Undergraduate Major

The major in East Asian Languages and Literatures provides an intellectually focused and rigorous immersion in the East Asian humanities, allowing students to study three of the world’s great cultural traditions in depth.  We offer courses that reflect the variety of East Asian textual traditions, pre-modern through modern, and including film, theater, and media.  The major is focused on the analysis of literature, culture, and thought, built upon a solid foundation of language study; many of our courses are taught in translation, but students also have opportunities to take many courses in which literary works are read in the original language.  Majors select either the Chinese, Japanese, or Korean track, but are encouraged to take courses on the other tracks and to become familiar with aspects of East Asian literary culture that transcend geographic borders.     

For the requirements of the major, please click hereFor official Yale College information on the requirements for the major, see Yale College Programs of Study.

Students considering the major in East Asian Languages and Literatures should also compare the major in East Asian Studies (see here and here). Whereas the major in EALL is focused on literature, culture, and thought, the major in EAS allows students to count courses on East Asia from a broader range of Humanities and Social Science disciplines. Another difference concerns language study: EAS requires students to take six credits of language, regardless of level, whereas the EALL language requirement is based on proficiency. EALL also requires students to attain the equivalent of at least one semester of premodern language. Students who are considering doing graduate work in the literature, thought, and culture of East Asia may find that the EALL major provides deeper and more specialized preparation.

Students in the EALL major are strongly encouraged to study abroad during their time at Yale. Credit toward the major may be earned for courses taken elsewhere with the approval of the Director of Undergraduate Studies.  Majors often apply credits from approved junior year abroad or junior term abroad programs in China, Japan, and Korea. Students interested in studying an East Asian language abroad, regardless of their major, may apply for financial support through the Richard U. Light Fellowship program.  The Office of Fellowship Programs can provide information on a number of other opportunities to study abroad.

For the 2023-2024 Academic Year EALL Major Pamphlet, click here.