About Us

The Department of Asian Languages & Cultures (ALC) is dedicated to the study of Asian civilizations in all their diversity. The rich, cultural heritages of the region are covered in various academic courses ranging such as language, literature, religion, thought, archaeology, and other cultural aspects. The department seeks to develop a profound appreciation of the unique insights and achievements of each indigenous culture while understanding at the same time the complex interconnections that tie the Asian region together.

At the undergraduate level, the department’s goal is to engender in our students a rich appreciation of traditional and modern Asian culture. At the graduate level, we strive to matriculate students who will be ready to take their places among the top young scholars of their generation. For our faculty, we aspire to foster a climate in which dynamic research and writing projects can be conducted in an atmosphere of mutual respect and inspiration. Our program also works to complement and support the disciplinary study of Asia in different departments and professional schools such as the Humanities, Social Sciences, Anthropology, and Law.

ALC’s programs also respond to the needs of the larger Los Angeles community. The State of California is one of the most culturally diverse in the nation and Los Angeles has gained international recognition as one of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities. Southern California has a large and growing population of people of Asian ancestry, including the largest community of ethnic Koreans in the United States. The rapid growth of these Asian ethnic populations is increasingly reflected in UCLA’s enrollment figures. Moreover, as the United States’ major gateway to the Pacific, Los Angeles has become a major North American center for the study of Asian cultures, societies, and peoples. UCLA, like few other universities in the United States, is ideally situated geographically and demographically to foster research and instruction on Asian societies and cultures.