The Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies (CEAPS) is the steward of campus-wide teaching, research, programming, and outreach on East Asia, as well as Southeast Asia and the Pacific.

CEAPS serves almost 100 affiliate specialists across the campus and strives to broadly support the research, teaching, and service missions of the University of Illinois through grants, fellowships, academic initiatives, public engagement and K-12 educational outreach.



The center was established in 1964 as the Center for Asian Studies. In 1984 the center was renamed, and in 1990 the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures (EALC) was established in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences to house faculty and course offerings in the language and humanistic study of East Asia.

In 2005, CEAPS partnered with the East Asian Studies Center (EASC) at Indiana University Bloomington to form the IL-IN East Asia National Resource Center Consortium. From 2006 to 2022, the consortium was awarded four consecutive four-year Title VI National Resource Center and Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowships grants to strengthen foreign language instruction, area/international studies teaching and research, professional development for educators, and curriculum development at the K-12, graduate, and postsecondary levels.

In 2012, CEAPS established its Visiting Asian Scholars Program (VASP) to continue the legacy of the Freeman Fellows Program (1996-2012) which brought scholars from partner institutions in China to the University of Illinois campus to promote exposure to American society, engagement with academic communities, and access to resource materials. Since its launch, the VASP has welcomed over 50 scholars of diverse academic disciplines from East and Southeast Asia to conduct research, present their work, and collaborate with faculty at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Today, the Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies is one of the 11 area and global studies centers and thematic programs under the umbrella of the Illinois Global Institute (IGI).