Degree Requirements

The East Asian Studies graduate program is designed to be completed in either a one-year or a two-year track. The two-year track requires the preparation of a master’s thesis and is therefore ideal for students who are keen to pursue focused, independent research under the guidance of a faculty member. It also provides students with an opportunity to pursue additional disciplinary and language training. Students who enter the two-year track with a strong command of one East Asian language will be encouraged to consider beginning a second (or third) language.

In general, students focus their course work on the study of China, Japan, or transnational East Asia. Some students may prefer to focus their course work on one or two disciplines, in addition to language study and courses focused on East Asia. Others may create a highly interdisciplinary program, taking courses in traditional disciplines such as history, literature, political science, art history, or anthropology, as well as in Yale’s professional schools.

Applicants to the East Asian Studies graduate program must indicate on their application whether they are applying to the one-year or the two-year track.

Prerequisite to the Program

Students who wish to complete the EAS Master’s Degree must show evidence of having completed at least two years of intensive Chinese or Japanese language study or the equivalent at the time of matriculation.

Requirements for the M.A. Degree: One-Year Track

The program of study for completion of the degree on the one-year track consists of eight term courses that must include two terms of language study at or above Yale’s third-year level (unless the language requirement has already been met through previous study or native fluency), plus six other courses selected from the University’s offerings of advanced language study and seminars related to East Asia at the graduate level. For those who meet the language requirement at matriculation, two of the required eight courses may be advanced training in a particular discipline (e.g., economics, history, political theory, statistics, etc.) with no explicit focus on East Asia, but related to the student’s professional goals. The course of study must be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS).

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS

Students must earn two Honors grades (“H”) over the course of their two terms at Yale. Honors grades earned in any language course cannot be counted toward satisfying this requirement, except with the permission of the DGS.

Requirements for the M.A. Degree: Two-Year Track

The program of study for completion of the degree on the two-year track consists of sixteen term courses that must include four terms of language study, two terms of which must be at Yale’s fourth-year level (unless the language requirement has already been met through previous study or native fluency), plus twelve other courses selected from the University’s offerings of advanced language study and seminars related to East Asia at the graduate level. Students who have achieved advanced proficiency in one East Asian language are strongly encouraged to pursue study of a second East Asian language, but for those who have met the language requirement in one language at matriculation, two of the required sixteen courses may be advanced training in a particular discipline (e.g., economics, history, political theory, statistics, etc.) with no explicit focus on East Asia, but related to the student’s professional goals. The course of study must be approved by the DGS.

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS

Students must earn four Honors grades (“H”) over the course of their four terms at Yale. Honors grades earned in any language course cannot be counted toward satisfying this requirement, except with the permission of the DGS. A master’s thesis is also required.

MASTER ’S THESIS

A master’s thesis is required of students enrolled in the two-year degree program. The master’s thesis is based on research in a topic approved by the DGS and advised by a faculty member with specialized competence in the chosen topic. M.A. students must register for EAST 900, which may count toward the sixteen required courses. EAST 900 may not be taken for audit. Students may register for an additional independent study to prepare topics and begin research. The master’s thesis must be prepared according to CEAS guidelines and is due in two copies in the student’s second year on an early-April date as specified by CEAS.

Guidelines and deadlines for the master’s thesis can be found here.


Students are reminded that the policies of the Graduate School must be followed.  Any questions regarding these policies should be addressed to Dean di Bonaventura.