporary Asian economies including their languages.

Students will chose one of the above majors in their first year of studies. Students who are exempted from language studies (Chinese, Japanese, Korean, one of the Indian languages), will have to take selective courses amounting to half of the points they were exempted from.

Graduate Studies

The goal of the department is to introduce our students with advanced knowledge about the culture, history, language, society, politics and various other aspects about the East and South Asian countries: China, Japan, Korea and India. As part of their MA studies, the students will specialize in the same geographical region (China, Japan, India) they chose for their BA studies. Students who received their BA from another department will be required to complete the mandatory classes for BA studies, including language courses. As part of their MA studies, the students will participate in seminars, guided reading classes, and other courses from within and outside the department under approval from the MA adviser.

In the China and Japan sections, several integrative seminars will be given each year, dealing with major issues such as Chinese and Japanese history, politics and society. Students of the department in the research program will be required to present at least one seminar paper as part of the integrative seminars.

Upon approval, students will be allowed to participate in classes outside the department and in tutorial meetings for credit.

Non-Research Program

Students will specialize in the same geographical region (China or Japan) they chose for their BA studies. Students who received their BA from another department will be required to complete the mandatory classes for BA studies, including language courses. As part of their MA studies, the students from both sections, Japan and China, will participate in seminars, guided reading classes, and other courses from within and outside the department under approval from the MA consultant of the department.

In the China section, several integrative seminars will be given each year, dealing with major issues such as Chinese history, politics and society. Students of the department in the research program will be required to present at least one seminar paper as part of the integrative seminars.

Students will be allowed to participate in a private personal guiding from one of the teachers, on a subject that will be approved by the teacher, instead of one of the other courses.

Students who are continuing their studies after a break, will be required to take a test to prove their language skills in the language that they are specializing in (Chinese or Japanese). In case of failure in the test, these students will be required to retake Chinese/Japanese third year course.

 

The Non-research program for MA studies consists of 40 credit points(excluding written assignments).

Selective courses from within and outside the department must be approved by the department’s MA advisor. These courses will constitute as 45% of the final grade. Written assignments do not award credit points.

Students are required to hand in two seminar papers which will constitute as 40% of the final grade. Students from the China section must write at least one seminar paper as part of the integrative seminar.

Students will also be required to take a final examination which will constitute as 15% of the final grade.

Curriculum:

GUIDED READING OF CHINESE/JAPANESE TEXTS (1ST YEAR) – 4 CREDITS

GUIDED READING OF CHINESE/JAPANESE TEXTS (2ND YEAR) – 4 CREDITS

TWO SEMINAR PAPERS WITH A RESEARCH ASPECT– 4-8 CREDITS

SELECTIVE COURSES FROM WITHIN/OUTSIDE THE DEPARTMENT – 22-26 CREDITS

DEPARTMENTAL SEMINAR IN ASIAN STUDIES (1ST OR 2ND YEAR) – 2 CREDITS

40 CREDITS IN TOTAL

Two seminar papers-

-Final examination

Students who wish to switch to the research program, may do so by the end of their first year, as long as their average stands on at least 85 for 20 credit points, and that they passed the first year of their secondary language course.

 

Research Program

Students will specialize in the same geographical region (China or Japan) they chose for their BA studies. Students who received their BA from another department will be required to complete the mandatory classes for BA studies, including language courses. As part of their MA studies, the students from both sections, Japan and China, will participate in seminars, guided reading classes, and other courses from within and outside the department under approval from the MA adviser of the department.

In the China section, several integrative seminars will be given each year, dealing with major issues such as Chinese history, politics and society. Students of the department in the research program will be required to present at least one seminar paper as part of the integrative seminars.

Students will be allowed to participate in a private personal guiding from one of the teachers, on a subject that will be approved by the teacher, instead of one of the other courses.

Students who are continuing their studies after a break, will be required to take a test to prove their language skills in the language that they are specializing in (Chinese or Japanese). In case of failure in the test, these students will be required to retake Chinese/Japanese third year course.

The research program for MA studies consists of 28 credit points (excluding written assignments)

The students are required to give to presentations in two of their selective courses. The grades for the courses and the presentations will constitute as 35% of the final grade. Written assignments does not award credit points.

Students who are not continuing to PhD studies will be required to hand in one seminar paper, and students who are continuing to PhD studies will be required to hand in a research plan – the seminar paper or research plan will constitute as 15% of the final grade.

Students who participate in the research program will be required to hand in one seminar paper with a research aspect – this paper will constitute as 35% of the final grade.

Students will also be required to take a final examination which will constitute as 15% of the final grade.

Curriculum:

GUIDED READING OF CHINESE/JAPANESE TEXTS (1ST YEAR) – 4 CREDITS

GUIDED READING OF CHINESE/JAPANESE TEXTS (2ND YEAR) – 4 CREDITS

SELECTIVE COURSES FROM WITHIN/OUTSIDE THE DEPARTMENT – 16-18 CREDITS

DEPARTMENTAL SEMINAR IN ASIAN STUDIES (1ST OR 2ND YEAR) – 2 CREDITS

RESEARCH METHODS OF MODERN CHINESE SOCIETY & POLITICS (CHINA SECTION ONLY) – 2 CREDITS

28 CREDITS IN TOTAL

-One seminar paper/ research plan for PhD

-One seminar paper with a research aspect

-Final examination

Second foreign language

As part of the research program, students are required to study a second modern foreign language (in addition to the language they are already learning) in an advanced level, meaning two years of studying at the very least. The selected second language requires a written approval from the department’s MA adviser. In general, the department recommends a secondary Asian language (Chinese for students of the Japanese section, Japanese for students of the Chinese section), or a European language that is used for extensive research about Asia (French, German, and in some topics – Russian, Spanish or Italian). In certain circumstances other languages may be approved (Arabic, Farsi, Turkish). In special circumstances students may be allowed to take Korean as their second foreign language, under approval from the department’s MA adviser.

Final Examination

After completing all the assignments required for their MA studies, students will be required to take a written and oral final examination. The final examination takes place twice a year (June and December). The materials for the test, subjects for debate and other assignments (such as reading reports), will be published on the department’s website, and updated from time to time during summer break.

 

Chinese Language Program

As part of the Chinese summer school in China, given by the Asian studies department, about forty students will participate in an intensive Chinese language course which will take place in Jilin university which lies in Jilin Province in Northeast China.

The course, which is organized by the Asian studies department of the Hebrew University, is designed to give the students of Chinese language an opportunity to quickly improve their speaking, hearing and reading capabilities. The participants will be divided into groups according to their level, while the studies will be done in small groups in order to provide greater attention to the needs of the students. In addition to the language lessons, the students will also participate in cultural activities.

Ms. Lin Qian, the senior Chinese language teacher in the department will provide academic support for the course.

The participants – eleven outstanding students who finished their second year at the department were given the scholarship (partial or complete) by the Polonsky Foundation who paid for the course tuition and traveling expenses. Other students who participated in the course paid for the course themselves. This year students from other universities in Israel besides the Hebrew University participated in the course.

The Chinese summer school in China is another important factor in contributing to the excellence of the Chinese language students in the Asian studies department of the Hebrew University. In recent years the department has set a goal for itself to bring the outstanding graduates of the department to a level which will enable them to pursue academic studies in China where classes are delivered in Chinese. This course presents a substantial leap forward in this regard, as can already be seen by the high achievements of the Hebrew University graduates in China and in other places around the world.