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Asian Languages Minor

Academic Minor Program (15 credits) 

Prerequisite Two years or fourth-term proficiency in an Asian language

  • Language Requirement Two terms of an Asian language taught within the  department at the 300- or 400-level. No more than two terms of language may be used towards the minor plan.
  • Culture Requirement At least two courses on Asian culture that will familiarize the student with the language studied; one of the courses must be at the 300- or 400-level. The culture courses should be directly related to the language studied, i.e. a student studying Japanese should elect courses focused on Japan.

All courses must be approved by an ALC academic advisorStudents must have earned a C- or better in a course for it to be used.

At least six of the credits must be elected at UM-Ann Arbor or through an overseas program associated with the university.

Asian Languages Minor FAQs

When should I declare an Asian Languages and Cultures minor?

You can declare the minor once you have a declared major and have met the prerequisites of the minor.

Can I get a major and a minor within ALC?

Yes. Students wishing to focus on more than one area or language are encouraged to declare both a major and a minor.  Know that the focus of the major and the minor cannot be the same and the course work should not overlap. For instance, a student getting a Chinese Studies major should not get a Chinese Language minor.

Can I get two minors within ALC?

No. Students cannot have more than one minor in a department.

Can I use language credits to fulfill the Culture Requirement of the minor?

No. Language credits can only be used towards the Language Requirement.

I am planning on minoring in Chinese. Do I have to take ASIANLAN 301 and 302, or can I take the 2-credit ASIANLAN 305 and 306?

The Chinese Language Program does offer two courses, ASIANLAN 305 and 306, that focus on speaking only and help students maintain their proficiency gained in Second-Year Chinese (ASIANLAN 201 and 202). ASIANLAN 305 and 306, however, do not give students the appropriate proficiency necessary to fulfill the spirit of the minor. Chinese language students must take ASIANLAN 301 and 302 as part of the minor; the only exception to this rule is if the student has placed into 400-level language, in which case s/he must take two terms of 400-level Chinese. Students completing the Asian Languages and Cultures minor with Chinese must minimally have third year proficiency in all aspects of Chinese language-- reading, writing, listening, and speaking-- which can only be gained by taking ASIANLAN 301 and 302.  

Can I count more than two terms of language for the Language Requirement?

No. Students may only count two language courses at the 300-level or above towards the Language Requirement.

I’ve taken a placement test and tested beyond third-year. That means I’m done with the Language Requirement, right?

No. The minor requires that students complete two terms of language courses at the third-year or above. You cannot test out of this requirement; the course work must be done. If you have questions about this, speak to an ALC advisor.

Can I use study abroad credit towards my minor?

Yes. The Asian Languages and Cultures minor allows for up to 9 credits to be transferred in from study abroad. Please see the study abroad web page on our site for more information.

I am going to do an intensive language program to gain third-year (or above) proficiency for my minor. That’s okay, right?

The credits from the intensive language program will need to transfer on to your UM transcript in order to use them for the minor. You should talk to your general advisor about the transfer credit process.  To use language credits to meet the Language Requirement, you will also need to verify the proficiency gained by taking a placement exam with the appropriate UM Language Program.  Be sure to keep in mind that the minor asks for two terms of an Asian language at the 300-level or above, not a certain proficiency. A lot of intensive language programs are scheduled in just one term and list it as one course.  This means that you will need to take another term of language to complete the Language Requirement for the minor.  Be sure to talk to an advisor if you have questions.

The minor says, “All courses must be approved by an ALC academic advisor.” Is that true?

Yes.  Due to the flexible nature of the minor, no courses are automatically approved to meet the requirements. Which courses to take is a conversation that must happen before semesters in which you will be taking a course to fulfill a minor requirement. These conversations are to be with an advisor—either through a one-on-one advising session or an email to During these appointments, the courses are then added to your progress towards degree (PTD) worksheet that is stored on your advising file. If you do not get approval from an advisor, there is no guarantee that the courses you take can be used towards the minor requirements.