East Asian Studies M.A. Degree Requirements

Complete East Asian Studies M.A. requirements are outlined on the Stanford Bulletin website. The Bulletin is the official record of program requirements; any typographical errors or ommisions on this page do not supercede the bulletin text.



M.A. Degree Requirements at a Glance

1. Language Proficiency:
Students must demonstrate Chinese, Japanese, or Korean language fluency at the third-year level or above, to be met either by coursework, examination, or a degree from a university where the language of instruction is in Chinese, Japanese, or Korean. The language used to meet the proficiency requirement should match the country of research focus. For students taking the Stanford University language placement examinations to prove proficiency, please note that additional language coursework may be required to meet degree requirements, depending upon exam results. Required language courses must be taken for a letter grade and completed with a 'B' or higher.

2. Unit Requirements:
Minimum 46 units completed at Stanford (no transfer credits accepted), fulfilled by:

a) East Asian Studies 330 core course, 1 unit
b) Minimum nine (9) concentration courses — at least 30 units of which must be at or above the 200 level (at or above 300 level for HISTORY courses) — which:

  • Are on the approved East Asian Studies course list, or have been approved by petition
  • Are minimum 3 units
  • Are taken for a letter grade, and completed with a 'B' or higher
  • Are not counted as part of the language requirement (language courses beyond 3rd year may count as part of the 9 courses for   students specializing in literature)
  • Include at least three courses either i) in the same department; or ii) within the same thematic focus (view sample thematic options).

c) Additional academic courses (lectures, seminars, colloquiums, etc.) as necessary to reach a total of 46 units. Additional units may be at or above 100 level for most departments (at or above 200 level for HISTORY) though students are strongly encouraged to enroll in graduate-level courses where possible. These courses must be taken for a letter grade.

3. Master's Thesis:
Students must submit a master's thesis representing a substantial piece of original research with a minimum of 10,000 words excluding references, citations, appendices, etc. (view past thesis topics)



Important Policies & Guidelines

  • Program Proposal:
    By the end of their first quarter at Stanford, M.A. students must submit a program proposal for the Master's Degree. The Program Proposal Form must be printed out, approved and signed by the student's adviser, and submitted to CEAS for review and approval.

  • Thesis Proposal and Literature Review:
    By the end of their first summer quarter at Stanford (earlier if they are graduating in one year), M.A. students must submit an approved thesis proposal and literature review for the Master's Degree. The Thesis Proposal and Literature Review Guidelines contain the cover page for the proposal, which must be printed out, approved and signed by the student's adviser, and submitted to CEAS.

  • Course Petition Policies:
    Under some circumstances, students may petition for a non-East Asia specific course to be counted towards the major (such as a methodology course in a particular discipline which will aid the student in preparing to conduct research for their M.A. thesis or B.A. Honors thesis). Students must submit the Course Petition Form along with a syllabus for the class, no later than the Monday before the University-wide Final Study List deadline in the quarter the course is offered. A maximum of three courses can be petitioned to count towards the degree. To have a successful course petition you must commit to writing a paper or undertaking a project that focuses on East Asia, and the content must be sufficient to be reasonably considered an East Asian studies course. Please turn your petitions in early, so that there is adequate time if additional information is required. Do follow up to make sure the petition is signed before you assume everything is OK. Allow time to make changes in your academic plan if necessary (i.e., if the petition is not approved).

  • EASTASN 300 Directed Reading Policies:
    Directed reading courses are independent study projects you may undertake with a relevant Stanford faculty member. Once you have found a faculty member to support your studies, inform the Student Services Coordinator immediately so that the appropriate section can be added to allow you to sign up for EASTASN 300. The limitations for Directed Reading units are:
    • --A maximum of 5 units may apply toward the 46 unit degree requirement.
    • --If applying the units to the 9 courses requirement, must submit a syllabus.