This is a field which wants graduate students, not undergraduate concentrators. Serge Elisseeff, head of the department, says that it is too difficult for anyone who has not had some previous background in Far Eastern studies.
Elisseeff advises that anyone who later wants to study in his department should prepare himself with studies of Western culture first to have a basis of comparison.
Intensive Beginning Program
Beginning courses in Chinese and Japanese are intensive. The department welcomes undergraduates who want to take courses in a language or philosophy without majoring in the field.
The teachers in the department--Reischauer, Elisseeff, cleaves, Hightower, Young, and Ware--are experts in the field, and students now in their courses feel they are also excellent instructors.
Work consists mainly in memorization, and Elisseeff advises everyone interested to begin in his sophomore year.