Asian Languages and Civilizations provides a number of flexible paths through the major. Most majors satisfy the language requirement by taking a six-semester sequence of courses (Arabic 101 through Arabic 302, for example). Some majors meet the language requirement for the major with less than 6 courses. They might place into second year course or higher, or they might accelerate their progress though off campus summer programs. Majors who do not need six courses to fulfill the language program are then able to add elective courses to their four-course concentration.
Concentration courses also can be flexibly combined and sequenced, in consultation with the major advisor. Ideally, majors will progress from introductory courses to advanced courses; it is desirable that at least two courses in the concentration be at the 300 level or higher. The more deliberate the combination of courses can be, the more effective the major will be in combining an in-depth exploration of a theme, methodology, or region with a mastery of core academic skills, including research and writing.
Since Amherst College does not currently offer language courses specific to South Asia, those majors wishing to concentrate their studies in this region will be expected to take ten South Asia-related cultural courses taught in English. Majors are encouraged to explore, in consultation with their major advisor, the College’s diverse curriculum on South Asia, which includes courses in the fields of history, art and architectural history, literature, religion, political science, and anthropology.