Graduate Program

Graduate Requirements

The requirements are filled in three stages: Masters Degree Requirements (for students entering with or without an MA in East Asian Studies, PhD Candidacy Requirements, and PhD Degree Requirements.

This page outlines the requirements for graduation. For more detailed instructions and explanations, students should read their EALC Graduate handbook.

Master's Degree Requirements


  • Complete 18 courses

          1 course must be directed translation

          No more than 2 courses can be taken for an "R" or "P" grade

          2 non-specialization East Asian Civilizations courses

  • No outstanding incompletes
  • Courses or Placement at the 3rd year level of one East Asian Language.
  • 1 M.A. thesis or 2 M.A. papers

Course Requirement

All full-time students, must take 18 courses (9 per year) during their first two years of scholastic residence, 1 of which must be EALC 650 (Directed Translation); no more than 2 courses may be taken for an "R" or  "P" grade.
Students must take at least two courses in an East Asian civilization other than that in which they are specializing.
All work for incompletes must be submitted to the relevant instructor/s by September 1 prior to the subsequent academic year. In other words, incompletes may not be carried from one academic year into the next. Failure to comply may result in denial of permission to register. (see “Incompletes Policy”)

Language Requirement

The mastery of languages is the first, essential step toward the understanding of civilizations. The minimum language requirement for the M.A. is three years of modern Chinese, Japanese, or Korean, which may be fulfilled by completing course work with a grade of B or better or by passing with a grade of "high pass" a language exam administered by the Department. Students entering with prior training must take this placement exam, the results of which will either ensure their enrollment at an appropriate level or allow them to pass out of additional language course work. Students whose native language is an East Asian Language may be exempt from this requirement. They must, however, fulfill the translation requirement.

Translation Requirement

All students must satisfy a translation requirement during their first two years of scholastic residence. The translation must be approved by an EALC faculty member. The student should fulfill this requirement by enrolling in EALC 65000 (Directed Translation), and earning a grade of B or better.  The translation and faculty approval will be submitted to the department for the student’s file.

M.A. Paper(s)

This requirement may be satisfied in one of two ways.

1. The student may choose to use two papers that had previously been submitted for course work. Each paper must be approved by at least two different faculty members, at least one of whom must belong to EALC, and at least one paper must demonstrate the ability to use primary materials in Chinese, Japanese, or Korean.

2. The student may, in consultation with her/his advisor, write a single, longer paper, of the sort more traditionally construed as an "M.A. thesis." This paper too must be read and approved by two faculty members, at least one of whom must belong to EALC. Students who choose to write such a thesis may register for 2 Thesis Research courses and apply them toward their 18 required courses. Papers will be kept in the student's file.

Ph.D. Candidacy Requirements


  • 2nd East Asian Language
  • Mastery of Languages required for primary research
  • Proficiency in any additional languages required for research
  • Pass Ph.D. Qualifying Exams
  • Approval of Dissertation Proposal

 Language Requirement

Students will be expected to demonstrate mastery of the language of the civilization they are studying. At a minimum, this will normally entail completion of all language courses the Department offers in that language or their equivalent.

All students will be expected to acquire or demonstrate competence in a second language, normally an East Asian language, chosen in consultation with their advisor/s as best suited to their research interests. At a minimum, this will normally entail satisfactory completion (with a grade of B or higher) of two years' study of a modern language or one year of a classical language, although students are encouraged to take more where possible. If an East Asian or European language is acquired elsewhere, the student must pass an examination designed by the relevant program with a "high pass" or its equivalent.

In the event that specialization requires the working knowledge of a third language (Asian or non-Asian), the student will be asked to certify proficiency through classes and/or examinations.

Qualifying Examination

After consulting the faculty advisor, and clearing all incompletes, the student should consult with the desired examination committee. After selection of the committee, the student should notify the Department of his or her wish to take the Ph.D. qualifying examination. The Department Chair, in consultation with student and advisor, will approve a committee of three faculty members (one of whom may be from another unit of the University) who will conduct and grade the examination. The Ph.D. qualifying examination will consist of two sections, one written and one oral, testing the student's knowledge of the field, both specific (usually the field that will be the topic of the student's doctoral dissertation) and general (covering two topics, differentiated either by time period or by discipline).

In consultation with the examination committee, the student will submit, at least two months prior to the date of the examination, three bibliographies of works studied in preparation for these fields. It is expected that these bibliographies will contain some works in the primary language of research.

For the examination, each member of the examination committee will examine the student in one field; the student will have four hours per field (usually on consecutive days). After the examination committee has had a chance to read the written responses (a period usually not to exceed one week), the candidate and committee will meet for a two-hour oral examination based upon the completed written examination. Grades in either section will be High Pass, Pass or Fail.

A student who fails in either section may retake it only once, within the next two quarters (summer quarter excepted), and must pass it on the second try in order to continue work in the Department.

The qualifying examination may not be taken later than the ninth quarter of residence after the M.A has been awarded (or, for those with advanced degrees other than the Department's M.A., the ninth quarter after they have been admitted into the Ph.D. program).

The Dissertation Proposal

After successful completion of the qualifying examination, the student may proceed to invite faculty members of his/her choice to form a dissertation committee. Normally, the membership of the committee consists of an advisor and two readers, but the composition need not be identical to the qualifying examination committee. Occasionally, the student may choose to work with two co-advisors and one reader. As in the case of the qualifying examination, at least two members of the dissertation committee should be from EALC, while the third member may be a faculty member from another unit of the University.
The student will present to the committee a proposal of about 25 pages describing his or her dissertation project, its purpose and its method, and its expected contribution to scholarship in the field.  To this should be appended a bibliography of relevant materials. This proposal should be written in close consultation with the members of the student's Ph.D. dissertation committee.
The proposal will be evaluated in a meeting of the student and the committee, scheduled at least two weeks after submission.

Admission to PhD Candidacy

Once the student has passed the dissertation proposal defense, the department will certify that the student has met all the requirements for Admission to PhD Candidacy (all requirements for degree with the exception of the dissertation). The department will submit paperwork to the Dean of Student’s office recommending that the student be admitted to candidacy for the PhD degree (this status is sometimes known at “ABD – All But Dissertation”).

PhD Degree Requirements


  • Admission to PhD Candidacy
  • Defense of the Dissertation

Admission to PhD Candidacy

Admission to PhD Candidacy certifies that all requirements for degree with the exception of the Dissertation have been met by the student. This certification is required before a student can acquire the PhD degree.

The Defense of the Dissertation

With agreement of the dissertation committee, the Department Chair will set a date for the oral defense of the dissertation in an open examination. An abstract of the dissertation will be sent to all department members, and a complete copy of the draft must be filed with the Department coordinator and made available for inspection by faculty members at least three weeks in advance of the oral defense. In addition to the dissertation committee, a Dean's representative from outside the Department will normally attend and will report on the examination to the Dean of the Division of the Humanities. Upon successful completion of this examination (open to all departmental faculty and graduate students), the Department Chair will certify to the Division that all Departmental requirements have been met, and will recommend the awarding of the Ph.D. degree.