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How to Apply

Application Deadline 

Applications for the 2025-26 Academic Year will open in September, 2024 and close in early December, 2024.   

  Apply Here

For more information about the application process, please see the following webpage:
Stanford Office of Graduate Admissions.

For general admissions questions, email us at CEAS-Admissions [at] (CEAS-Admissions[at]stanford[dot]edu).

Applicants may also find this university resource useful:  Guide on Getting into Grad-School

General Applicants

All applicants must submit the online application by the stated deadline.  Within the application, applicants must indicate their region of interest (China, Japan, Korea, or East Asia) and discipline (Humanities or Social Sciences) via the drop down menus in the online portal. Please note that students are admitted only to the fall quarter.  A complete application will include the following items:

  • Personal statement (2 pages max).  Please see the following page for guidance: personal statement
  • GRE scores are not considered in the CEAS admissions process.  
  • TOEFL scores of tests taken within the past 2 years must be officially submitted to Stanford using code 4704.  For more information regarding TOEFL requirements, please see:
  • A writing sample in English. Applicants must submit only the first 15 pages of a representative writing sample (seminar paper, term paper, honors thesis, journal article, etc.) via the document upload function in the online application. Do not submit more than 15 pages. The paper does not need to be focused on East Asia specifically, but should be an academic non-fiction work.
  • At least 3 letters of recommendation.  Applicants must enter recommenders' email addresses in the online application.  Each recommender will receive an email with instructions on how to upload their letter to the online portal.  Recommendations should be submitted in English, or in a foreign language with an English translation.  Please use recommenders' official email addresses versus personal email addresses in the system.  
  • A scanned copy of all transcripts must be uploaded to the online application prior to submission.  If admitted to the program, official transcripts will be required at that time.  

Subject tests, resumes, and other supplementary materials are not required.  Please note that an applicant must check "yes" to the question "Are you applying for financial aid such as fellowships or assistantships from Stanford University?" in order to be considered for CEAS fellowship funding.  In some cases, CEAS will conduct an additional interview via phone or Skype.  If an interview is required, applicants will be contacted with more details.  Some applicants may be eligible for an application fee waiver.  To determine eligibility, please see review the Graduate Fee Waivers webpage.

The Center for East Asian Studies recognizes that the Supreme Court issued a ruling in June 2023 about the consideration of certain types of demographic information as part of an admission review. All applications submitted during upcoming application cycles will be reviewed in conformance with that decision.

Stanford Coterminal Applicants (Current Stanford undergraduates only)

The Center admits a limited number of Stanford undergraduates to work toward a coterminal M.A. degree in East Asian Studies. Students must follow the regular application deadline for admission into the program and are expected to meet the same general standards as external candidates seeking admission to the program.

Complete coterminal master's applications should include the following:

  • Completed Coterminal Online Application
  • A written 1-2 page statement of purpose
  • An unofficial Stanford transcript
  • Three letters of recommendation, at least two of which should be from members of the undergraduate department of concentration
  • GRE testing is not required for the 2023-2024 CEAS admissions circle. 
  • Writing sample as described above

Coterm applications will be reviewed along with peer applications by the M.A. Admissions Committee of the Center for East Asian Studies (CEAS). Students must meet all requirements for both B.A. and M.A. degrees, completing a total of 46 units after completing the 180 units required for the Bachelor's Degree, for a total of 226 units. Coterms are not eligible for university financial aid, but are eligible to apply for other fellowships administered by CEAS. Please note that for coterminal students, we will follow the university suggested guideline of allowing students to count coursework taken in the three quarters immediately prior to their first graduate quarter toward their graduate degree (summer is not included in the back count). Students are reminded that course transfer is subject to approval of the undergraduate and graduate departments.

Financial Aid

CEAS offers a limited number of fellowships each year for incoming M.A. students. Students interested in the Master's Degree program in East Asian Studies may apply for support (contingent upon availability) at the time of their initial application for admission. Eligibility varies. Applicants should also be aware that CEAS generally does not offer TA-ships or RA-ships to incoming M.A. students during the first year. Applications for financial aid are considered independently of applications for admission. A request for support does not affect the applicant's chances of admission.

Applicants may consider the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program, which cultivates and supports a highly-engaged, multidisciplinary and multicultural community of graduate students from across Stanford University, and delivers a diverse collection of educational experiences, preparing graduates to address complex challenges facing the world. Each year, Knight-Hennessy Scholars selects up to 100 students who are newly enrolling in a graduate degree program (including the East Asian Studies M.A. Program) in any of Stanford’s seven schools. Knight-Hennessy Scholars participate in an experiential leadership development program and receive funding for up to three years of graduate study at Stanford. Candidates of any country may apply. Candidates must submit two applications to be considered; one to Knight-Hennessy Scholars by early October and one to the graduate degree program by its deadline. 

U.S. Citizen/Permanent Residents and International Students:

Financial Aid from Stanford University. Check "yes" on the application form. You will then be considered for the following fellowships: Japan Studies (full tuition) or Chinese Studies (full tuition).  Each year, depending on funding, we may also award additional fellowships.

U.S. Citizens/Permanent Residents Only:

U.S. citizens and permanent residents who will be taking advanced Chinese, Japanese, or Korean language should apply for the Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowship, which provides full tuition plus modest stipend. This application is separate from your admission application.
Students who wish to be considered for federal aid or loan programs should file a FAFSA and an additional Graduate Financial Aid form online with the Stanford Financial Aid Office. CEAS does not have Federal Work-Study allocations available, but students interested in loans and the small awards from the Graduate Student Aid Fund must submit a FAFSA and the Graduate Financial Aid Application, available on the Stanford Financial Aid Office website.

Many Stanford graduate students receive fellowships from outside sources to help offset tuition costs. Applicants to Stanford programs are encouraged to apply for outside funding grants whenever possible. The Cornell Fellowship Database provides an extensive list of fellowships and may be a helpful search tool.

Application FAQ
  • Please see general Stanford University Frequently Asked Questions about the admissions process at Stanford Graduate Admissions FAQ
  • Should the writing sample and statement of purpose be single- or double-spaced?
    • Application writing samples are typically double-spaced whereas statements of purpose are typically single-spaced.
  • What is the deadline for official test scores and reference letters to arrive?
    • We ask that official test scores and reference letters are submitted as close to the application deadline as possible.  The review process begins quickly after the application deadline passes and it is at the individual reviewer's discretion how to handle applications with missing components.  
  • Can I request an interview as part of this process?
    • No- we will reach out to individual applicants if we will require an interview.  Please note that interviews in this process are very rare, so not being contacted about an interview does not indicate a negative admission decision.
  • When will I be notified regarding admissions decisions?
    • All admissions decisions notifications will be sent via email by March 15.  Any funding opportunity decisions, including the FLAS fellowship, will also be notified in the same decision letter.  
  • Do you offer application fee waivers?
    • Please see the link above for the available fee waivers and how to submit a request.  The department is generally unable to grant fee waivers.  However, requests for exceptional circumstances will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.  All requests must be submitted at least two weeks before the application deadline.  We cannot accept fee waiver requests retroactively (i.e.- after application has been submitted).