M.A. Plans

Masters in East Asian Languages & Cultural Studies

The M.A. program in East Asian Languages & Cultural Studies emphasizes advanced language training as the foundation for research on East Asian cultures. The philosophy of the M.A. program is to provide students with a solid foundation in one or more East Asian languages in addition to broad opportunities for cross-cultural and multi-disciplinary studies of East Asian traditions and modernities. Coursework concentrates on the humanities, including history, literature, religious studies, anthropology, linguistics and the arts, as well as social and cultural anthropology and sociology. Students progress through a sequence of mandatory core seminars that provide a shared foundation in key methodological and theoretical issues in the academic study of East Asia.

2 MA Tracks: Plan 1 and Plan 2

Two tracks of study are available. The academic track (Plan 1) is designed for students who will go on to pursue the Ph.D. The professional track (Plan 2) is for students who will go into careers in business or government or combine their M.A. with other professional degrees. Students in Plan 1 write a thesis; students in Plan 2 take a comprehensive examination.

  • Academic Track, PLAN 1:

    Plan 1 is the academic track, intended for students who go on to pursue the Ph.D. It requires a total of 60 units of coursework in Chinese, Japanese, or East Asian Cultural Studies, and 12 units of thesis work. The 60 units will come from a combination of graduate or upper division courses on the country of specialization, advanced modern language, classical language, and courses outside the country of specialization. The thesis should demonstrate the student’s ability to do original research using sources in Chinese, Japanese, or Korean.
  • Professional Track, PLAN 2:

    Plan 2 is intended for students who will go on to careers outside of academia. It requires 64 units of coursework in Chinese, Japanese, or East Asian Cultural Studies, and 8 units for the comprehensive exams (a total of 72 units). The 64 units will come from a combination of graduate or upper division courses on the country of specialization, advanced modern language, classical language, and courses in other departments (economics, communications, etc.) commensurate with the student’s career goals. Under this plan, a comprehensive examination is substituted for the thesis. Candidates will be examined in two fields to be determined in consultation with an advisory committee.

Graduate Applicants Please Note:
The final deadline for receipt of ALL applications is December 1.
There is no longer an April deadline.


Additional Information

We strongly suggest that M.A. students decide by the end of the first year which track they are going to pursue. The first year is designed for the student to “explore” their interests in various courses/subjects/areas/faculty to work with; in the second year, students focus their energies on the particular interests they have identified.

Students must take a minimum of 24 units of graduate level course work (courses #200 and above). Most students take more than 24 units. There is no limit on upper division course work, or on courses taken outside the Department. We encourage students to take some courses relevant to their interests in other departments (e.g., History, Anthropology, Political Science, Global Studies, Art History, Comparative Literature, etc.).

In general, graduate students take 3 courses per quarter. At that rate a student would finish the Program in exactly 6 quarters (2 years), allowing time for an MA thesis or exams at the end.