The Department of Asian Studies serves as the institutional center of Cornell's diverse research and teaching interests, strengths and potentials in Asia. It is the home for instruction in the languages, literatures, religions, cultures, and intellectual histories of Asian societies and is one of the few departments in America that offers instruction in social sciences, the humanities and languages across all three regions of Asia: East Asia (China, Japan and Korea), Southeast Asia (Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, The Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore), and South Asia (India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh). The professorial faculty members are a multi-disciplinary group in the humanities who conduct research and teach on topics arranged under our rubrics of "Literature & Linguistics," "Religion," and "Society & Culture," as well as offering more broad courses under the "General Education" heading and more specialized courses such as honors or graduate seminars. Associated faculty throughout the university teach courses about the politics, economics, history, culture and contemporary development of Asian regions. Faculty members at the rank of senior lecturer, lecturer and teaching associate offer instruction in 14 modern Asian languages, and the department also offers instruction in five classical Asian languages (Sanskrit, Pali, Literary Chinese, Literary Japanese and Literary Vietnamese).
The department works with Asian specialists of all disciplines across campus, who collectively comprise the East, South and Southeast Asia area studies programs. Undergraduate students can major in Asian studies or minor in East Asian studies, South Asian studies or Southeast Asian studies. The department is home to two graduate programs: Asian Studies (MA) and Asian Literature, Religion, and Culture (MA/PhD).