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University of Pittsburgh    
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
  Jul 25, 2024
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Transnational Asia Certificate

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University of Pittsburgh
University Center for International Studies
Asian Studies Center
Emily Rook-Koepsel, Undergraduate & Graduate Advisor and Assistant Director for Academic Affairs
4109 Wesley W. Posvar Hall
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
Phone: 412-648-7370​

Asia is at the forefront of many of the world’s most pressing issues, leading to many analysts declaring the 21st century to be the Asian Century. Representing 60% of the world’s population and 3 out of the 10 largest economies in terms of GDP, Asia plays a critical and ever-expanding role on the global stage. Transnational flows of people, disease, goods, and ideas in and out of Asia have fueled much of the rapid change within the region and its influence abroad. As the world wrestles with issues of global economics, environmental sustainability, public health, and labor migration, Asia’s impact defines a large number of research and social questions spanning academic and professional disciplines. Students endeavoring to understand international business, history, and politics need to be intellectually agile and able to make transnational and even transregional connections.The Transnational Asia Certificates that will focus the continent’s transnational linkages with the world.  This certificate programs will help students prepare for international careers as well as graduate degrees with a global focus.  To learn more about the Transnational Asia Certificate please contact the Asian Studies Advisor via email ( or by making an appointment at

Requirements and Courses

  1. Transnational Asia Studies Courses:
    Interdisciplinary understanding of transnational Asia can help build an understanding of broad trends and ideas from many different perspectives. When students apply for a Transnational Asia Certificate, they will work together with the Asian Studies Center advisor to choose an appropriate theme and will, over the course of their remaining semesters take a minimum of five courses (15 credits) approved by the Asian Studies Academic Advisor to fit around the theme. Some popular themes include: Asian Diaspora Studies (including Asian American Studies), Asian Public Health, Transnational Asian Popular Culture, Transnational Supply Chains, and many others. Required courses for the Asian Studies certificate may overlap with Gen. Ed. requirements and with courses taken on study abroad.

    Students must take courses in a total of three different departments.  At least one course (3 credits) should be in the student’s major, unless their major does not include a course appropriate to their certificate theme, in which case a course from a different department can count towards this requirement.
  2. Language proficiency: Students must complete one of the three language tracks to earn the Transnational Asia Certificate:
    Track A: Proficiency in an Asian Language equivalent to two years of college courses, relevant to the certificate theme. This can be fulfilled by 4 semesters of college language courses or proficiency proven via examination.

Track B: Proficiency in an Asian Language equivalent to one year of a college courses and proficiency equivalent to one year of college courses in a comparative language relevant to the certificate theme. This requirement can be fulfilled by course work at the college level, university language management, and or proficiency proven via examination.

Track C: Proficiency in two different Asian languages, each equivalent to one year of college language courses.

     3. Digital Portfolio: Students will be given a template to create a Transnational Asia digital portfolio soon after they have signed up for the program. Students will work with the digital portfolio site throughout their time in the program, completing the digital portfolio during their final 
         semester at the University of Pittsburgh. The portfolio offers a chance for students to reflect on academics, work/internship experience, study abroad observations, and co-curricular activities that highlight their Asian Studies experience. Students should work closely with the Asian
         Studies advisor on the creation of their portfolio. Information on the digital portfolio can be found at

     4. GPA requirement is 2.0 for all courses to be counted towards the Asian Studies Certificate.

Financial Assistance

Financial Assistance

Transnational Asia certificate students may be eligible for a variety of scholarships and study abroad awards. For information, visit

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