student on the beach jumping
There's no better way to gain cultural and linguistic fluency than travelling or studying abroad! Chany Chea spent time in the Philippines during her BA.

The Department of Pacific and Asian Studies offers Honours, Majors, Minors, and Certificate Programs to help you achieve your academic, personal, and career goals. Our undergraduate degrees are designed for both general educational and professional purposes, while helping you find your passion and your paths in life. Students who experience our programs will achieve the following:

  • A working knowledge of one Asian language;
  • A general knowledge of the history, society and culture of the Asia-Pacific region, with specific emphasis on modern and contemporary issues, seen from an appropriate, Asian perspective yet sensitive to their global contexts;
  • A more specific knowledge of one country or region covered by the department;
  • Training in appropriate critical and analytical skills; training in the indispensable, transferable skills of academic research, rhetoric, and writing; and a grasp of the ideas essential to understanding Asia as a region and as a collection of diverse countries and issues;
  • An appreciation and sensitivity for the cultures of Asia and the world conceived of on their own terms.

Go to online calendar for more information.

Students interested in the Honours Program should consult with the Pacific and Asian Studies Undergraduate Advisor. Program requirements are the same as for the Major, with the addition of:

  • 1.5 units of PAAS courses numbered 300 or higher;
  • PAAS 499 (1.5)

Students may apply for admission to the Honours Program in the spring term of their second year or in the fall term of their third year.

Admission requires*:

PAAS 100, 200, any one of PAAS 300, 301, 302, 304, or 400. A grade of at least B+ must be achieved in each course;

Written permission from a Pacific and Asian Studies faculty member willing to act as research advisor for the PAAS 499 essay;

Approval of the proposed program of courses by the Undergraduate Advisor.

*Continuation in the Honours Program requires maintenance of a GPA of at least 6.0 in all upper-level PAAS courses.

The total number of units in the program is 27.

The Major Program includes core courses required for all students, as well as courses of both a broad and specialised nature, from which students may choose. The courses available allow students to receive a wide-ranging overview of Asia as well as specialisation in terms of area or subject of primary interest. The Major Program is highly adaptable to the specific interests and needs of our students.

  • PAAS 100 (1.5)
  • PAAS 200 (1.5)
  • One of PAAS 300, 301, 302, 304 (1.5)
  • PAAS 400 (1.5)
  • 9.0 units of PAAS courses numbered 300 or higher
  • 9.0 units of Chinese or Japanese language, at least 3.0 units of which must be at the 300-level or higher; or 6 units of study in Indonesian/Malay language plus 3 units of upper-level courses related to Southeast Asia chosen from PAAS 307, 364, 370, 372, 373, 403, 406, 409, 464, 465, 466, 467

The total number of units in the program is 24.

Pacific and Asian Studies

Chinese Studies

*Language Requirement for Native Speakers of Chinese:

*Language Requirement for non-Native Speakers of Chinese:

*PAAS 318, 410, 412, 413, 418, 420, 457, 458, 459 and 497 may not be counted toward both the required 9 units and the Language Requirement.

Total: 16.5 units

Japanese Studies

PAAS 338, 340, 341, 342, 343, 344, 345 may not be counted towards both the required 9.0 units and the Language Requirement.

Total: 16.5 units

Southeast Asian Studies

  • PAAS 100, 170, or 171 (1.5)
  • 9.0 units of PAAS courses numbered 300 or higher chosen from PAAS 370, 372, 373, 467, 495, 496, 497 (depending on the topic; consult with the undergraduate adviser)
  • 6.0 units of Indonesian/Malay language courses chosen from PAAS 120, 121, 220, 221 (Native speakers may substitute other Southeast-Asia-related courses chosen in consultation with the program adviser.)

Total: 16.5 units

1.4 billion people: China
130 million people: Japan

Want to know more about them?

We offer two Certificates in Language and Cultural Proficiency, allowing you to focus on China or Japan in your first two years at the University of Victoria.

Whether your interests are in international commerce, travel, literature, philosophy, food, fashion, or fun, these certificate programs give you a perfect opportunity to explore two of Asia's most significant countries, whose histories have intertwined and interacted for thousands of years. 

10.5 units—6.0 units of language, 3.0 units of cultural courses, and 1.5 units of foundational material. You can do this in two terms, or spread your time over two years. 

Your transcript will be stronger, your resume will be more impressive, your education will be richer and your life will never be the same.

Undergraduate Certificate in Language and Cultural Proficiency Programs


• one of PAAS 150, 151, 152 (1.5 units)

• 6.0 units of Chinese language chosen from PAAS 118212, 218318, 353, 410, 411412, 413, 418, 420, 457, 458, 459, 497

• 3.0 units of China-related courses, chosen from PAAS 150, 202, 207, 279, 351, 353, 354, 355, 356, 357, 358451, (may include courses chosen from 212318353, 410, 411412, 413, 418, 420, 457, 458, 459, 497)

*Students cannot complete both a Certificate in Chinese Language and Cultural Proficiency and an Honours, Major, General or Minor in Pacific and Asian Studies, or a General or Minor in Chinese Studies.

Total: 10.5 units 


• PAAS 180, or 181 (1.5 units)

• 6.0 units of Japanese language chosen from PAAS 138, 235, 238338, 340, 341, 342, 343, 344, 345, 430, 432

• 3.0 units of Japan-related courses, chosen from PAAS 180, 181, 202, 207, 209 (depending on topic), 280, 386, 388, 393, 394397, (if the topic of the Field School is Japan), 399, (may include courses chosen from 235, 338, 340, 341, 342, 343, 344, 345, 430, 432)

*Students cannot complete both a Certificate in Japanese Language and Cultural Proficiency and an Honours, Major, General or Minor in Pacific and Asian Studies, or a General or Minor in Japanese Studies.

 Total: 10.5 units