Skip Navigation

About the East Asian Studies M.A. Program

The M.A. degree in East Asian Studies is an interdisciplinary program intended to enable students to develop a broad understanding of an individual East Asian culture or to engage in comparative study of two or more East Asian cultures.

Students pursuing the East Asian Studies M.A. are normally expected to concentrate on one particular country by choosing a variety of courses in various departments. These may include those covering other areas of Asia, those partially covering East Asia, Asian-American Studies, as well as relevant methodology and theory courses. Upon petition to the program and with the consent of the student's faculty advisor, individual programs may be designed to fit specific interests.

Areas of Study

The program recognizes three areas of specialization: China, Japan, and Korea. Comparative fields may be incorporated into an area of specialization with consent of the student's faculty advisor.

Course Requirements

Nine courses are required for the degree, five of which must be graduate courses. Of the nine courses, at least five must be in the student's area of concentration including one survey course chosen in consultation with the Graduate Studies Chair. At least one course should be in a cultural area other than the area of concentration. No more than two courses in the 500 series may apply toward the nine courses and only one of these courses may be counted toward the minimum of five graduate courses required for the degree. Courses used to meet the language requirements do not apply toward the total course requirements. For a complete outline of degree requirements, see "Program Requirements for UCLA Graduate Degrees" available in the program office and on the Graduate Division homepage at

International students may also be required to take English as a Second Language 33A, 33B, 33C, 34, 36, or other English as a Second Language courses.

Language Requirements

A minimum of three years of an East Asian language, either Chinese, Japanese, or Korean, or demonstrated equivalency is required in addition to the nine courses requried for the degree. The time to degree may be shortened by advanced placement or summer language study which could begin prior to commencing course work in the fall.

Comprehensive Examination Plan

The comprehensive examination consists of the submission of three research papers (at least one seminar and two upper division papers) and evaluation of them by the ad hoc committee chaired by the student's faculty advisor.

Interdepartmental Degree Programs