In order to provide students with the skills needed in a globalized world that increasingly pivots on Asia, Montana State University-Bozeman has established an interdisciplinary Asian Studies major and minor. This new program has replaced the Japan Studies major and minor options located within the Departments of History & Philosophy and Modern Languages & Literatures.
The new program appeals to students not just in Letters and Science, but also in other colleges and schools such as Engineering and Business. The Asian Studies options reflect shifting U.S. strategic concerns in the Asia-Pacific region in recent years, as well as significant geopolitical and economic changes in Asia, changes that have resulted in students’ desire to learn the languages and to study the cultures of China, Japan, and other Asian countries. The program enables students not merely to learn about single nations within Asia, but also to gain some basic knowledge of Asia as a whole, and to understand how these nations’ histories, cultures, politics, and environments have been and are increasingly intertwined. In addition, the Asian Studies options at Montana State University reflect the interdisciplinary culture of Montana’s land-grant institution, and better prepare MSU students for employment in a host of international fields and occupations.