The program in Asian Studies provides students with an interdisciplinary understanding of the diverse histories, political economies, cultures, religions, arts and literatures of Asia. Asia is a dynamic world region that is home to nearly half of humanity, housing some of the planet’s poorest countries as well as some of the world’s richest individuals. The peoples of Asia practice all the major world religions and the region’s traditions and cultures are a complex and transforming mix of the ancient and modern. Asia is rapidly changing, democratizing, and internationalizing in ways that present perils and possibilities for people across the globe in the twenty-first century. Respect for the differences among peoples and cultures flows naturally from engaged study of the wider world. Asian Studies offers students specialized knowledge and appreciation of a region that has had, and will undoubtedly continue exceedingly to have, a profound impact on the material and spiritual well being of human life.