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The Asian Studies Program

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The Asian Studies Program, which offers a major and minor in Asian Studies and in Middle Eastern Studies, offers a dynamic interdisciplinary program combining the humanities, social sciences, and language study.

Asian Studies Major and Minor

The Asian Studies major and minor provide a broad introduction to the culture and history of Asian societies, with courses that offer a variety of perspectives on Asia's past and present, and the opportunity for specialized study of an academic field within Asian Studies. Students have flexibility to pursue their interests, with courses in subjects ranging from religion to economics to theatre. Prospective majors and minors plan their programs with a member of the College’s Asian Studies faculty.

Middle Eastern Studies Major and Minor

Middle Eastern Studies (MES) is an interdisciplinary, liberal arts program of study that allows students to develop a broad knowledge of the societies, languages, cultures, and histories of the Middle East and their connections to the wider world. Courses draw on the expertise of faculty from a wide variety of departments, including anthropology, history, literature, music, politics, and religious studies. MES majors and minors are free to study a wide variety of subjects in their courses and are encouraged to develop complementary skills in fields such as anthropology, history, literature, politics, international relations, and religion. 


Pomona has close to 30 faculty members involved in the Asian Studies program, and their teaching interests are far-reaching. But students also benefit from Pomona’s role as a member of the Claremont Colleges, a consortium of neighboring institutions that share resources. Pomona’s Asian Studies and MES curricula draw on courses offered at the other colleges, allowing majors and minors to choose from more than 80 courses altogether.

Student Liaisons

Pomona College students majoring or minoring in Asian Studies or in Middle Eastern Studies (West Asian Studies) are represented by Student Liaisons. Student Liaisons organize departmental events that respond to student needs and that further integrate students and faculty.


Study abroad is an important element of the Asian Studies Program, with destinations ranging from China and Japan to Nepal, Jordan and Egypt. On campus, the Pacific Basin Institute sponsors a continuing series of conferences, workshops and lectures featuring scholars and public figures from Pacific Rim nations. PBI’s extensive archive of documentary videos and films is a key research tool.

Additional opportunities for language and cultural study are available through Pomona’s Oldenborg Center, a unique residence hall where students are immersed in Chinese and Japanese, among other languages. Oldenborg also brings many Asian Studies- and Middle Eastern Studies-related speakers to campus. MES students have the opportunity to study Arabic through our consortial relationship with Claremont McKenna College and immersion study abroad programs.


In addition to serving as a focus of a broad liberal arts education, Asian Studies and Middle Eastern Studies majors and minors profit from their interdisciplinary training to take up careers in sectors such as international affairs, public policy, law, economics, journalism, scholarship, and the arts.   

Samuel YamashitaProfessor of History; Asian Studies Coordinator (909) 607-2924Mason 115
Allan BarrProfessor of Chinese; Asian Studies Steering Committee (909) 621-2225Mason 219
Jonathan HallAssistant Professor of Media Studies; Asian Studies Steering Committee (909) 607-2214Crookshank 07
Zayn KassamProfessor of Religious Studies; Asian Studies Steering Committee (909) 607-4095Pearsons 104
Arash KhazeniAssistant Professor of History; Middle Eastern Studies Steering Committee (909) 621-8990Mason 124
Lisa MaldonadoAcademic Coordinator (909) 607-7467Hahn Building

Mailing AddressPomona College, Asian Studies, 420 N Harvard Ave, Claremont, CA 91711

Phone(909) 607-7467

Fax(909) 607-7468

Campus LocationHahn 111