Graduate Program Overview

Program Description

The Department of East Asian Languages & Civilizations is a multidisciplinary department, with faculty specialists in history, art, philosophy, languages, linguistics, literature, and religions, offering a program of advanced study of the traditional and modern cultures of China, Japan and Korea. At the same time, students are encouraged to pursue their interests across traditional disciplinary lines by taking courses in other departments in the Divisions of the Social Sciences and the Humanities Division.

Program Overview

The department offers both M.A. and Ph.D. degrees, though the M.A. degree is usually viewed as preparatory to doctoral studies. In other words, graduate education is primarily geared toward the Ph.D. degree and the department does not have an independent Masters degree program. Students who arrive with a Master's Degree will be expected to fulfill the requirement outlined for Scholastic Residence.

The University of Chicago offers Masters level study in East Asian Languages and Civilizations through the Master of Arts Program in Humanities. In this one-year program, students build their own curriculum with graduate-level courses in any humanities department (including East Asian Languages and Civilizations) and have the option of completing a thesis with a faculty advisor.

During the first two years, students take courses, nine each year. Depending on students' interests and preparation, some of the course work may take place outside the department. It may also include work in language, either the primary language of study or a secondary one, whether East Asian or not, as well as in a second East Asian civilization. Many students may also wish to spend one or more years in Japan, China, Taiwan, or Korea to achieve language mastery or do research for their dissertation. Teaching opportunities for students are also available.

After the Ph.D. qualifying exam, which consists of both an oral and written component, acceptance of a dissertation proposal admits a student to candidacy. Students are expected to write and defend dissertations that make original contributions to knowledge. The degree is conferred upon the successful defense of the completed dissertation.

Related Research Collections

The East Asian Collection at the Regenstein Library is one of America's largest and most distinguished collections of books in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. The library is particularly eminent in the fields of Chinese classics, Chinese literature, Chinese Art, and Japanese history. It also has strong and growing research collections on the modern societies of China and Japan. The University's Smart Museum of Art houses an important research collection of Chinese and Japanese art, ranging from ancient Chinese bronze vessels and oracle bones to contemporary prints and paintings.

The East Asia Film Library is the largest collection of East Asian DVDs in the United States.  Housed in the Center for East Asian Studies, the collection includes historical films, documentaries, TV series and contemporary cinema.