The Department of Asian Languages and Cultures (ALC) serves as a home for the study of Asia, both for broad comparative and cultural studies of the history, literature, film, art, music, and society in Asia, and for the more focused study of Japanese or Chinese language and culture. The department thus offers an interdisciplinary major and minor in Asian Studies (with a focus on China, Japan, or South Asia), a major and minor in Japanese Language and Culture, and a major and minor in Chinese Language and Culture.

Students may study in Asia on a variety of approved study abroad programs, and live in Chinese or Japanese language houses. Language proficiency along with a sophisticated grasp of specific Asian cultures is a primary goal for ALC majors. Non-majors may take a variety of courses, taught in English, which concern the many cultures of South, Southeast, Central and East Asia.

The department's objectives are

  • To promote the study of Asian languages and cultures as an integral part of a liberal arts education
  • To offer a wide range of language courses in Chinese and Japanese for majors, minors, and other students
  • To provide students with a firm foundation in fields such as literature, film, linguistics, and translation studies
  • To prepare students for graduate work and professional careers related to Asia
  • To support the college's mission of internationalism, multiculturalism, and civic engagement.