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2020 Southeast Asian & Pacific Languages Degree Guide

Southeast Asia is home to over 2,500 of different languages and a rich, diverse culture. This region includes mainland Southeast Asia, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, and other Southeast Asian countries. Majoring in Southeast Asian and Pacific Languages will provide an education in the various dialects of these countries, as well as geography, economics, politics, and cultural aspects that shape the region.

Students typically choose a concentration focusing on one area or language. Some of the concentrations you can choose include Australian, Indonesian or Malay, Burmese, Filipino, Cambodian, Lao, Thai, and Vietnamese Languages. Because all the concentrations are all different, most of the classes will not be the same; however some general classes include Art of Southeast Asia, Asian History, Asian literature, Asian Thought and Cultures, and Asian Traditions.

A Spike in Southeast Asian & Pacific Languages Degrees

#357 Most Popular Major
26.0 Degrees Awarded
80.8% Increase in Graduates

Southeast Asian & Pacific Languages was the 357th most popular major in the 2017-2018 school year. Colleges in the United States reported awarding 26 degrees in this year alone. This represents a 80.8% increase in Southeast Asian and Pacific degrees awarded over the prior year's total of 5.

Approximately 1 colleges in the U.S. offer a Celtic degree of some kind. Continue reading to check out one of our many unbiased rankings of Southeast Asian and Pacific programs later in this article.

What Are The Requirements For a Degree in Southeast Asian & Pacific Languages

Students should have an interest in the Southeast Asian region, an ear for language and the patience to learn another language, master grammar, pronunciation and spelling. Much of your time will be spent studying the history, literature and culture of the region. This makes it an ideal major for students who loves art and storytelling.

You may be able to prepare for this major while still in high school by taking courses in Language, World History, World Religions, and English. There are opportunities for study abroad programs at some institutions. This would allow student to practice their lingual skills and experience the culture first hand.

Prior Education for a Southeast Asian & Pacific Program

A high school diploma or equivalent is typically required for most Southeast Asian and Pacific degree programs and many students will need a minimum GPA and SAT/ACT score depending on the school. Specific Southeast Asian and Pacific careers may require a certain level of degree attainment or additional certifications beyond that.

Southeast Asian & Pacific Languages Degree Types

There are many different Southeast Asian and Pacific degrees levels. You can spend many years getting as high as a bachelor's in Celtic to something that takes less time like a first year certificate. The type of Southeast Asian and Pacific degree you choose will determine how long it takes to get your diploma.

Degree Credit Requirements Typical Program Length
Associate Degree 60-70 credits 2 years
Bachelor’s Degree 120 credits 4 years
Master’s Degree 50-70 credits 1-3 years
Doctorate Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation At least 4 years

A doctor's degree (research / scholarship) is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to Southeast Asian and Pacific, with approximately 36.7% of workers getting one. People currently working in careers related to Southeast Asian and Pacific tend obtained the following education levels.

Level of Education Percentage of Workers
Doctoral Degree 37.8%
Bachelor’s Degree 30.1%
Master’s Degree 21.7%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 5.6%
Post-Master’s Certificate 4.3%

Most workers in Southeast Asian and Pacific have at least a postbaccalaureate certificate. The chart below shows what degree level those who work in Celtic have obtained.


The education level required is different depending on the Southeast Asian and Pacific career you are seeking.

Career Opportunities for Southeast Asian & Pacific Majors

Below Average Number of Jobs
67.2k Avg. Related Jobs Salary
16% Growth Job Outlook 2016-26

A degree in Southeast Asian & Pacific Languages can lead to many different career opportunities. If you are interested in teaching, there are for positions in Postsecondary and Adult Education. You would have the opportunity to teach Southeast Asian & Pacific dialect, along with culture and history. You also may be interested in becoming an ESL teacher.

Another option is to become a translator or interpreter. Translators and interpreters are in high demand because of growing business between nations. If you are interested in Foreign Service, you can become a Foreign Service Officer. These officers endorse American business and political interest and give information and aid about their countries to the U.S policymakers. They arrange cultural exchanges, and help Americans travel abroad.

High Growth Projected for Southeast Asian & Pacific Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your Southeast Asian and Pacific degree? Southeast Asian & Pacific Languages careers are expected to grow 15.7% between 2016 and 2026.

The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to Celtic.

Occupation Name Projected Jobs Expected Growth
Interpreters and Translators 80,300 17.7%
Foreign Language and Literature Professors 39,100 11.7%

How Much Money Do People With a Southeast Asian & Pacific Degree Make?

As you might expect, salaries for Southeast Asian and Pacific graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.

Highest Paid Southeast Asian & Pacific Careers

Salaries for Celtic graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top 5 highest paying careers Southeast Asian and Pacific grads often go into.

Occupation Name Median Average Salary
Foreign Language and Literature Professors $79,160
Interpreters and Translators $55,230

Getting Your Southeast Asian & Pacific Languages Degree

With over 8 different Southeast Asian and Pacific degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased Southeast Asian and Pacific school rankings to help you with this.

One of 16 majors within the Foreign Languages & Linguistics area of study, Southeast Asian & Pacific Languages has other similar majors worth exploring.

Majors Similar to Southeast Asian & Pacific

Related Major Annual Graduates
Romance Languages 16,242
Linguistics & Comparative Literature 8,641
American Sign Language 2,660
East Asian Languages 2,323
Classical Languages & Literature 1,633

View All Southeast Asian & Pacific Related Majors >


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