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. Applicants to this M.A. degree program should have a grounding and a background, through studies or heritage speaking, of 2 years minimum (3 years preferred) in one of the core languages: either Chinese or Japanese. The graduation expectation is for students to have completed 3rd year modern, although a 4th year is highly recommended, as well as Classical Chinese and Japanese.
2 MA Tracks: Plan 1 and Plan 2
Two tracks or plans of study are available, a thesis track and a comprehensive examination track. For students who intend to pursue a Ph.D., the thesis track is required. For students who will go into careers in business, journalism, government or other private or publicly-oriented research, either track is possible. Students indicate on their application the plan they intend to pursue. Students are expected to complete the M.A. in EALCS in two years.
- Thesis Track, PLAN 1
Plan 1 is the thesis 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.
- Exam 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 10.
There is no longer an April deadline.
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 â€œexploreâ€ 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.