Graduate Program

M.A. in Asian Studies

With the oversight of the Graduate Division, the Group provides a Master of Arts degree in Asian Studies. This program is intended for applicants who wish to take a terminal interdisciplinary M.A. degree as well as for those who wish to ultimately obtain a research degree in a departmental Ph.D. program.

The graduate program is subdivided into four geographical regions: East Asia (China), Northeast Asia (Japan and Korea), South Asia, and Southeast Asia. Although individual programs will be arranged to suit a student's particular interests, the basic degree requirements for the four regions are uniform. All students are required to take Asian Studies 201 (Proseminar in Asian Studies) in their first year. In addition, M.A. students must choose one of the four regions and take all course requirements within that area.

The normal workload for a graduate student is twelve units per semester. Depending on the number of courses taken over the minimum and the level of language training prior to entering the program, students may expect to complete their degrees in three to four semesters.

For instructions on how to apply for the M.A. degree, please refer to the Admissions section.

Degree Requirements

  1. A minimum of three years of course work in an Asian language relevant to the student's regional specialization or evidence of equivalent preparation. Students that plan to continue language study when they first come to Cal must take the placement exam administered by the department of East Asian Languages and Cultures.
  2. A minimum of 20 semester units of upper division and graduate courses in the student's area of specialization, as determined in conference with the graduate advisor. For the 20 unit minimum, at least 8 units must be in 200 series courses in two or more departments. No more than 14 of the 20-unit minimum can be in a single department. Relevant language work beyond the three-year minimum requirement is encouraged and may be included among the program units. Asian Studies 201 is required for two semesters. However, the units do not count toward the 20 unit minimum.
  3. A Master's thesis that will be supervised and approved by a three-member faculty committee.

Master's Theses from Previous Years

Click here for a list of master's theses from previous years.